Description: Bonnie Singleton, wife of United States Air Force helicopter rescue pilot Jerry Singleton, saw her world turned upside down when her husband was shot down while making a rescue in North Vietnam in 1965. At first, the United States government advised her to say very little publicly concerning her husband, and she complied. After the capture of the American spy ship, the U.S.S. Pueblo by North Korea, and the apparent success in freeing the naval prisoners when Mrs. Rose Bucher, the ship captain's wife, spoke out, Mrs. Singleton changed her opinion and embarked upon a campaign to raise public awareness about American prisoners of war held by the Communist forces in Southeast Asia. Mrs. Singleton, along with other Dallas-area family members, formed local grass-roots organizations to notify people around the world about the plight of American POWs. They enlisted the aid of influential congressmen, such as Olin "Tiger" Teague of College Station, Texas; President Richard M. Nixon and his administration; millionaire Dallas businessman Ross Perot; WFAA television in Dallas; and other news media outlets worldwide. In time, Bonnie Singleton, other family members, and the focus groups they helped start encouraged North Vietnam to release the names of prisoners, allow mail and packages to be sent to the POWs, and afford better treatment for prisoners of war.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Garrett, Dave L.