Former American POW's Share Their Incredible Journey With Group at Thompson Field

  • Published
  • By TSgt Ed Staton
  • 172d AW
Two American warriors who paid a tremendous sacrifice on behalf of their country were welcomed to Thompson Field Thursday May 16, 2013. These former prisoners of war were special guests of a Mississippi's Military Order of the World Wars group and shared their haunting experiences and tremendous insight with the audience.

Col. Ken Cordier was an Air Force F-4C Phantom pilot when he was shot down over North Vietnam just 12 days short of his port of call. Following his immediate capture, Cordier spent six years and three months in a Viet Cong prison. Despite that experience, Cordier still marches forward with the slogan of, "Never give up and never give in."

William Robinson was on a helicopter air rescue mission when his aircraft was brought down by enemy fire on September 20, 1965. After being captured by North Vietnamese forces, the Army specialist was held captive for an American enlisted record seven years and three months.

"As long as we have young men and women in harm's way, anything we older codgers can do to make their life a little easier and comforting is what we'll do," said Robinson. "They need to know that they're not going down that path that some of us have not already traveled. And that we're proud of them for following in our footsteps."

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Erik Hearon, a member of Mississippi group of the Military Order of the World Wars, said it was special having these two American heroes be special guests at their meeting.

"They came home 40 years ago and it's an honor to have them speak to us tonight," said Hearon. "Everyone is very interested in hearing about their experiences."

The MOWW meets eight times per year and welcomes retired and active commissioned and warrant officers. Individuals who have an ancestor serve as a military officer are eligible to be members as well. For more information on learning more about this group, contact Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Erik Hearon at 601-672-6860 or