Lt. Larry Slade: F-14 Grumman Tomcat WSO shot down and captured in Iraq

47 days of torture, back broken during interrogation

In 1991 during an escort mission for EA-6B Wild Weasels, Lt. Larry Slade and his F-14 pilot were struck by a SA-2 surface to air missile. Their plane nearly destroyed, they ejected and landed safely in the desert of Iraq far from each other. The pilot was rescued however, Lt. Slade was picked up by local Iraqis and taken to a prison in Baghdad. There he, along with several other airmen captured, were systematically beaten for information, even if they answered the questions. Under severe danger not just from their captors, but also airstrikes from American planes, they managed to stay alive even after one 2000lb bomb blew off the prison wall. At one point, Lt. Slade was thrown against a wall by his captors and beaten with a baseball bat, breaking his back and severely damaging his organs. He was turned over to the Red Cross at day 47 and continued his career in the Navy as one of only a few active POWs. Lt. Slade is an example of the high cost of our freedom paid by those who serve, both mentally and physically.

Valor is in you. Set it free.
Back to blog |