Deja Vu For Ex-POW

The Early Show, Jeffery Fox
CBS/The Early Show
During the first Gulf War, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffery Fox flew more than two dozen missions. His job was to locate enemy targets in Iraq so American bombers could do their work.

During one mission, his plane was shot down and he was captured by Iraqi solders. He spent 15 days in captivity before his release.

"Several times, I actually thought this might be the last day," he says in an interview on The Early Show..

Watching this war on TV, he is surprised by the lack of Iraqi resistance, but is pleased that it is not likely many troops will share his fate.

"I think it's awesome. How well they're doing. I think it's great," he says.

"I would like to say thanks to all the men and women in the United States military. I hope they get this thing done quickly so we can eliminate the threat to our men, women and children."

While on duty, he was stationed primarily over King Faad Air Base. His work took him over Iraq and the borders of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

He flew an A-10, which is usually a tank killer. As a forward air controller, his mission was to "go into the target area or the kill box, and locate targets, mark them, and when the aircraft came into the target area that had the ordnance, I would located them, mark the targets so they could bomb them quickly," he says.

His plane was shot down 12 miles into Iraq and he was immediately captured and taken to Baghdad, where he says he was treated with extreme cruelty.

"They would beat you up, broke my ear drum," he says. "They threatened you with death. They blew a gun off in my right ear. They strip search you, check to see if you were circumcised. It was one thing after another."

During those 15 days of captivity, he says, there were many times he thought he was not going to make it.

"For example, when the Baath party head quarters were bombed and the building started to collapse and we almost lost our lives. Several times, I actually thought this might be the last day," he says.