A Suffolk native who was held prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than seven years died Feb. 16.
U.S. Air Force Col. Fred Vann Cherry was 87 years old and living in Maryland. His son, Fred Cherry Jr., said his father viewed the time in captivity as part of what he had signed up for.
"He knew what to expect," Cherry said. "To dad, those seven and a half years was his duty."
Cherry was the first and highest-ranking black officer to become a prisoner in Vietnam. He was shot down Oct. 22, 1965, at the age of 37. His wife and five children were living in Japan at the time.
In a talk given at the U.S. Naval War College in 2012, the elder Cherry candidly discussed all aspects of his imprisonment.