Dieter Dengler

Vietnam War Prisoner of War
Born May 22, 1938

Dieter Dengler was a German-born United States Navy Naval aviator and pilot during the Vietnam War (and later a private aircraft test pilot and commercial airline pilot). He was one of two survivors (the other being Pisidhi Indradat), out of seven prisoners of wars, to escape from a Pathet Lao prison camp in Laos. He was rescued after 23 days on the run, and was the first captured U.S.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Dieter Dengler.

  • Bama Art House To Descend Into Herzog's 'cave Of Forgotten Dreams' Al.Com (Blog)
    Google News - Aug 23, 2011
  • The Ecstasy Of Saint Herzog Brooklyn Rail
    Google News - Jul 11, 2011
  • 50 Great Films You Shouldn't Miss… Part 1 Obsessed With Film
    Google News - May 26, 2011
  • Rescue Dawn Lansing State Journal
    Google News - May 23, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Dieter Dengler.


1938 Birth Born on May 22, 1938.
1939 1 Year Old Dieter Dengler was born and raised in the small town of Wildberg, in the Black Forest region of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. He grew up not knowing his father, who had been drafted into the German army in 1939 and was killed during World War II on the Eastern Front during the winter of 1943/44. … Read More


1957 19 Years Old …  He was assured that piloting aircraft was what the Air Force was all about so he enlisted in June 1957 and went to basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. … Read More


1966 28 Years Old 1 More Event
On February 1, 1966, the day after the carrier began flying missions from Yankee Station, Lieutenant, Junior Grade Dengler launched from the Ranger with three other aircraft on an interdiction mission against a truck convoy that had been reported in North Vietnam. … Read More
1967 29 Years Old Dengler made an appearance as one of the contestants on the January 30, 1967 episode of the television game show I've Got a Secret. … Read More


1968 30 Years Old In early 1968, Dengler was a contestant on the nighttime edition of the comedy game show Hollywood Squares.


1988 50 Years Old Dengler appears in the 1988 documentary We Can Keep You Forever about the POW/MIA issue generally. … Read More
1997 59 Years Old Dengler was the subject of Werner Herzog's 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs to Fly. … Read More


2000 62 Years Old …  In 2000, Dengler was inducted into the Gathering of Eagles program and told the story of his escape to groups of young military officers.
2001 63 Years Old 1 More Event
Dengler was diagnosed with ALS, an incurable neurological disorder; on February 7, 2001, he rolled his wheelchair from his house down to the driveway of a fire station and shot himself. … Read More
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