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File, Associated Press
In this March 28, 1973, file photo, Adm. Noel Gayler, right, welcomes Ernest G. Brave on his arrival in Tokyo from Hanoi. Brace, who was captured flying supplies to a base in Laos for the CIA during the Vietnam War and spent more than a year in the Hanoi Hilton tapping code through a wall to Sen. John McCain, has died Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Klamath Falls, Ore., his family said. He was 83.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Family members say Ernest Brace, a civilian who was captured during the Vietnam War while flying supplies for the CIA and tapped code through a wall to fellow prisoner John McCain, has died. He was 83.

His family said he died of a pulmonary embolism Friday in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he retired in 1989.

A Marine Corps pilot who won a Distinguished Flying Cross in the Korean War, Brace was later court-martialed for leaving the scene of a training flight crash. He went on to fly helicopters for a company under contract to the Central Intelligence Agency.

After his capture in 1965, he was held 3 1/2 years in a bamboo cage by North Vietnamese soldiers before being transferred to the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where he was put in a cell next to McCain, now a U.S. senator from Arizona.