The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Jack Van Loan Oral History Interview. November 7, 2014

Jack Van Loan Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna.

November 7, 2014

Location:  Memorial Union, Oregon State University.

Jack Van Loan (b. 1931) is a career military officer who graduated from Oregon State College in 1954 and was promptly commissioned into the United States Air Force. A fighter pilot, Van Loan flew both Super Sabre and F-4 Phantom aircraft during the early years of his career. Van Loan's life changed dramatically in May 1967, when his jet was shot down over North Vietnam. Van Loan was promptly captured and spent the next 2,116 days - nearly six years - as a prisoner of war. He was released in March 1973 as part of Operation Homecoming and, after a period of recovery, resumed his military career until retiring in 1984 with the rank of Colonel. His interview touches upon his undergraduate years at OSC, but primarily focuses on his experience of being imprisoned in the "Hanoi Hilton."