Klamath County resident Ernie Brace, documented as the longest held civilian prisoner of war during Vietnam, died Friday.
Brace, 82, last year was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal and two Purple Hearts at Kingsley Field.
Services are Monday, Dec. 8, at United Evangelical Free Church at 3333 Beverly Drive at 2 p.m.
Brace was recognized for his service in Laos and Vietnam from 1965 to 1973. The ceremony marked the 62nd anniversary of Brace’s commission as a second lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, Aug. 16, 1951. Brace flew as a civilian contract pilot before being captured in Laos in 1965 where he was held as a POW for seven years, 10 months and seven days.
Brace has lived in Klamath Falls since 1989. His story is told in the book, “A Code to Keep.” He was a Marine Corps pilot from 1951 to 1961. He flew more than 100 combat missions in Korea, including one in 1952 when his plane was shot down, but Brace avoided being captured.
The awards, with the exception of the POW Medal, were originally recommended for Ernie Brace by Adm. James B. Stockdale on the POWs’ return in 1973. The application was re-presented to Secretary of the Navy in 2011 through Arizona Sen. John McCain’s office and drafted by Capt. Rod Knutson, U.S. Navy Retired, a fellow POW when it was finally approved.
More details will be in Tuesday's Herald and News.