PRISONERS OF WAR: Bittersweet Homecoming of Three Pilots

IT might have been an occasion of unambiguous joy: three American prisoners of war returning to their families after long months of imprisonment in North Viet Nam. Instead, the route home last week assumed the quality of an international morality play, an occasionally bitter and tearful business that caught the three pilots in a propaganda tug-of-war involving the North Vietnamese, the Pentagon and the American peace movement. All three sides were using the flyers as pawns in a larger drama of image and diplomacy.

Thus the welcome-home at New York's Kennedy International...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!