Hayden Lockhart was born in 1938 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in June 1957, and was commissioned a 2d Lt on June 7, 1961. Lt Lockhart completed Undergraduate Pilot Training at Webb AFB, Texas, in September 1962, and then completed F-100 Super Sabre Combat Crew Training at Luke AFB, Arizona, in July 1963. His first assignment was as an F-100 pilot with the 613th Tactical Fighter Squadron at England AFB, Louisiana, from August 1963 to November 1964, and then deployed to Da Nang AB, South Vietnam, from November 1964 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on March 2, 1965, becoming the 3rd American captured in North Vietnam, and the 1st Air Force pilot captured in the North during the Vietnam War. After spending 2,905 days in captivity, Maj Lockhart was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Travis AFB, California, and then received an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to the University of Southern California at Los Angeles to completed his graduate degree. His final assignment was on the staff of the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center at Norton AFB, California, from February 1980 until his retirement from the Air Force on December 31, 1981.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions and propaganda materials. This American resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.