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Former prisoner of war to speak at museum

  • Published
  • By Sarah Swan
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Maj. Gen. (Ret.) John Borling will share his experiences as a prisoner of war, along with the poetry and prose he composed and memorized, during a special presentation at 1 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The highly-decorated fighter pilot served 37 years throughout the world in high-level command and staff positions. During the Southeast Asia War, he was incarcerated in Hanoi, Vietnam, for six and half years, where he mentally composed poetry/prose. He tapped his creations through thick walls to fellow POWs using a special, but forbidden, prison tap code to "make time an ally" and provide legacy for his wife in case he didn't survive. His story is also published in his new book, "Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton."

During his presentation, Borling will speak about how and why poetry sustained him through his POW experience and its relevance today; his commitment to duty and liberty, freedom and service; his life and service in the United States Air Force and private sector; and what his future holds.

For more information or handicapped seating arrangements during the lecture, contact the museum's Special Events Division at (937) 255-1743. Filming or videotaping the lecture is prohibited.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-1743.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Sarah Swan at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1283.