The second group of former United States prisoners of war in Vietnam arrived at Travis Air Force Base in California on Thursday (15 February).
GV Aircraft taxis
SV Welcoming crowd with placards
GV Officer descends aircraft steps, salutes, shakes hands with welcoming officer
SV Officer POW crosses tarmac
GV Relatives great Major Lockhart
SV Mrs John Anderson greets husband
GV Aircraft taxis
SCU & GV POWs meet wives (2 shots)
GV Wife greets husband
SV Another wife greets husband (2 shots)
GV Quang Tri - Prisoners being released (5 shots)
GV EX-prisoners climb into boat (2 shots)
SV Ex-prisoners in boat take off prison uniforms & hurl into river (2 shots)
SV Uniforms in river
CU TILT UP Artificial leg, soldiers on bank
GV Ex-prisoners reaching for bank
GVs Ex-prisoners greeted by North Vietnamese (9 shots)
Initials WR/0152 ESP/0211
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The second group of former United States prisoners of war in Vietnam arrived at Travis Air Force Base in California on Thursday (15 February). They were greeted by hundreds of cheering relatives.
Among the men met by their families at the base was Major Lockhart. He was ??? by his wife and their seven-year-old son he had never seen. The boy had been born after Lockhart's capture nearly sight years ago.
Colonel Roger Byrne summed up the feelings of the released men when he spoke to the crowd: "to be back on American soil has been our dream for seven years."
The men then boarded aircraft that would take them to bases near their families.
In South Vietnam on Thursday, cheers also greeted 175 communist prisoners as they were released on the banks of the Thach Nan River near Quang Tri. About 50 North Vietnamese officials, nurses and soldiers clapped as barges carried the prisoners across the river.
Once on shore, the men, some of them weeping, were led to a reception centre and had their names checked against a master list as members of the International Commission of Control and Supervision watched.
SYNOPSIS: A United States Air Force Starlifter transport aircraft carrying American prisoners of war arrived at Travis Air Force Base in California on Thursday. The men, the second group of prisoners to arrive home from the Philippines, were greeted by cheering relatives.
For Captain Harden Lockhart it was an emotional moment. He was greeted by his wife and their seven-year-old son he had never seen. The boy had been born after his capture almost eight years son. The officers all agreed that it had been their dream for seven years to be back on American soil.
Travelling in two groups of twenty men each, the former prisoners arrive three hours apart. There were more emotional scenes as many of the men were greeted by wives and mothers.
With the exception of officers who live in Northern California, the men were later put aboard military aircraft for flights to hospitals near their homes.
Thousands of miles across the Pacific, 175 North Vietnamese prisoners were released by South Vietnamese troops near Quang Tri. The prisoners at first refused to board barges that were to carry them across the Tach Han River to freedom.
Then, once aboard the barges, they discarded their prison clothes, crutches and bandages, littering the river with the last physical remains of their days in South Vietnamese stockades.
About 50 North Vietnamese officials, nurses and soldiers clapped and cheered as each barge carrying the prisoners arrived on their side of the river. Once ashore, the men, some of them weeping, were led to a reception area where their names were checked against master lists as members of the International Commission of Control and Supervision watched. Saigon officials said that all 175 of the men freed had been in the South for at least three years.