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Orson George Swindle , III

Date of birth: March 8, 1937
Place of Birth: Georgia, Thomasville
Home of record: Camilla Georgia
Status: POW

Orson Swindle was interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam after he was shot down on November 11, 1966, and was held until his release on March 4, 1973.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel [then Captain] Orson George Swindle, III (MCSN: 0-78193), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 21 to 23 August 1967. Despite the most severe torture and threats of death over a three-day period, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle successfully resisted the attempts of his captors to obtain information on prison communications. Although he was beaten and choked, bound in leg stocks, placed in solitary confinement, and subjected to hours of intensive questioning, he continued to resist the efforts of the guards to subdue him. In order to baffle his captors so as to reduce the severe torture that they inflicted on him and afford a chance of survival, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle shrewdly fabricated false and plausible details and led them to believe that they were receiving the factual information they were trying desperately and viciously to compel him to disclose. Alone, unaided, and suffering agonizing pain and pressure, he steadfastly resisted the attempts of his captors to secure valuable information regarding his fellow prisoners. By his courage, imagination, and resistance in the face of unbearable agony, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps, the Naval Service, and the United States Armed Service.

Action Date: August 21 - 23, 1967

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Prisoner of War

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to Lieutenant Colonel [then Captain] Orson George Swindle, III (MCSN: 0-78193), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 7 July to 30 July 1969. During a concentrated effort by prison authorities to secure propaganda statements and petitions to United States Government officials, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle displayed extreme courage and adherence to the principles of the Code of Conduct. He was subjected to harsh and brutal treatment to such an extent that his ability to survive was doubtful, but he persisted in his refusal to provide propaganda statements. Throughout his extended period of torture and privation, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle outwitted his captors in their efforts to exploit him and obtain information for their nefarious use. By his steadfast devotion to his country and his continued resistance against extreme odds, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps, the Naval Service, and the United States Armed Forces.

Action Date: July 7 - 30, 1969

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit with Combat "V" to Lieutenant Colonel [then Captain] Orson George Swindle, III (MCSN: 0-78193), United States Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while interned as a Prisoner of War (POW) in North Vietnam from November 1966 to March 1973. During his six and one-half years of incarceration, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle was tortured and subjected to continuous interrogation and long periods in solitary confinement. On occasion he was forced to go without sleep for days and suffered numerous vicious beatings at the hands of his captors. Lieutenant Colonel Swindle displayed constant resolve to frustrate his captors who were intent on extracting military information and securing his cooperation in propaganda programs. His personal example of resistance and strict adherence to the Code of Conduct were sources of inspiration and strength to his fellow prisoners and played a key role in fostering prisoner unity of effort, improved morale, and ultimate survival. Lieutenant Colonel Swindle's extraordinary resourcefulness and originality in the face of the enemy were instrumental in developing inter-camp education and communication programs which led to a strong bond and unity among POW's and were ultimately responsible for thwarting enemy propaganda attempts. By his courage and leadership in the face of great adversity, Lieutenant Colonel Swindle upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps, the Naval Service, and the United States Armed Forces. (Lieutenant Colonel Swindle is authorized to wear the Combat "V".)

Action Date: November 1966 - March 1973

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Lieutenant Colonel Orson George Swindle, III (MCSN: 0-78193), United States Marine Corps, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Comptroller Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia from 30 August 1975 to 30 June 1979. Lieutenant Colonel Swindle's professional leadership and initiative, as well as matchless expertise in solving problems and making sound decisions enabled him to masterfully manage funds allocated from five different DOD appropriations. Under his direction, the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia made an excellent transition into the realm of Combined Command Financial; Management, Zero Based Budgeting for Operations and Maintenance, Stabilized Rates for the Marine Corps Industrial Fund, and the decentralization of the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) process. His determined, aggressive efforts reflect his astute, highly professional judgment and managerial skills in all phases of financial management. He has consistently provided the highest level of leadership and guidance in financial support of the Marine Corps stores distribution system. As a direct result of his efforts, supply support to field commands was increased and a liquidity crisis at a Depot Maintenance Activity was averted. Lieutenant Colonel Swindle's initiative, superb professionalism and unwavering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: August 30, 1975 - June 30, 1979

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Prisoner of War Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

Lieutenant Colonel Orson George Swindle, III (MCSN: 0-78193), United States Marine Corps, was held as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from November 11, 1966 until his release on March 4, 1973.

Action Date: November 11, 1966 - March 4, 1973

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Division: Prisoner of War (North Vietnam)