Jeremiah Andrew Denton Jr. (July 15, 1924 – March 28, 2014) was a U.S. Senator representing Alabama from 1981 to 1987, and a United States Navy rear admiral and aviator in the Vietnam War.
Denton is widely known for enduring almost eight years of grueling conditions as an American prisoner of war (POW) in North Vietnam after his jet was shot down in 1965, and being the first of all the POWs that were held captive and finally released by Hanoi to step off an American plane during Operation Homecoming in February 1973. As one of the earliest and highest-ranking officers to be taken prisoner in North Vietnam, Denton was forced by his captors to participate in a 1966 televised propaganda interview which was broadcast in the United States. While answering questions and feigning trouble with the blinding television lights, Denton blinked his eyes in Morse code, spelling the word "TORTURE"—and confirming for the first time to U.S. Naval Intelligence that American POWs were in fact being tortured.
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