Categories: 4th Allied P.O.W. Wing | Wounded in Action, United States of America, Vietnam War | Aviators | A-4 Pilots | Hỏa Lò Prison | United States Naval Academy | US Senators from Arizona | Silver Star Medal | Legion of Merit | Bronze Star Medal | Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) | Purple Heart | Meritorious Service Medal | Air Medal | Navy Commendation Medal | Navy Combat Action Ribbon | Coco Solo, Panama | Cornville, Arizona | Arizona Notables | United States Navy, Vietnam War | Prisoners of War, United States of America, Vietnam War.
John Sidney McCain III was born August 29th, 1936 at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone of Panama to Admiral John Sidney McCain Jr. and Roberta Wright. His father was stationed there at the time.
John attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia where he was a member of the wrestling and football teams. He graduated from there in 1954. He then attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
John first married Carol Shepp, a model from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1965. He adopted her two young sons from a previous relationship, Douglas and Andrew. Together they had one daughter, Sidney McCain. John and Carol were separated for a long time, mainly due to his military service and imprisonment as a POW in Vietnam, although they did attempt a reconciliation after his return to the USA in 1973. Carol had in the meantime been seriously injured in an automobile accident in 1969 in the USA.
In 1979, John McCain began dating Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, and heiress to a fortune founded on a major brewing company. As that relationship became serious, he asked Carol for a divorce. Remaining on good terms, they eventually agreed to an uncontested divorce that became effective in April 1980.
John married second Cindy on May 17, 1980, in Phoenix, Arizona, with US Senators William Cohen and Gary Hart attending as groomsmen. Together they had two sons, John McCain IV and James McCain, and a daughter, Meghan McCain. They also adopted a daughter, Bridget, from a Bangladesh orphanage.
John McCain was commissioned on the same date he graduated from the United States Naval Academy, on June 4th, 1958. Upon receiving his commission in the United States Navy, John completed flight training and was a designated Naval Aviator in May 1960. He first trained in the A-1 Skyraider and joined Attack Squadron 65, where he served until October 1963. The Cuban Missile Crisis took place during this time and McCain was assigned alert duty. 
From November 1963 until October 1966, John was a Flight Instructor. As a Lieutenant Commander in October 1966, he transitioned into the A-4 Skyhawk with Attack Squadron 44 out of Cecil Field in Florida until April 1967. John was a prisoner of War from 26 October 1967 to 14 March 1973. On 26 October 1967, during the Vietnam War, while serving with Attack Squadron 163 on board the USS Oriskany (CVA-34), John launched in his Skyhawk attack aircraft as part of a three aircraft strike group whose mission was against the Hanoi Thermal Power Plant. He took a direct hit from the considerable resistance they were receiving from the ground in the form of surface-to-air missiles. He ejected as his aircraft burst into flames and landed in a lake very near the center of Hanoi.
John was immediately captured and suffered multiple injuries, including three breaks in one of his arms, a break in the other arm, and a broken leg. One of his captors bayoneted him and slammed a rifle butt into his shoulder. John was in very bad physical condition when he taken to the notorious Hanoi Hilton (Hỏa Lò Prison), according to Medal of Honor recipient and cell mate Bud Day and many of the other prisoners who fought to keep him alive. The North Vietnamese didn't really expect him to live, but when they found out about his father's position (John Jr was serving as the Admiral of the fleet in the Pacific Ocean) they gave him some minimal medical treatment and then let other POWs take care of him in hopes he would make propaganda statements for them. Those POWs who cared for him say that they really didn't expect him to live either. He worked diligently to regain his strength and succeeded. Later in the war, fellow POW Michael Scott Kerr would circumnavigate their shared room everyday in an exercise regimen to try to gain strength and endurance in order to return to active duty. John returned during Operation Homecoming on 14 March 1973. 
John retired from the United States Navy on April 1st, 1981 as a Captain. 
John went from serving his country in the military to serving his country as a public servant, and was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st District, serving from January 1983 until January 1987. In January 1987 he ran for and was elected to hold a seat as one of Arizona's Senators. He served as a Senator from Arizona until his death in 2018.
John also ran for president on the Republican ticket twice, but did not succeed in those endeavors.
Silver Star Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 27 October to 8 December 1967. His captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.
The full ribbon set is available here.
Senator John McCain died after a long battle with brain cancer (glioblastoma), August 25th, 2018 at his family ranch in Cornville, close to Sedona, Arizona, USA. He was surrounded by his family, including his wife Cindy. He was a few days short of 82 years old and had served his country in one way or another for over sixty years. He was buried on 3 September with full honors including a Missing Man Flyover and a 21 Gun Salute at his alma mater, the Naval Academy, Annapolis, in the United States Navel Academy, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland]] according to his wishes. At least 20 of his fellow Prisoners of War attended the ceremony.
On 3 Sep 2018 Merriam Langdon wrote:
You will be missed.
On 31 Aug 2018 Darlene (Scott) Kerr wrote:
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On 4 Sep 2018 at 09:39 GMT Krystal Davison wrote:
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On 29 Aug 2018 at 12:59 GMT Dave Martin wrote:
John McCain III and Dave Martin are both descendants of John Houston.
On 26 Aug 2018 at 13:51 GMT Aaron Gullison wrote:
On 29 Mar 2018 at 14:46 GMT Robin Lee wrote:
John is 20 degrees from Claude Monet, 15 degrees from Gigi Tanksley and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.