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On 10 May 1969, two American prisoners of war escaped from a brutal Hanoi prison camp called the Annex. Their story is one of incredible bravery against the longest of odds. It’s also one of bitter conflict. Air Force Captains John Dramesi and Ed Atterberry escaped with help from their fellow prisoners, but that help was not given freely. The suffering it brought killed Atterberry, and scarred others for life.

THE PARTY DOLLS is the riveting, award-winning* true Vietnam War story of a failed escape code-named “The Party,” told by the former POWs who planned it. Author and former Air Force journalist George Hayward wrote it based on interviews he did between 1995 and 2002 with those POWs, and never released until this book.

This is the most detailed account ever released of a heroic yet divisive and little-known episode from a divisive American conflict.

Available in paperback and e-book, and as a 10-episode podcast, using actual audio from the original POW interviews! Click the links to the left to find your version!



George Hayward first learned of the Party while serving in the U.S. Air Force, where he was recognized as one of the service’s top journalists in the 1990s. Among his two dozen military journalism awards, he won the Department of Defense’s Thomas Jefferson Award for editorials and commentaries in 1991 and was the Air Force’s journalist of the year in 1993.



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“It is a masterful work - very well written, thoughtful, objective and truthful.”

- U.S. Navy Commander Porter Halyburton,
Annex Room 2 prisoner

“It is a great read, entertaining and thought-provoking.”


- Air Force Lt. Col. Wallace Newcomb, Annex Room 6 prisoner and Party planner.

“I learned a lot that I didn’t know.”

- Lt. Col. Jay Hess, Annex Room 5 prisoner

“…very accurate and interesting ... a great job. I was surprised to see my language so colorful!”

- Lt. Col. Lauren Lengyel, Annex Room 6 prisoner and Party planner.

“I found it very interesting, very accurate, and an excellent historical record of a very long hot summer in 1969.”

- U.S. Navy Capt. John Michael McGrath, Annex prisoner and author, Prisoner of War

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Inspired by George’s stories and the Ripple Effect of Humanity,

and want to learn more?

To learn more about his books, schedule an interview, or book an event:

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