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First Vietnam POWs Return Home

By Patrick Mondout

On February 14, 1973, a plane carrying the first 20 former prisoners of war from Vietnam landed at Travis Air Force Base in California. It had been just over three weeks since the peace treaty was signed in Paris and two days since they had been released near Hanoi.



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The terms of the January 23, 1973 cease-fire required the release of all POWs. To expedite the repatriation of the American POWs held by North Vietnam, USAF C-141s in a series of operations, flew to Hanoi, loaded the returnees and flew them to freedom.

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