VIETNAM WAR FORMER POW TO GIVE LIVE Q&A INTERVIEW ON CRUCIAL BATTLE
Live: 9AM PT, 10AM MT, 11AM CT, Noon ET
Col Certain was the Navigator aboard B-52G, “Charcoal One” – the first loss of the stunning “Operation Linebacker II” campaign of December 1972.
On the opening night of 18 December, Certain’s bomber was hit by two SA-2 missiles just seconds before reaching their target of the Yen Vien Rail Center, just northwest of Ha Noi, North Vietnam.
Forced to eject, Certain was one of the three survivors of the crew of six. Quickly captured and imprisoned in the “Hanoi Hilton” prison system, Certain became a symbol of the important role the POWs played in the Vietnam War.
Though he returned to America and found extraordinary success as a military leader, Chaplain, and Priest within the Episcopal Church, the trauma of the war-affected him to the point where intervention was necessary. His story of trial, healing, and redemption is an inspiration to all.
The live portion was streamed from Blue Skies of Texas (formerly Air Force Village) on 28 August 2021 to a worldwide audience.
For access to the accompanying Educator's Kit, either follow the prompts on-screen or go to:
DFCSociety.org and click on the “Teachers and Educators” tab.
(Knoxville, TN) — On Saturday, 28 August 2021, Vietnam Veteran and former Prisoner of War (POW) Col Robert Certain, USAF (Ret) will be featured in a live, streaming Q&A. The moment is part of the award-winning historical documentary series produced by Old Guys and Their Airplanes (OGTA) and the Distinguished Flying Cross Society (DFCS).
Military Tales and Old Guys and Their Airplanes (OGTA) joined forces with the mutual goal of preserving the oral history of military service. They combined their strengths to create a platform for veterans to share their stories of bravery and resilience. The testimonials capture some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows in humanity; the kind of stories that make people freeze in awe with the realization that some of the most inspiring heroes live hidden amongst the masses.
Museums, Educators, Group leaders, Aviation enthusiasts, and Veterans groups are encouraged to gather friends and host “Watch Parties” to view the moment live and discuss. Access the Q&A Livestream on Saturday, 28 August 2021 at 12 p.m. ET on the Military Tales YouTube channel
On 18 December 1972, Certain became the first American to be captured after his B-52G Stratofortress bomber was shot down on the opening night of Operation Linebacker II, the code name given to the successful (but costly) bombing of strategic military targets near Hanoi, North Vietnam. Linebacker II played a crucial role in bringing the Vietnam War to an end for American forces in that it convinced North Vietnamese leaders to resume stalled peace talks. Perhaps the greatest effect of the peace treaty was the release of nearly 600 American POWs, some of whom had been in captivity for over eight years.
Col Robert Certain will describe his POW experiences as well as how he leveraged them to overcome PTSD and establish successful careers as a military leader, minister, and author.
Certain is a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), an award given for heroism in aerial flight. DFC Society Chairman Woody Gilliland explains, “Our members have seen history up-close and personal in startling ways. These OGTA events are a great way for us to promote these stories of U.S. airmen in combat, their dedication, courage, and professionalism. Bob’s story is especially important because it ties directly into the campaign that many people believe to have brought the POWs home.”
OGTA Producer and host of the Debrief event John Mollison stated, “The Vietnam War is valuable in its practical lessons and powerful stories. Every generation can look, listen and learn; Col Certain experienced powerful history but also has shown that the human condition can find peace in chaos.”
How to watch – Virtual or in person, I.e. Aviation clubs and associations could gather members at their hanger/meeting place to view the event. Schools, whether in class or remote can tune in and watch presentations/debrief to prepare for supplied lesson plans
Educator’s Kit resource materials featuring Certain’s life, service, and Linebacker II will be available for download prior to the event. Viewers who participate via the Military Tales YouTube channel and South Dakota Public Broadcasting streaming service will also have the opportunity to send questions to Certain during the interview. Visit – https://www.dfcsociety.org/ select the teacher/educator tab.