Photographer's Note

Maison Centrale was a prison built in 1886 by the French Colonial government in Hanoi French quarter to house Vietnamese political prisoners during their struggle for independance. It was later called Hoa Lo Prison and during Vietnam War, it was used as prison for US pilots, who ironically nick-named it the Hanoi Hilton.

In 1997 most of the complex was demolished to give away for development, but only parts of the old prison was preserved and turned to museum. It is interesting to see how the inmates used to live, tortured and executed.

The most famous POWs is US Senator John McCain, was shotdown in his A-4E skyhawk fighter jet when he was on his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam in Oct 1967. He fractured both his arms and legs whilst ejecting and almost drowned when parachuted into Tru Bach lake nearby. He spent 5 1/2 years as a POW and was released in March 1974.

His flight suit is still on display at this museum with a photo of his visit to this ex-prison in 2000.

magalik, xuaxo, paura, Cricri, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful

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