Two hundred American former prisoners of war who were taken captive during the Vietnam War are arriving in Southern California to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their release.

The three-day gala starts Thursday at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda. It will include a military flyover, wreath-laying ceremony and tours of a special exhibit on the prisoners' return home.

The reunion runs through Saturday and marks the 40th anniversary of a special White House dinner hosted by President Nixon on May 23, 1973, to honor the 571 American captives.

Nixon resigned a year later in the face of impeachment over Watergate, but many of the former POWs regard him as a hero for securing their freedom.