All U.S. and Connecticut flags should be put at half-staff in memory of John T. Downey, 84, a Connecticut judge who died early on Monday morning. Downey was appointed to the bench in 1987 by then-Gov. William A. O\u2019Neill, and he became chief administrative judge for juvenile matters in 1990. He served in that capacity until 1997, when he took senior judicial status. Downey also spent more than 20 years as a Cold War prisoner in China, making him the longest held captive in American history. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy directed the flags to be put at half-staff to honor Downey. They should remain at half-staff until services for Downey are held, the date of which has not yet been determined. \u2018Enduring two decades of hardship\u2019 \u201cJudge Downey was a remarkable man who not only served this state\u2019s judicial system with distinction, but also served his country with honor, risking his life and enduring two decades of hardship as a Cold War prisoner in China,\u201d Malloy said. \u201cHe has a clear reputation in Connecticut as a caring and compassionate leader, who to this day continues to be a role model for so many in our state,\u201d he said. \u201cHe is leaving a lasting legacy in Connecticut. \u201cI join his family and friends, including his wife Audrey and his son Jack, and all those who served alongside him in celebrating his remarkable life and honoring his memory,\u201d Malloy said. Yale grad joined the CIA After graduating from Yale University in 1951, Downey joined the Central Intelligence Agency. While on a CIA mission over China in November 1952, his plane was shot down and he was captured. Downey subsequently spent the next 20 years in Chinese prisons as a Cold War prisoner, becoming the longest held captive in American history. Due to the efforts of his mother, Mary Downey, and President Richard M. Nixon, Downey was released and returned to the United States in 1973. Three years later, he graduated from Harvard Law School. In 2013, Judge Downey received the CIA\u2019s Distinguished Intelligence Cross, the agency\u2019s highest honor of valor.