Cole Black of Escondido, who by his own count spent 2,428 days, 18 hours and 35 minutes as a POW in Vietnam, died Friday in a plane crash near Delano in the Central Valley.
Courtesy Karen Black
Cole and Karen Black smile during a POW reunion in 2004.
Two others also died in the accident – Bruce Klein, the owner of several pizza restaurants in Oregon, who was flying the plane, and Sally S. Wilson, a retired schoolteacher – the News-Review
newspaper in Douglas County, Ore., reported.
Black was flying in a Piper Aerostar twin-engine plane from Oregon to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. He had visited Roseburg, Ore., to speak to students about his experience as a prisoner of war. He would have turned 75 Nov. 28.
The plane crashed before noon in an orange grove after experiencing mechanical problems, said Karen Black, his second wife, from their home in Escondido.