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George "Bud" Day

Colonel (Ret.) George “Bud” Day is the most highly decorated American military warrior since General Douglas MacArthur. In a long military career spanning 34 years and three wars, Day received nearly 70 decorations and awards. More than 50 of them were for combat, including our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. In 1967, he organized and commanded the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying the F-100 Super Sabre. He was shot down over North Vietnam, Aug. 26, 1967, and immediately captured by the North Vietnamese. Despite his injuries, he managed to escape captivity and evade the enemy as he traveled back into South Vietnam, earning him the distinction of being the only prisoner to escape from North Vietnam. After numerous unsuccessful attempts at signaling friendly aircraft and two weeks of exhaustion and hunger, he was shot and recaptured by the Viet Cong just two miles from freedom. He suffered a brutal 67-moth imprisonment that finally ended March 14, 1973. Three days later, Day was reunited with his family in California. After recuperating, Day was returned to active flying status and retired as a colonel in 1977.