Tap Code

The Epic Survival Tale of a Vietnam POW and the Secret Code That Changed Everything

by Carlyle S. Harris, Sara W. Berry, Col. Lee Ellis (Ret.)

On Sale: 2019-11-05

Price: $26.99

Book Summary

Tap Code is the untold story of ex-Vietnam POW Colonel Carlyle “Smitty” Harris, who brought hope, strength, and the love of God to fellow American POWs by secretly reviving a long-unused military communication code. It was a lifeline as they endured torture and abuse, bringing unity and ultimately helping them prevail over a brutal enemy.

About the Book

Never-before-told details of underground operations during the Vietnam War told through one airman's inspiring story of true love, honor, and courage.  

Air Force pilot Captain Carlyle "Smitty" Harris was shot down over Vietnam on April 4, 1965, and taken to the infamous Hoa Lo prison--nicknamed the "Hanoi Hilton." For the next eight years, Smitty and hundreds of other American POWs--including John McCain and George "Bud" Day--suffered torture, solitary confinement, and abuse.

It was there Smitty covertly taught the Tap Code--an old, long-unused World War II method of communication--to many POWs. In turn, they taught others, and it quickly became a way for POWs to communicate without their captors' knowledge. It was a lifeline during their internment--a way to boost morale, stay unified, and communicate the chain of command--as well as an asset in helping them prevail over a brutal enemy.

Back home, meanwhile, Harris's wife, Louise, raised their three children alone, unsure of her husband's fate. One of the first POW wives of the Vietnam War, she became a role model for many wives, advocating for herself and her children in her husband's absence. 

Told through both Smitty's and Louise's voices, Tap Code shares a riveting true story of ingenuity under pressure, strength and dignity in the face of the enemy, the love of family, and the hope, faith, and resolve necessary to endure even the darkest circumstances.


'Crediting his knowledge of the [tap] code and his ability to endure torture and inhumane living conditions to an unshakable belief in 'God and country,' Harris delivers an accessible, faith-infused memoir of survival that will appeal to Christian readers and military history buffs.'

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780310359111
  • ISBN 10: 0310359112
  • Imprint: Zondervan
  • On Sale: 2019-11-05
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price: $26.99
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2019-11-05
  • Trim Size: 160.000mm x 236.000mm x 24.000mm
  • Weight: 416.000gr
  • Category 1 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military
  • Category 2 : HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War
  • Category 3 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Religious