MIAMI – Retired Col. George Bud Day, a Medal of Honor recipient who spent 5 1/2 years as a POW in Vietnam and was U.S. Sen. John McCain’s cellmate, has died at the age of 88, his widow said Sunday.
Day, one of the nation’s most highly decorated servicemen since Gen. Douglas MacArthur and later a tireless advocate for veterans’ rights, died Saturday surrounded by family at his home in Shalimar, after a long illness, Doris Day said.
Day received the Medal of Honor for escaping his captors for 10 days after the aircraft he was piloting was shot down over North Vietnam. In all, he earned more than 70 medals during service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
The native of Sioux City, Iowa – where the airport is named for him – was an enlisted Marine serving in the Pacific during World War II and an Air Force pilot in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
In Vietnam, he was McCain’s cellmate at one camp known as the Plantation and later in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he was often the highest-ranking captive. During his imprisonment, the once-muscular, 5-foot-9 Day was hung by his arms for days, tearing them from their sockets. He was freed in 1973 – a skeletal figure of the once dashing fighter pilot. His hands and arms never functioned properly again.
As awful as it sounds, no one could say we did not do well. (Being a POW) was a major issue in my life and one that I am extremely proud of. I was just living day to day, he said in a 2008 interview with The Associated Press. One really bad cold and I would have been dead.
In a statement Sunday, McCain, R-Ariz., called Day a great patriot and said he owed his life to the man.
He was the bravest man I ever knew, and his fierce resistance and resolute leadership set the example for us in prison of how to return home with honor, McCain said.
DJ ‘Kidd Kraddick’ dies in New Orleans
David Kidd Kraddick, the high-octane radio and TV host of the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show heard on dozens of U.S. radio stations, has died at a charity golf event near New Orleans, a publicist said. Kraddick was 53.
The radio and television personality from Texas, whose program is syndicated by YEA Networks, died at his Kidd’s Kids charity function in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna on Saturday, said publicist Ladd Biro in releasing a network statement.
The Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show is heard on more than 75 Top 40 and Hot AC radio stations and is a leader among most-listened-to contemporary morning programs, Biro said.