Murphy Neal Jones POW helping Veterans heal by sharing his story of survival.
I had the pleasure of talking with Col. Murphy “Neal” Jones. He is a man among men. He flew over 90 missions into North Vietnam as a pilot under the call sign “Opel 2”. Neal said, I was one of the “old guys” I started flying missions in 1964, 65 and 66. We had a no fly zone imposed on us that create a 30 mile radius around Hanoi until 1966.
Not many people know his call sign was actually spelled “Opal” but one miss spelling and the Call Sign spelling stuck.
At the time, then Captain Jones, was on the the first mission of hand picked pilots to strike Hanoi after President Linden Johnson gave the OK. Captain Jones was shot down flying an F105D having sustained a direct hit from a 85 mm anti-aircraft round after avoiding a SA2 surface to air missile. Colonel Jones says he was destined to be a prisoner, he was born in prison! His father was a prison warden in Angola federal prison.
Colonel Jones was flying at over 600 miles per hour
at a 1000 feet when his aircraft was hit.
We owe our gratitude to “Neal” as he is known in civilian life, for his sacrifice. His time in captivity as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese for over 7 years from June 29, 1966 to February 12, 1973. We found the original 16 mm propaganda film when Col. Jones was paraded through the streets of Hanoi and wanted to return it to him. He has never seen the complete film of about 6 minutes in duration. It is our honor to give it to him.
This began his life as Murphy Neal Jones POW. “Neal” has graciously given us
permission to show his capture film on our website and link his talks about his survival presentations.
Without air support I can’t even begin to think of how many more soldiers might have been lost in South Vietnam. The reconnaissance missions monitoring North Vietnamese troop and supply movements were crucial. Those of us on the ground have always held pilots in our highest regard.
Even today you will not find a more patriotic soldier than Colonel Murphy N. Jones, retired USAF. You would think POW’s (Prisoners of War) would harbor malice and hatred. Neal and his wife went back to Vietnam in 1998 on a healing trip. We are going to ask if he would contribute his thoughts. We will happily publish them here to help others understand.
In his heart he hopes soldiers of today from all branches of the service can heal from the scars of war. He reminded me, “we are “all” soldiers, doing what we are told to do! We don’t make policy, we don’t have to agree with policy, we are obligated by oath to carry out the orders of our superior officers.” Neal did more than just carry out orders!
This amplifies his honor, belief and sense of duty. He faced year after year of uncertainly as many of the captured POW’s endured. I am sure Neal never thought he would be a POW while attending Tulane University.
Today Colonel Murphy Neal Jones is one of the most well known patriots of the United States. We salute him and all the men that fought for the United States. We cannot express our gratitude enough to those that gave so much. When you see people standing with their hand over their heart during the National Anthem there is a reason for your freedom. Somebody has paid the price so we can live free.
One of our 1968 Vietnam Reconnaissance Members “Ringo” Mike Ringenberg is going to make arrangements to meet with Col. Murphy “Neal” Jones.
Mike is going to personally present him with this historical film propaganda on behalf of Veterans everywhere!
Col Jones, our “Thank You” and gratitude isn’t enough for all you have given and continue to give Veterans and their families.