top of page

Courage to escape. Courage to sew. John A. Dramesi's Story of Remarkable Patriotism

John Dramesi, of Pennsylvania, commissioned in the Air Force through Rutger's ROTC program in 1955 and finished his training to become a pilot in 1957.

"Dramesi never gave up on his country. During his captivity he hand-made the

American flag he displays in the above photo. He smuggled this treasure out

by sewing it between two handkerchiefs. The handkerchief upon which all the

pieces were stitched was given by fellow POW Tom Sumpter, and the red nylon

underwear by Robert N. Daugherty. Thread was pulled from Ben Pollard's

blanket to make the gold border. Dick Stratton provided white thread and Ken

Simonet gave the red thread from a handkerchief received from home. The blue

came from an old North Vietnamese sweater. Duffy Hutton embroidered the

stars onto the blue field. the needle was hand made from a piece of copper

found in the compound yard." (

John Dramesi wrote of his POW experiences in Code of Honor and said "As I held the flag high, I thought of this country and

the part we played in defending its greatest attribute -- FREEDOM. In

defense of freedom let us continue to do as we are expected to do...what

must be endured will be endured."


bottom of page