Former Vietnam POW Visits Cold War Gallery

NaughtonCaptain Bob Naughton, USN (Ret), a former prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, poses for a photo with the prison camp model of the “Zoo,” where he spent time during his captivity, just a few miles outside of the city of Hanoi in North Vietnam. Captain Naughton visited the Cold War Gallery, Wednesday, 1 February, while in town for the Arlington funeral of his former VA-113 commanding officer, Captain Hank Dibble, USN.

Then-LCDR Naughton was shot down in May 1967 flying an A-4C Skyhawk from the deck of USS Enterprise, with the Stingers of VA-1113. He was released in March 1973. He later served as commanding officer VA-83, VA-174 and NAS Dallas. His awards include Silver Star, Legion of Merit (2), Distinguished Flying Cross (2), Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He and his wife Peggy now reside in Texas.

The model of the “Zoo” prison camp features labels describing the various areas of the camp, and is currently on display in the Cold War Gallery, at the Washington Navy Yard. The model was built by Midshipman Ronald Malec, United States Naval Academy Class of 1974, and presented to Commander Jack Fellowes in May 1974. Fellowes (who passed away in 2010) had a personal connection to the Cold War Gallery. He sponsored a model of the A-6E Intruder that he was shot down in over Vietnam, along with Bombardier-Navigator LTJG George Coker. The aircraft model is now on display in the Cold War Gallery. An image of the model can be seen on our Cold War Gallery website, in the “Fly Navy” section under “Aircraft Models,” with additional views available on our Flickr site.  A home made shoulder board fashioned by Coker during their imprisonment is also on display in the Gallery.

A close-up photo of the model of the “Zoo” can be seen below. We’ll have a follow-up story later this month on the model itself. Zoo POW Camp

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23 Comments

  1. Karen Hoyt

    Reply

    I wore a P.O.W. bracelet with LCDR Robert Naughton on it. I will never forget the day back in March, 1973 when I had the great privilege to watch him appear in the doorway of the plane that brought him home. I cried tears of joy that he had made it safely back to American soil. I prayed for him daily during the time I wore the bracelet. I would like to tell him thank you so much for serving our country.

    • Janet Ohaver

      Reply

      Your words, Karen, are exactly what I had thought to write. My experience is the same as yours. Prayers were answered, and to see him in the doorway of the plane was stunning! Blessings to you!

      • Karen Hoyt

        Reply

        Janet, I just saw your post. Thank you for writing what you did. I know it meant so much for me to see him. I was in the hospital at the time & had just talked to one of the nurses about the bracelet and why I was wearing it. Then, I got to watch him arrive back on American soil and the next time she came in it was on the tray table. <3

    • Danielle Bach

      Reply

      I was just going through some old things of my moms and found a LCDR Robert Naughton bracelet. Turns out my mom used to wear it all the time when she was little. Its really cool the things you find when going through old boxes. From reading these post it looks like a lot of people had these. Does anyone know when they mean or what they were for?

  2. Kim Petroski

    Reply

    I have a POW bracelet with LCDR Robert Naughton, 5-18-67, that I inherited from a close friend who passed a few years back. I just typed in his name to see what I could find. I thought I could send it to a family member but it appears that happily, I could send it to him. If he or anyone in his family would like it, please let me know. So wonderful to hear a success story & read his writings on his experiences.

    • steve sisney

      Reply

      Capt Naughton and my father were in the navy together. I wore his POW bracelet until it was stolen from my house in 1989. I would greatly appreciate a replacement.

      Steve Sisney

      • Cheryl

        Reply

        First of all Thank you for your service. I found a post that a zippo was found that is engraved CPL SISNEY Vietnam 66-67 do you know the who the owner may be? If so email me at gowin8go@yahoo.com
        If not God Bless

      • Tanya

        Reply

        Found a zippo 1967 I believe. Says ‘cpl sisney Vietnam 1967″ was this a family members of yours or do you know how to find out to return it. Also has numbers. Can send pic. Please email me tanyacarolee@gmail.com

      • Jeanne Ainsworth

        Reply

        I believe someone found a Zippo lighter and it may have your father’s name in it. It is going around on Facebook and they are looking for the owner. The folling is what is going around the Internet.: “Sabrina found this Zippo in a overgrown trash pile, in the woods North of Steeleville about 6 years ago.
        That old trash pile has been there since I was a kid.
        So, it had to have been laying out there since around 1972-74.
        The insides were gone, and it was full of mud. I cleaned it up and sent it to Zippo.
        They replaced the insides and the hinge pin, no charge.
        Works like new again!

        I’ve called all the Sisneys in the phone book but no one knows who it might belong to.

        So if anyone knows who
        CPL SISNEY is, msg me
        so we can return it to him
        or his family.
        Thanks, Steve

      • jennifer

        Reply

        Did you have any family in the USMC during Vietnam?? If so, someone found a Zipp lighter that has been posted all around online, that they found.

      • Jim McCarty

        Reply

        Sisney. Sir their is a post on Facebook they are trying to find a cpl sisney. They found a zippo lighter engraved cpl sisney Vietnam 66-67. It was found in steeleville.

      • Theresa Woodby

        Reply

        Please contact me. I have one of LCDR Robert Naughton,
        5-18-67, bracelet. I wore it until he came home. I would like for you to have it. Please provide your email address so that we can send you a picture of the bracelet. Please contact me so that I can get this to you. We appreciate their service to our country.

  3. sharon "sam" cooper

    Reply

    I worked for the same company as his father. I was in Arizona and his dad was in Iowa. He called and asked if I would wear his son’s POW bracelet. I was honored and I told him so. My husband was in Vietnam at the time. I never took it off until I watched on TV as he arrived home. I am still honored to have worn the bracelet of a true hero.

  4. Jennifer Lucht

    Reply

    I also proudly wore LCDR Naughton’s POW bracelet. I will never forget the pure joy watching him come down the steps of the airplane on his return to U.S. soil. There was also a picture of his return along with the other veterans in the TV Guide magazine. My husband Alan also served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. We both proudly covet the bracelet and will make sure that it is also cherished by our children.

  5. John M.Brown

    Reply

    Hello, I found a POW bracelet, for Robert Naughton, LCDR, who was shot down over Vietnam in 1967. I would be honored to send it to Mr. Naughton, can You help?

    • Admin

      Reply

      Mr. Brown,

      Good Morning. Please contact NHF Executive Director Captain Todd Creekman, USN (Ret.) at (202) 678-4333 or email our curator Emily Pearce at epearce@navyhistory.org for more information on the donation process.

      V/r,

      Matthew T. Eng

    • Alicia Naughton

      Reply

      Hi Mr. Brown,
      If you see this reply & you happen to still have the POW bracelet please let me know! Robert Naughton is my grandfather and I’d love to help get it to him.

      Thanks!

      • Karol Norris

        Reply

        Alicia, I still have my bracelet with your grandfather’s name. I wore mine faithfully for many years. I even shared with a few friends who wore it too before he was released. I never heard whether or not “my guy” had come home until the magic of the internet 40 years later. I found out he had been released and returned home. I felt a very close connection to that bracelet, not only for the military significance of it, and my genuine patriotic appreciation of what he went through for me, but as a reminder to myself that life is good even on days I think it isn’t, and someone dealing with unimaginable horrors somewhere on this planet could only wish they had 100 of my worst days for one of theirs. I wear it at least 4 days a week still. I am 64 years old.
        It may sound odd, but LCDR Robert Naughton stays close in my heart and has become an angel on my shoulder when I feel low. God Bless you and your family. Thank you to your grandfather for his service to our country.

      • Jan Selwa

        Reply

        I, too, have a treasured LCDR Robert Naughton bracelet! I would love for the family to have this bracelet! Please let me know how I can get this to you! Thank you!!!

  6. Dolores

    Reply

    I also wore a POW bracelet for LCDR Robert Naughton every single day of my teen years and when I saw the POW’s returning and his name was announced as one of the returning I was so thrilled for him and his family. I still have my bracelet and would love to give it to a close member of his family or to he and his wife. Please send me contact information and I will be sure the bracelet gets to you.

  7. Kim Budd

    Reply

    I also have a LCDR Robert Naughton POW bracelet. I wore it for many years and never knew if Mr. Naughton ever returned home. I just ran across my bracelet this evening for the first time in several years and decided to goggle his name. I’m overcome by joy now knowing he survived his ordeal and has gone on to live a good life. I have loved him with all my heart from the minute I got my bracelet. Let him know he was receiving prayers for many years after he was rescued. I hope he felt blessed. I, too, would be willing to send my bracelet to a family member, if they promise to value it as I have. With love…

  8. Regina Thibeau

    Reply

    I too wore a POW bracelet with LCDR Robert Naughton’s name on it. I just watched the Viet Nam documentary by Ken Burns and went to my jewelry box to dig it out. I also decided to look him up on the internet and want to say after all these years, “Welcome Home and thank you for your service.”I am 57 years old, I wore it as a 10 year old. I have a vague recollection of Robert Naughton throwing out the first pitch at the Cubs game and that is how I learned he was home. Can any of his family verify that my memory is correct? I will treasure this bracelet as a reminder to have faith that in what may be lost, can be found. I have a son serving in the Army and I know he will represent our country as bravely as LCDR Robert Naughton did.

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