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Lt. Col. Don Williamson 7-7-65

Posted by on July 7, 2017

I thought I’d written about my POW bracelet before, but I cannot find it when I search my blog. I did mention it on another blog in 2005

If you were a teenager in the 1970s, you probably knew someone who wore a silver POW bracelet. Maybe you did too. Maybe you still have yours. Did you research the soldier who was on your POW bracelet? I did. I hoped to find out that he was released and was reunited with his family and lived happily ever after. That was not the case for my POW.

My POW bracelet

My friend Cindy gave me the POW bracelet for either Christmas or my birthday. She said she chose it because my name is Dona and his name was Don. I wore it for a very long time, longer than most other people wore their POW bracelets. I planned on wearing it until I knew Lt. Col. Don Williamson was either safely home or his remains were returned.

His name was one of my first searches on the Internet, and it wasn’t until the last 12 or so years that I found out more about him. It wasn’t until today that I saw his photograph.

His full name was Don Ira Williamson. He was born in 1930 and lived in  Louisville, KY. He was an Air Force pilot in the Vietnam war. His fighter jet was shot down on July 7, 1965, and according to reports (see link above) he survived being shot down but died in 1979. His remains were returned in 1989.

Read the link above if you want to know more about Lt. Col. Don Williamson. If you want to see his photograph visit Don Ira Williamson’s memorial page on The Virtual Wall® http://www.VirtualWall.org/dw/WilliamsonDI01a.htm

I didn’t realize that his name was on the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. Or if I did, and visited it, I don’t remember doing so.

5 Responses to Lt. Col. Don Williamson 7-7-65

  1. Mali

    I’ve never heard of these bracelets. I think that’s lovely.

  2. Judi Dudley

    I have my POW bracelet from high school & it is also for Lt. Col. Don Williamson!! I wore it for a very long time & have kept it safe & sound in my desk drawer! I don’t know why tonight…of all nights as I’m watching the Yankees vs the Astros, that I even thought to look up his name…but I did! I’d love to send it to his family if they’d want it. I’m sorry to hear that he has passed away as my Dad was in the U.S. Army Air Corp in WWII & flew 35 missions & was in D-Day. I could have had a great conversation with him as they were both pilots. My Dad was my “hero” but I never even knew it until after his death as he never spoke of the war. If anyone has any info on his family, please contact me.

    As always, Judi

    • Dona

      Hi Judi,

      Thanks for commenting. How wonderful the Internet is that two women who wore the same POW bracelet in high school can connect 40-some years later.

      I, too, have thought about sending the bracelet to his family. I think I might leave it at the Vietnam Memorial in DC since I live just outside DC. That’s if my kids don’t want it.

  3. Melanie Dellas

    Does anyone know why so many people have his POW bracelet? I have one too, and I know others. Were hundreds made and distributed?

    • Dona

      They were popular at the time — POW bracelets so thousands were probably made, many of each POW, I suppose. I don’t know though. Interesting to meet other folks who also wore his name on their wrists.

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