Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, died while in captivity in North Vietnam, fixed wing pilot. He is listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC Panel 24E, Line 102.
Son of Zachary Lee Atterberry and Marjorie Myrle (Bledsoe) Atterberry.
LTC Atterberry had to eject while over North Vietnam on August 12, 1967, and was taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese. He was held captive for 646 days before being put to death following a 12-hour escape from his captors. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and was awarded the Air Force Cross.
The citation reads:
"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Section 8742, Title 10, United States Code, awards the Air Force Cross to Lieutenant Colonel Edwin L. Atterberry for extraordinary heroism in military operations against an opposing armed force as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 11 May 1969 to 14 May 1969. On 11 May 1969, Colonel Atterberry escaped from the North Vietnamese prison camp known as "The Zoo" and was recaptured twelve hours later. He was subjected to brutal torture for confessions pertaining to camp leadership, organization, and details of his escape plans. He was last seen by other prisoners of war on 14 May 1969, and the North Vietnamese later reported that Colonel Atterberry had died. Through his extraordinary heroism and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and in the dedication of his service to his country, Colonel Atterberry reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
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