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May 5, 2010
Naval War College
Topic: "Reflections on Captivity"

Professor Emeritus Porter Halyburton and Col (ret) Fred Cherry, USAF discuss their captivity and torture by the North Vietnamese.


Halyburton and Cherry were among dozens of men held prisoner and tortured by the North Vietnamese. They are the subjects of a book entitled, “Two Souls Indivisible,” authored by James S. Hirsch.
 
From the publisher’s web site: An unforgettable true story, “Two Souls Indivisible” stirringly recounts the forging of a legendary, heroic bond between two soldiers. Cherry and Halyburton first met in their shared cell in a brutal POW camp in Vietnam. Cherry, an air force pilot, was badly injured after his plane crashed; he became the first black officer to be captured by the North Vietnamese. Halyburton, a young Navy flier, was a naive white southerner thrown in as Cherry's cellmate. Their captors hoped close quarters would inflame American-bred racial tensions and break both men. Instead, American integrity and honor flourished, and as Cherry was nursed back to health, a friendship grew strong. The intense connection, powerfully reported by James S. Hirsch, would sustain both men through the war and throughout their lives. Inspiring, heartbreaking, remarkable, and never more timely, “Two Souls Indivisible” shows how good people can achieve greatness in the most hellish of circumstances.
 
While Halyburton taught for a number of years at the Naval War College and returns annually to address the student body, it is a rare experience to hear from both he and Cherry together. 
 
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 5, 2010) Professor Emeritus Porter Halyburton and Col (ret) Fred Cherry, USAF discuss their captivity and torture by the North Vietnamese. (Photo by Ensign Michael Larson)
 
NEWPORT, R.I. (May 5, 2010) Professor Emeritus Porter Halyburton and Col (ret) Fred Cherry, USAF discuss their captivity and torture by the North Vietnamese. (Photo by Ensign Michael Larson)