The former U.S. Senator from Alabama, Navy admiral and Vietnam prisoner of war who blinked T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse Code to alert the world of abuse by his North Vietnamese captors, died on Friday.

Rear Adm. Jeremiah Andrew Denton Jr., USN (Ret.) died in a Virginia Beach, Va. hospice due to complications from a heart ailment, according to local press reports.

He was 89.

Denton born in Mobile, Ala. and educated at the U.S. Naval Academy was perhaps best known for his seven and seven month interment by the North Vietnamese in several places including the infamous Hỏa L Prison better known as the Hanoi Hilton. He was held with other senior captured U.S. fliers, including U.S. vice-presidential candidate Vice Adm. James Stockdale.

Denton was captured July, 18 1965 when his A-6 Intruder attack fighter was shot down by North Vietnamese troops on his 12th combat mission, according to an oral history recorded by the U.S. Naval Institute in 1976.