Col. George "Bud" Day: Defied Enemies Despite Brutal Torture

By Ethan Cole on
 November 12, 2023

George "Bud" Day is one of the most decorated U.S. Air Force Colonel's since General Douglas MacArthur. This legendary servicemember retired with almost seventy decorations.

A Young Marine

Bud Day joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 at only 17 years old and initially served on a gun battery on Johnson Island.

After the war, Day went on to earn a law degree and joined the Iowa Air National Guard. He commissioned as an Officer and was called to active duty in 1951.

While on active duty Bud Day completed pilot training and deployed as an F-84 pilot twice during the Korean War.

Southeast Asia

Major Bud Day, 43 at the time, volunteered to head to Southeast Asia in 1967. He was assigned the command of Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Commando Sabre. The unit call sign, Misty, became legendary and was derived from one of Day's favorite songs.

While flying his 26th Misty Forward Air Control (FAC) mission, Day was shot down and forced to eject. During this explosive process his right arm was broken in several places and he sustained multiple additional injuries.

Local militia captured him once he was on the ground and proceeded to torture and beat him. After five days of this brutal treatment he managed to escape. He had no boots and many injuries but he made it more than 25 miles.

He survived on local fruit and raw frogs as he made his way through the tough terrain. A nearby bomb detonation injured him further, but he still managed to survive.

Day made it to within two miles of the Con Thien Marine base but tragically, he was discovered by the Viet Cong. He didn't go easily but took a bullet wound to the thigh and hand before finally being recaptured.

Hanoi Hilton

Day was taken back to the camp he had escaped from. The guards beat him again as punishment for his escape and made him walk several miles to the prison at Vinh. At this horrific place he was tortured and interrogated.

Day was then transferred to the "Hanoi Hilton" where the torture continued for years. His injuries were not allowed to heal properly and he lost around 100 pounds due to starvation. Even then, he refused to reveal any useful information.

As punishment for his defiance, he was taken to the "Zoo", an area for those who were identified as "hard resisters." He was beaten so severely that he sustained permanent vision impairment.

In 1973, Day was finally set free after 67 months of brutal captivity. A year later he was considered medically recovered from his injuries and became an F-4 pilot.

Day moved on to become the vice commander of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing for many years before retiring in 1976 as a Colonel.

Colonel Bud Day represents the toughness and resilience that American troops have embodied for over a century.

Let us know what you think of his incredible service in the comments below!

Source: National Museum of The United States Air Force

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31 comments on “Col. George "Bud" Day: Defied Enemies Despite Brutal Torture”

  1. Hello friends, good piece of writing and pleasant arguments commented
    at this place, I am genuinely enjoying by these.

    1. Can you imagine this bunch of woke sissy's doing anything? a lot of them would have a hissy fit if you took their panties away. In my old Army days if some freak wore panties in my barracks, he would have gone out the first window without opening it. GUARANTEED

  2. Thank you for all your sacrifices, Sir during your long and heroic service to our country. It is stories like yours that young people today need to hear about. Your pride in what you were doing, and why you were serving should be a model for showing the kind of PRIDE of country that is missing in the young today. They have no idea why the flag means so much to us OLDER folks. The pride is not there and it is a shame. God has blessed you!

  3. HE IS A HERO, IT IS SO SAD THAT HE HAD TO SUFFER THAT MUCH BUT GOD WAS WITH HIM, I WOULD LOVE TO TELL HIM, THANK YOU, GOD BLESS AND YOU ARE LOVED AND APPRECITADED, GOD BLESS YOU

  4. For all that he endured as an American Patriot Colonel Bud Day is deserving of a Congressional Medal of Honor and a Presidential Medal.

  5. His story is unbelievable and obviously The Lord's power blessed him through this horrible period of time. Definitely a great American that is worthy of our thanks and praise!

  6. Absolutely, unbelievably amazing story of heroic persistence! Do we still have Americans like that out there? Any in the Halls of Congress - of either party? I think if we did, there would be a large number who would stand up to the political persecution that they either know is going on or they are part of this cowardly, malicious behavior!! Do I sound bitter? I was born always waking up with a smile, but I'm finding little to smile about when I think about who is "leading" our country and the extent that bureaucrats and especially the once vaunted FBI are willing to go to support his reign of horror on the USA!! It can't be as simple as being a Liberal or a Conservative - it has to be more dangerous and malevolent to our existence as a freedom loving country with opportunity for the multitude for the unbelievable aggressive behavior of the past seven years!

  7. THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT AS MILITARY COURAGE, AND DEDICATION. WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY, AND ALL I CAN SAY IS MANY HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS FOR HIS COURAGE. THIS IS WHAT OUR SOLDIERS ARE MADE OF! OF COURSE THE CURRENT MILITARY IS DESTROYING IT WITH ALL THE WOKE NONSENSE. THIS IS A MILITARY NOT A STAGE SHOW! THIS WOKE MENTALITY IS WHY THERE ARE FEW YOUNG PEOPLE WANTING TO JOIN!

  8. THANK YOU COLONEL GEORGE "BUD" DAY FOR WHAT YOU GAVE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. MAY GOD HAVE A PLACE IN HEAVEN FOR THE TORTURE YOU SUFFERED. GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS.

  9. I thank God for these Hero's who fought so valiantly and gave so much for America! God bless each one of them. I salute each one and am grateful for each one and so many others not mentioned. Thank you is not enough to show as gratitude for their service and sacrifice. We must not let what they have done be forgotten, but be an inspiration to all Americans and may we be as loyal to our country as they have been, the price they paid to afford us this honor let us not offend. God bless America, Land that I love.

  10. I salute you Bud Day. You gave all of us a future. All of our whining children should go to a third world nation for a week or two. See how the rest of our world is living. Its a sad commentary to see the children that are being educated in our TOP colleges brain washed into defending "The Scum Of Our Earth" The Palestinians voted Hamas in KNOWING that they were TERRORISTS. KNOWING THAT THEY MURDERERS & RAPISTS. and have no respect for Anyone. The Jews have every right to defend themselves.

  11. He must be a God fearing man to go thru all of that. GOD had to be with him. I do hope that he is doing well and that he can count on the USA to take care of him for the rest of his life. He gave it all and then some. God Bless this wonderful man.

  12. Wow! What an amazing man! He had amazing fortitude and strength to get through all that he was put through! And he didn't sing like John McCain! Thank you Colonel Bud Day for all your suffering during the Vietnam War and for your service to our country! They don't make many men like you!

  13. What courage he had. A true hero. It's amazing that he recovered of all those punishing injuries. I served in the 33rd TFW from 1967 - 70. Would have served proudly under him.

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