The U.S. Air Force Starlifter touched down at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines on Feb. 12, 1973. The eyes of the nation looked on as 115 prisoners of war returned to the United States military facility.
Near the front of the pack stood Raymond Vohden, a 42-year old lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. Although he generated headlines for his accomplishments as a football and wrestling star at Rutgers University decades earlier, Vohden was now more famous for another reason: The New Jersey man was the fourth American to be shot down over North Vietnam on April 3, 1965.
His leg broken and ankle crippled as a result of a bailout from his A-4 Skyhawk bomber, the hobbled Vohden was given the option to exit the back of the plane, where he could escape the view of hundreds who had gathered to greet the heroic soldiers and millions