Early Life and Military Career of John Mc Cain

Early Life And Military Career Of John Mc Cain

The early life and military career of John Sidney McCain III spans the first forty-five years of his life (1936–1981). McCain's father and grandfather were admirals in the United States Navy. McCain was born on August 29, 1936, in the Panama Canal Zone, and attended many schools growing up as his family moved among naval facilities. McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958. He married the former Carol Shepp in 1965; he adopted two children from her previous marriage and they had another child together.

As a naval aviator, McCain flew attack aircraft from carriers. During the Vietnam War, he narrowly escaped death in the 1967 Forrestal fire. On his twenty-third bombing mission in October 1967, he was shot down over Hanoi and badly injured. He subsequently endured five and a half years as a prisoner of war, including periods of torture. In 1968, he refused a North Vietnamese offer of early release, because it would have meant leaving before other prisoners who had been held longer. He was released in 1973 after the Paris Peace Accords.

Upon his return, McCain studied at the National War College, commanded a large training squadron in Florida, and was appointed the Navy liaison to the U.S. Senate. He divorced his wife Carol in 1980 and married the former Cindy Hensley shortly thereafter. He retired from the Navy in 1981 as a captain.

This article is part of a series about the life of
John McCain
John McCain
Early life and military career
House and Senate career until 2000
2000 Presidential primaries campaign
Senate career, 2001–present
2008 McCain-Palin campaign
Cultural and political image
Political positions

Read more about Early Life And Military Career Of John Mc Cain:  Military Career, Awards and Decorations, Bibliography

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