The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the extraordinary service and sacrifice for this Nation of two officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mr. Richard G. Fecteau and Mr. John T. Downey.
On June 25, 1998, George Tenet, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will present the Director's Medal to Dick Fecteau and Jack Downey for reasons that, to some extent, I am able to describe in this forum today.
Except for their kind indulgence in allowing me to commemorate this event on the floor of the House, Dick Fecteau and Jack Downey will receive their awards as privately and as quietly as they served, and sacrificed for, our country.
In 1951, fresh from college, Dick Fecteau and Jack Downey joined the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency. After a period of training, they were sent to east Asia to conduct agent re-supply and pick-up operations over China as part of our war effort in Korea.
In such operations, Mr. Fecteau and Mr. Downey were to drop supplies and to retrieve agents for debriefing by flying in low, among the trees, and literally snatching agents from the ground. These operations are extremely difficult and demanding in peacetime. Needless to say, in war zones, they are outright perilous.
In November 1952, Mr. Fecteau and Mr. Downey were part of a crew that was to fly into China, swoop to tree level, and snatch an agent from the ground. As their plane descended and approached the snatch site, it was hit by machine gun and small arms fire. The plane crashed and burned, killing the two pilots. Mr. Fecteau and Mr. Downey survived, but they were captured by the forces of the People's Republic of China.
In 1954, 2 years later, China sentenced Mr. Fecteau and Mr. Downey to life in prison. Their sentencing was, I understand, the first time that the families of the two learned that they were still alive. Over the next 20 years, Mr. Fecteau and Mr. Downey were subjected to extensive and aggressive interrogations and to long periods of solitary confinement. Year after year the two endured this suffering and deprivation and they did so with dignity and courage and an abiding faith in our country.
This Nation ultimately did not fail them. In December of 1971, nearly 20 years later, our government finally obtained the release of Dick Fecteau. And in March of 1973, we obtained the release of Jack Downey.
Dick Fecteau returned to the agency and continued his career. In 1976 he retired and joined the staff of Boston University, his alma mater, as assistant director of athletics. He retired from BU in 1989. Today Dick Fecteau lives with his wife, Peg, outside of Boston.
Jack Downey retired from the agency in 1973. Some of us feel that a baccalaureate from Yale is perfectly serviceable; but Jack, however, went on from there to Harvard Law School, and in 1976 he entered legal practice. In 1990 he was appointed to the bench in Connecticut and became a senior judge in the State system. Today Judge Downey lives with his wife, Audrey, in New Haven.
These, Mr. Speaker, are the extraordinary stories of two extraordinary people. Their awards, it seems to me, are most properly for the totality of their lives; for answering their country's call; for engaging in perilous operations under fire; for enduring unimaginable hardship in Chinese prisons; and, perhaps most of all, for returning to their families, to their communities and to their country and continuing to contribute and give and make a difference in their communities.
These awards, Mr. Speaker, are for the extraordinary lives of Dick Fecteau and Jack Downey. I am honored to commemorate their lives before this body.
Dick and Jack, thank you and Godspeed. May this Nation always have citizens such as you to count on.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Hawaii (Mr. Abercrombie) is recognized for 5 minutes.
(Mr. ABERCROMBIE addressed the House. His remarks will appear hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton) is recognized for 5 minutes.
(Ms. NORTON addressed the House. Her remarks will appear hereafter in the Extensions of Remarks.)