Kenneth L. Coskey, a retired Navy captain and aircraft pilot who served five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, died June 29 at the Avalon assisted living facility in McLean, where he had resided for the last four months. He was 83.
He had Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Rosemary Coskey, said.
According to the Naval Historical Foundation, a nonprofit group he once helped lead, then-Cmdr. Coskey was flying a night reconnaissance mission off the aircraft carrier America on Sept. 6, 1968, when his A-6A Intruder was shot down over North Vietnam and crashed on an island in the Song Ca River, southeast of the city of Vinh.
He ejected from the aircraft before it crashed and landed in thick brush, twisting a knee. His bombardier-navigator was rescued by a U.S. helicopter, but Capt. Coskey was captured by the North Vietnamese.
He later told the Baltimore Sun that he had a broken kneecap and was beaten by villagers before being driven in the back of a truck to Hanoi and imprisoned. He spent a year and a half in solitary confinement.