Airmen from Sheppard AFB, Tex., helped return the wedding ring that retired Col. James Hivner was forced to give up when taken prisoner during the Vietnam War in a special ceremony last week at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Tex. Hivner, who remained a POW for more than seven years, and his co-pilot were shot down Oct. 5, 1965, and captured within minutes of ejecting from their F-4C Phantom. Retired Navy Cmdr. Rick Tolley received the ring and Hivner’s dog tags from his former son-in-law, who was working in Vietnam and had gotten them from a retired Vietnamese soldier. Tolley, who lives in San Antonio, searched for and found Hivner. Brig. Gen. O.G. Mannon, 82nd Training Wing commander from Sheppard, said the museum event presented “an incredible opportunity” for young airmen to “meet a fellow airman warrior.” (Read Sheppard report by John Ingle with an account of Hivner’s POW experience; Times Record News report)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.