just to name a few - from Wikipedia
* Floyd James Thompson - America's longest-held POW; he spent 9 years in POW camps in Vietnam (1964 - 1973)
* Ali Akbar Abotorabi Fard- Iranian cleric , was a POW in Iraq imposed war against Islamic Republic of Iran for more than 10 years
* Ron Arad - Israeli fighter pilot, shot down over Lebanon in 1986. Rumored to be in Iran, he is widely presumed dead.
* Douglas Bader - British leg-less fighter pilot, squadron commander in Battle of Britain
* Leonard Birchall - The "Saviour of Ceylon"
* Fernand Braudel - the famous historian, was a POW in World War II.
* Winston Churchill - during the Second Boer War; escaped
* John Cordwell - forged documents to help fellow English soldiers get out of Germany as part of the Great Escape
* Charles de Gaulle - French general and political leader, captured at Verdun, POW 1916-18
* Jeremiah Denton - Awarded the Navy Cross for resistance in captivity during the Vietnam War
* Roy Dotrice - British actor
* Werner Drechsler - killed by fellow German POWs during WWII for informing on other prisoners
* Weary Dunlop - an Australian surgeon and legend among prisoners of the Thai Burma Railway in WWII
* Yakov Dzhugashvili - Joseph Stalin's first son, was captured by Germans during WWII and killed in 1943.
* Denholm Elliott - British actor
* Henri Giraud - French general, escaped German captivity in both World War I and WWII
* Ehud Goldwasser - One of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in 2006, sparking the 2006 Lebanon War.
* Ernest Gordon - Author of "To End All Wars" and former Presbyterian Dean of Princeton University chapel
* E.R. (Bon) Hall - Australian Officer, prisoner of the Thai Burma Railway in WWII
* James Hargest - New Zealand politician
* Heinrich Harrer & Peter Aufschnaiter - escaped from India to Tibet
* Erich Hartmann - "The Blond Knight of Germany"
* Rudolf Hess - acted as Adolf Hitler's deputy in the Nazi Party
* Bob Hoover - American WWII pilot, test pilot and airshow performer; captured in 1944 and escaped from Stalag Luft 1
* Wilm Hosenfeld - most remembered for saving Polish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman from death in the ruins of Warsaw.
* Alija Izetbegovic - President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was held as hostage for several days by JNA forces during the Bosnian War
* Andrew Jackson - Seventh President of the United States, captured in the American Revolutionary War as a thirteen-year old courier
* Stanley D. Jaworski - Polish POW freed by American soldiers
* Harold K. Johnson - U.S. Army Chief of Staff 1964; captured at Bataan (1942-45)
* Arthur Koestler - interned in a camp for enemy aliens at the beginning of World War II
* Tikka Khan - Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army
* Yahya Khan - last president of a united Pakistan
* Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski - Commander of the Polish Home Army, and in the Warsaw Uprising
* Gustav Krist - Adventurer and traveler, Austrian soldier in WWI, captured by Russians in 1914. Interned in Russian Turkestan
* Desmond Llewelyn – went on to a notable acting career, most famously as Q in the James Bond film series
* Jessica Lynch
* Keith Matthew Maupin - captured on April 9, 2004, STILL MISSING IN ACTION
* Charles Cardwell McCabe - a prisoner and chaplain at Libby Prison during the American Civil War
* John McCain - American political leader, captured in Vietnam
* Olivier Messiaen - French composer
* Dusty Miller - Executed for his faith during internment under the Japanese in Thailand in 1945.
* François Mitterrand - French president, captured during WWII in 1940, escaped 6 times before arriving home in Dec. 1941
* W. H. Murray - Scottish mountaineer
* Airey Neave - British politician
* A. A. K. Niazi - commander of Pakistan Army in East Pakistan who surrendered along with nearly 93,000 prisoners
* Manuel Noriega - Ex-Panamanian dictor captured by US troops in 1990 then jailed for drugs trafficking offences. Only detainee in held by US authorities presentally designated as a POW by the federal government.
* Friedrich Paulus - German field marshal, surrendered Stalingrad to the Soviets in 1943; outspoken critic of Hitler
* Eldad Regev - One of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in 2006, sparking the 2006 Lebanon War.
* Patrick Reid - non-fiction/historical author
* Yevgeny Rodionov - Russian soldier captured by rebel forces in Chechnya and executed by beheading for refusing to convert to Islam
* Jerry Sage - OSI agent - WWII - Steve McQueen character was loosely based on him in the movie "The Great Escape"
* Jean-Paul Sartre - French philosopher and writer, POW 1940-41
* Kazuo Sakamaki - First POW captured by U.S. forces in World War II
* Ronald Searle - English cartoonist
* Léopold Senghor - Senegalize writer and political leader, captured 1940 in France
* Gilad Shalit - Israeli soldier whose capture in 2006 sparked Israel's war against Hamas and later Hezbollah
* William Stacy - lieutenant colonel of the Continental Army, captured during the Cherry Valley massacre; General George Washington attempted to orchestrate a prisoner exchange for Lt. Col. Stacy but was unsuccessful.
* James Stockdale - candidate for Vice President in 1992; decorated member of the U.S. Navy; POW in Vietnam
* Ronald E. Storz - Vietnam War prisoner who showed exceptional bravery and toughness despite horrible conditions and treatment. Inspired others towards perseverance and courage. Died in captivity.
* E W Swanton - captured by Japanese in Singapore; after war, was renowned BBC sports commentator.
* Josip Broz Tito - president of Yugoslavia, Austrian soldier in WWI, captured by Russians in 1915
* Mikhail Tukhachevsky - Soviet military leader and theorist, captured by Germans in WWI
* Charles Upham - Awarded the Victoria Cross twice.
* Laurens van der Post - South African writer and war hero, captured by Japanese 1942
* Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach - German anti-Nazi general captured at Stalingrad by Soviets
* Kurt Vonnegut - American writer; captured in the Battle of the Bulge and witnessed the Bombing of Dresden in World War II
* Jonathan Wainwright - Commanding General US forces in Philippines; captured at Bataan (1942-1945)
* D.C. Wimberly - POW in WWII from Springhill, Louisiana, past commander of American Ex-Prisoners of War
* Louis Zamperini - American athlete, member of Olympic team, captured by Japanese 1943