United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Orson George Swindle, III from Camilla, was inducted into the 2018 Class of the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame for his many of acts of selfless service, undaunted heroism, and un-wielding devotion to his fellow service members in connection with military operations against armed enemies of the United States in Southeast Asia and subsequently as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam.
Upon graduation from Georgia Tech in 1959, he was commissioned, earned his Navy wings in 1964, and later flew the F-8E Crusader on 204 missions in combat. On Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1966, then Captain Swindle was shot down over North Vietnam, and was captured. For the following six years, four months, and four days he endured a continuous, hellish, and inhumane nightmare of beatings, hundreds of hours of interrogations, torture, wounding, and depravation at the hands of his Communist captors in the prison infamously known as the Hanoi Hilton.
Throughout these seemingly endless sessions, he was able to convince his captors that his shrewdly fabricated, false, and plausible details to be factual and were interpreted by his interrogators as totally factual and proved to be of great value for survival of his fellow POWs. Under threat of death, Captain Swindle nonetheless assumed complete care of other sick and wounded fellow prisoners. The nightmare finally ended on March 4, 1973 with his and the other POW’s repatriation.
Undaunted by his interminable and harrowing experience as a POW, he returned to flying, this time in the A-4 Skyhawk. After his medical retirement in 1979, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle continued to serve in the public sector and twice served in Presidential appointment positions. For his unflinching and constant courage as a Prisoner of War, he was awarded: the Prisoner of War Medal, Navy Commendation Medal for Valor, thirteen Air Medals, two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Star Medals, two Legions of Merit, and our nation’s third highest award for valor, two Silver Stars.
Attention all Georgia Military Veterans: Nominations are being accepted for the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame (GMVHOF). GMVHOF is a non-profit organization with mission of honoring Georgia veterans and is currently accepting nominations. If you know any veterans, please consider nominating them for this rare and noble hall of fame. Eligibility: Living or deceased veterans who served in one of the five branches of the military and was either born in Georgia, or entered the military in Georgia, or have lived in Georgia for at least 10 years. A veteran may be nominated in one of three categories: VALOR – heroic action(s) in combat; ACHIEVEMENT – significant contribution to the military while or service; or SERVICE – significant contribution to mankind. For more information on the GMVHOF, visit http://gmvhof.org/