Hanoi Hilton

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The Hanoi Hilton was the ironic nickname given by American POWs to the Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi, then capital of North Vietnam, where they were held in captivity between 1964 and 1973. The name is a backhanded tribute to the appalling conditions and routine brutality that they suffered there.

The first US prisoner to be held at the prison was Lieutenant Everett Alvarez, an A-4 Skyhawk pilot shot down in 1964, who was incarcerated for almost nine years; its most famous inmate was Republican Senator and Presidential candidate, John McCain.

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