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Gerald Coffee

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Captain Gerald Coffee, USN (ret.) joined the Navy in 1957 after graduating from UCLA with a degree in Commercial Art.  In 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis as an F-8 Crusader pilot , Jerry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for  flying low level reconnaissance missions over Cuba, taking the photos ultimately used by the United States UN ambassador to prove the existence of Soviet missiles there.


In February of 1966, while flying combat missions over North Vietnam, his RA5-C reconnaissance jet was downed by enemy fire.  He parachuted safely but was captured immediately. For the next seven years he was held as a POW in the Communist prisons of North Vietnam. After his repatriation in February, 1973, Jerry returned to operation duties.  He retired from active duty in the Navy after 28 years of service. Captain Gerald Coffee is the author of Beyond Survival.

Gerald Coffee  More Info

Publishers Weekly said of Beyond Survival, “Retired U.S. Navy captain Coffee was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam from 1966 to 1973, most of the time in Hanoi and in a cell by himself. How he endured and what he learned from the experience are the subjects of this inspiring book. By calling on his inner resources, such as his faith in God, his conviction that the United States was right to be in Vietnam, his love for his wife and children, and his respect for his fellow prisoners, he was able to overcome loneliness and the pain of occasional torture. Each chapter is headed by a paragraph of invincible principles that Coffee discovered for himself during his ordeal: "The only real security we have is the certainty that we're equipped to handle whatever happens to us"; "Humor is integral to our peace of mind and ability to go beyond survival.”

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