Captain Charles Plumb graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1964. In November 1965, Plumb earned his Navy Wings, becoming a United States Naval Aviator. From this, Plumb reported to Miaramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. There, he made his mark helping to develop the Navy Fighter Weapons School, more commonly known today as “TOP GUN.”
His next appointment was to the Aircraft Carrier Kitty Hawk where he was assigned one of the Navy’s hottest jets, the F-4 Phantom. Captain Plumb flew 74 successful combat missions over North Vietnam and made well over 100 carrier landings. On his 75th mission, just five days before the end of his tour, Plumb was shot down over Hanoi, taken prisoner, starved, tortured repeatedly, and survived the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner of War, until he was released on February 18, 1973.
During his nearly six years of captivity, Charlie Plumb distinguished himself among his fellow prisoners as a professional in underground communications, and served for two of those years as the Chaplain in his camp.
After his release, Plumb continued his Navy career, working in the Reserve Squadrons. He retired from the Naval Reserves in 1991 as a Navy Captain.
Captain Plumb’s Military honors include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, (2) Purple Hearts, and the P.O.W. Medal.
You can read more about his military bio here.