Report of the
Senate Select Committee
South Vietnam Thomas A. Mangino
Paul A. Hasenbeck
David M. Winters
Daniel R. Nidds
On April 21, 1967, Special Fourth Class Mangino and PFCs Hasenbeck,
Winters, and Nidds, members of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade,
were returning from a combat patrol. They had borrowed a sampan
from local residents to make the return trip to a landing site near
their unit in Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province. A second
sampan, the lead boat, reached the dock but was then out of sight
of the other sampan following with only the four servicemen on
board. Shortly thereafter came the sound of a burst of weapons
firing. Twenty minutes later, the four patrol members had still
not reached the dock, and a search party was sent to locate them.
Based on available information, the four men were last seen talking
with several Vietnamese in another sampan. Later reports were
received that four Americans had been captured by local Viet Cong
forces on April 21st. Other reports were received that
unidentified Americans were teaching English to Viet Cong female
cadre and that Americans had been buried in the area. These
reports were placed in the individuals' files as possibly
pertaining to them.
In May 1991, a U.S. team was advised by a Vietnamese official that
PFC Winters was dead. In August 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team
in the area of this incident interviewed witnesses with first hand
or hearsay knowledge of it. The sources stated the four men were
ambushed, and their bodies were thrown into the river to keep them
from being observed by search and rescue helicopters. The bodies
were later buried in three separate locations in an area which
today is under the Song Tra River. In November 1992, Senate Select
Committee on POW/MIA Affairs Chairman John Kerry received a wartime
diary, describing the capture and subsequent death of the four U.S.
servicemen, from People's Army of Vietnam Central Military Museum
Director, Senior Colonel Dai. Senior Colonel Dai's diary appears
to contain information correlating to this incident in which the
four servicemen are recorded as having died. This case is still
under active investigation by Joint Task Force-Full Accounting.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their fate. They were
initially declared missing. Each was declared dead/body not
recovered on separate dates between 1973 and 1978.
South Vietnam Roger D. Hamilton
On April 21, 1967, Lance Corporal Hamilton, a member of the 1st
Marine Division, was with his unit in Quang Tin Province when it
began receiving heavy enemy fire and was forced to withdraw.
Corporal Hamilton was last known wounded and was left behind during
the unit's quick retreat. A search operation in the area through
April 22nd failed to locate him. He was declared missing.
In August 1967, U.S. intelligence received information from two
Vietnam People's Army prisoners that a U.S. Marine had been
captured in April 1967 in circumstances similar to that of the loss
of Corporal Hamilton. They were unable to provide any specific
information on his eventual fate.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the
fate of Corporal Hamilton. After Operation Homecoming he was
declared dead/body not recovered.
In August 1989, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed
witnesses concerning the fate of Corporal Hamilton, but the U.S.
investigators only received vague statements. Additional
investigation in January 1991 led U.S. investigators to his
reported burial site. They recovered one partial set of remains at
one location and small bone fragments at a second site nearby. The
reports were vague about whom the remains were associated, and it
was not possible to correlate the remains to this incident.
North Vietnam Michael J. Estocin
On April 26, 1967, Lieutenant Commander Estocin was the pilot of an
A-4E on a SAM suppression mission over North Vietnam. His aircraft
was hit by a surface-to-air missile and went out of control, but he
later regained control of it. Defense Department records state he
was last seen entering overcast at 3,500 feet and crashed into
coastal waters off Cat Ba Island. A search and rescue effort was
suspended April 27, 1967. On that date, Radio Hanoi broadcast a
reference to a shoot down and capture of a U.S. pilot possibly
correlating to Commander Estocin's shoot down.
On April 29th, a People's Army newspaper article referred to the
shoot down of an aircraft and a rescue helicopter coming to rescue
the downed pilot. This report was placed in Commander Estocin's
file as a possible correlation.
Commander Estocin was initially declared missing. His casualty
status was later changed to POW based on sensitive source
information. He was not reported alive during Operation
Homecoming, and, in November 1977, he was declared dead/body not
A returning U.S. POW reported that another U.S. POW, whom he met in
prison in North Vietnam, relayed a discussion he had had with Mrs.
Estocin prior to his own shoot down. Allegedly, the U.S. POW,
Commander Stratton, had written that Commander Estocin was alive
and a POW. In January 1974, the Defense Department confirmed that
Commander Estocin had been misidentified as a POW in sensitive
In July 1990, U.S. intelligence received information from a
northern Vietnamese refugee about an aircraft shoot down which
occurred in 1967 near Cat Ba Island. Remains were reportedly found
in the water near the crash site. Also, skeletal remains were
reportedly seized by Vietnamese officials from a refugee boat
captured near Cat Ba Island in February 1989. In March 1991, U.S.
investigators in Vietnam visited Cat Ba Island but were unable to
develop any information regarding this loss incident. They were
told by Vietnamese officials that Commander Estocin was believed to
have drowned twenty nautical miles off Cat Ba Island. Other
reports were received of a body washing up along the shore to the
north of Cat Ba Island.
Commander John B. Nichols, retired, recently wrote of his own
wartime combat experiences, published by the Naval Institute Press,
entitled On Yankee Station. Commander Nichols was on the scene
when Commander Estocin was hit and crashed. Commander Nichols
described seeing Commander Estocin's aircraft invert, his tank blow
off and his missiles fire. He followed him to the ocean and saw
him impact, still inverted, but did not see a parachute come from
North Vietnam Roger M. Netherland
On May 10, 1967, Commander Netherland was launched in an A-4C from
the U.S.S. Hancock as the leader of a flight of aircraft on a
mission against Kien An Airfield near the port city of Hai Phong.
Three surface-to-air missiles were launched at his flight, and the
third missile exploded below his aircraft. His wingman reported
observing him drop his external tanks and begin a left turn
streaming fuel. His aircraft then did an inverted roll and
crashed. There was no ejection seen. A search for sign of him was
negative. He was initially declared missing in action. After the
end of hostilities he was declared dead/body not recovered.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information that he
was alive in the northern Vietnamese prison system.
In December 1982, a Vietnamese refugee reported the downing of a
U.S. aircraft and described the recovery and burial of remains from
the crash site. The incident appeared to correlate to that of
In September 1989, Vietnam returned the alleged remains of
Commander Netherland together with his identity card and wallet.
Forensic examination of the remains concluded they belonged to an
adult male but a board decided that they could neither rule out nor
recommend identification of the remains.
A U.S. team in Vietnam during July 1990 conducted a survey of the
crash site associated with Commander Netherland. The site location
and information concerning the circumstances of the crash were
consistent with the known facts surrounding Commander Netherland's
loss. A return to the site in December 1991 resulted in witness
interviews who provided their knowledge of the crash, including a
description of human remains located in a position consistent with
the results of a high angle high speed dive into the ground.
South Vietnam Carlos Ashlock
On May 12, 1967, Corporal Ashlock and Lance Corporal Jose Agosto-
Santos, members of the 5th Marine Regiment, were with their unit on
an operation in Quang Nam Province. Their unit encountered two
reinforced battalions of the Vietnam People's Army and withdrew.
After the withdrawal, neither Ashlock nor Agosto-Santos could be
located. Soon afterward, one unit member reported seeing People's
Army troops carrying away Agosto-Santos. A report was also received
from a local Vietnamese official that two wounded U.S. Marines had
been seen in the custody of the Vietnam People's Army. This report
was viewed as possibly correlating to Ashlock and Agosto-Santos.
In June 1967, a former Viet Cong doctor at Hospital B-25 reported
Ashlock was alive and had been treated at his hospital. He was
last seen alive in July 1967. Both individuals were initially
declared missing in action.
Corporal Agosto-Santos returned alive at Operation Homecoming.
Neither he nor other returning POWs were able to provide any
information on the fate of Corporal Ashlock. Corporal Ashlock was
declared dead/body not recovered, in July 1976.
In March 1991, Vietnam repatriated remains identified as those of
Carlos Ashlock. U.S. examination of those remains resulted in a
determination that neither the remains identified by Vietnam as
those of Corporal Ashlock nor any other remains turned over in
March 1991 could be associated with Corporal Ashlock.
Recent field investigations in Vietnam have located witnesses who
provided information concerning the capture of Corporal Ashlock.
Witnesses reported burial sites, but they could not be positively
confirmed, and no remains were recovered. The information these
witnesses provided does not increase the knowledge already known
that Corporal Ashlock was last known alive and in captivity.
Cambodia Joe L. Delong
On May 18, 1967, Private First Class Delong was a machine gunner
from the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, in Phu Pah District, Pleiku
Province, South Vietnam. His unit's position, approximately 14
kilometers northwest of the village of Duc Co, was attacked and
overrun by hostile forces. PFC Delong was missing after the unit
On May 20, 1967, a Viet Cong prisoner described an American in
captivity who correlated to PFC Delong. Delong was listed as a POW
at the time of Operation Homecoming.
In June 1967, a People's Army of Vietnam publication from the B-3
Theater of Operation, entitled Tay Nguyen, reported that the K4
Battalion had captured a U.S. POW, and this unit was transferred to
regimental level. This was believed to refer to the capture of PFC
Delong, and the regiment to which it referred was believed to be
the 320th Regiment.
PFC Delong was listed by the Provisional Revolutionary Government
as having died in captivity. His date of death was given as
U.S. POWs repatriated during Operation Homecoming stated PFC Delong
and two other U.S. POWs escaped from a B-3 Theater level POW camp
on November 6, 1967, while they were being detained in Ratanakiri
Province, Cambodia, approximately two kilometers from the border
with Vietnam and an estimated 70 kilometers west of Kontum, South
Vietnam. Several days later, the remaining POWs were shown PFC
Delong's trousers by their prison camp commander and were told that
Delong had been killed resisting capture. The two other U.S. POWs
South Vietnam Walter F. Wrobleski
On May 21, 1967, Wrobleski was the pilot of a UH-1C helicopter, one
in a flight of seven helicopters on an extraction mission into the
A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. On board with him were Warrant
Officer Corkran, Specialist Fourth Class Hall and Private First
Class Szwed. While making a strafing run, their helicopter was hit
by heavy machine gun fire which knocked out their engine. After
being hit by another burst of fire, their helicopter went out of
control and crashed, rolling down into a small ravine. Several
minutes later a red ground panel was seen. Ten minutes later the
helicopter exploded. A white ground panel was also seen three
PFC Szwed was rescued alive. WO Corkran and Specialist Hall were
also located alive, and a line was dropped to them on the ground.
While being lifted to the helicopter, it began to receive heavy
enemy fire, and it lifted off, dragging Warrant Officer Corkran and
Specialist Hall into trees which knocked them off the ladder to the
jungle below. South Vietnamese Army forces recovered the body of
Specialist Hall on May 22 and, on May 23rd, the body of Warrant
Officer Corkran. All survivors stated Wrobleski was never seen
alive after the crash.
During the war years, a former member of the People's Army of
Vietnam stated he saw an American with a South Vietnamese Army POW
being escorted north along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in May 1967. This
report was placed in Wrobleski's file as a possible correlation to
Wrobleski was initially declared missing. In February 1978, he was
declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of
death. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information
on his eventual fate.
In January 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed two
witnesses to the crash of a helicopter correlating closely to this
loss incident. They reported observing a body at the crash site,
and other soldiers, possibly from nearby commo-liaison station T52,
retrieved a watch from the dead serviceman. The team was taken to
the crash site but was unable to locate any human remains or other
North Vietnam Kenneth F. Backus
Elton L. Perrine
On May 22, 1967, Captain Perrine and First Lieutenant Backus were
the crew of an F-4C, one of two aircraft in a flight against the
Kep railroad yard. The second aircraft observed Captain Perrine's
aircraft make a bomb run on the target and, five seconds later,
observed a large explosion three miles east of the target in Lang
Son Province. There were no chute and no beacon signals. There
was 37mm and 57mm anti-aircraft fire in the area. However, the
other aircrew could not confirm that Captain Perrine's aircraft was
hit by hostile fire, and they could not pinpoint the crash site's
On May 24th, the New China News Agency reported the downing of a
U.S. aircraft over Lang Son Province on May 22nd and stated that
the pilots were captured. This aircraft was the only aircraft lost
in the area on that date. Both crewmen were initially reported
missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the
crew's fate. In February 1979, each was declared dead/body not
recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
South Vietnam Brian K. McGar
Joseph E. Fitzgerald
John E. Jakovac
On May 30, 1967, Sergeant Jakovac and PFCs McGar and Fitzgerald
were members of a five man reconnaissance patrol in Quang Ngai
Province. The team was deployed to counter hostile fire from a
nearby hedgerow and to set up an observation point on a hill top.
They failed to make a nightly radio check an hour and fifteen
minutes after climbing the hill. A search and rescue effort
located two other patrol members, both dead, in a shallow grave in
the area. There was a trail of blood leading from the area, hand
grenade fragmentations and U.S. and foreign shell casings which
gave evidence to an engagement. The search effort continued for
three days but failed to locate the other three missing patrol
Following their disappearance, U.S. intelligence received several
reports about grave sites in the area. In July 1972, a former Viet
Cong stated that he had seen two U.S. prisoners in Quang Tin
Province in July 1967, and this report was placed in the files of
these MIAs, although there was no specific correlation to them.
All three Marines were declared dead/body not recovered on
different dates during 1975 and 1976. None of the three was
reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S.
South Vietnam Di Reyes Ibanez
On June 5, 1967, Sergeant Ibanez was a member of a 3rd Marine
Division reconnaissance patrol in Quang Tri Province. Shortly
after midnight, a guard heard a moan and the sound of brush
breaking from the area where Sergeant Ibanez was sleeping. A later
search party recovered his rifle and pack. In the morning a patrol
located a partial dental plate and blood trail. The blood trail
led along a path from his last known location to a nearby village.
A search of the area turned up freshly dug foxholes with evidence
of recent occupancy and signs that something had been dragged along
the trail. The partial plate was described by the unit's dental
surgeon as identical to the teeth artificially replaced. Sergeant
Ibanez was never found.
Sergeant Ibanez was initially declared missing. In March 1978, he
was declared dead/body not recovered. He was not reported alive in
the Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S. POWs.
South Vietnam Robert L. Platt, Jr.
On June 10, 1967, Private First Class Platt was a member of a 101st
Airborne Division patrol ambushed while on a search and destroy
mission in South Vietnam. Platt, reportedly wounded several times,
was left behind during his unit's withdrawal. He was declared
In 1968, U.S. intelligence received a captured Viet Cong document
apparently belonging to the 270th Transportation Regiment of
Military Region 5, a unit operating in the area Private First Class
Platt was last seen. It noted that an American Private First Class
had been captured on June 10, 1967 and that he died of his wounds
on June 11, 1967. This was viewed by U.S. intelligence as possible
a correlation to PFC Platt. A Viet Cong prisoner interrogated
shortly thereafter described seeing an American prisoner being
brought to his medical unit which was destroyed in a U.S. bombing.
The prisoner did not know if the American was killed or survived,
and this report was also thought to possibly pertain to Platt.
In March 1978, Private First Class Platt was declared dead/body not
recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any
information on his fate.
In January 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed
potential witnesses who were thought to be able to provide
information about Platt. No new information on his precise fate
South Vietnam James Lee Van Bendegom
On July 12, 1967, Private First Class Van Bendegom and other
members of his 4th Infantry Division were on patrol when they
engaged a hostile force in the Ia Drang Valley, Pleiku Province.
PFC Van Bendegom was wounded and treated by a medic. He was left
behind when his unit's position was overrun, and he was captured.
According to other U.S. POWs released during Operation Homecoming,
it was rumored that PFC Van Bendegom was taken from Pleiku Province
into Cambodia and was treated at a field hospital. His name did
not appear on the PRG died in captivity list. He was declared
dead/body not recovered in May 1973.
In April 1989, a U.S. field team in Vietnam interviewed former
officers assigned to the B-3 Front, the People's Army of Vietnam
theater headquarters in command of operations in Pleiku Province.
They were unable to provide any information on PFC Van Bendegom.
During 1992, U.S. investigators in Vietnam received information
describing the death of three Americans in captivity. One death
was correlated to PFC Van Bendegom.
North Vietnam Ronald N. Sittner
Charles Lane, Jr.
On August 23, 1967, First Lieutenant Lane and his aircraft
commander, Captain Larry E. Corrigan (Case 0805), were the crewmen
of an F-4 aircraft on a strike mission against the Yen Vien
railroad yard. Their aircraft was hit by an air-to-air missile
fired by a MIG-21 making it one of two aircraft in their flight
downed by MIG-21 missiles. Their aircraft was believed to have
crashed in Thai Nguyen Province, North Vietnam. Captain Corrigan
was captured alive and was repatriated during Operation Homecoming.
Other members of their flight reported seeing three parachutes from
the crewmen of the two downed aircraft. Three clear beepers were
heard as well as one weak beeper which was believed to be
associated with Lieutenant Lane. Captain Corrigan was the only
individual shot down who was able to establish voice contact with
Upon his release, Captain Corrigan reported seeing another
individual moving around in his parachute, and he believed that
individual to be Lieutenant Lane. Ha Noi press reported the
aircraft downing but did not specify the number of crewmen
captured. In August 1968, U.S. intelligence believed Lieutenant
Lane had been captured alive and that he was in enemy custody,
although his casualty status remained as missing in action.
The other aircraft's crew included Major Charles R. Tyler and
Captain Ronald N. Sittner (0804). Major Tyler landed and was taken
prisoner. He, too, was released alive during Operation Homecoming.
In October 1973, Lieutenant Lane's case was reviewed by the
Department of Defense at the request of his next of kin, and his
casualty status was changed to dead/body not recovered. Captain
Sittner's case was reviewed at a later date, and he was also
determined to be dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were
unable to confirm either individual alive in captivity in the
northern Vietnamese prison system.
In November 1991, the Joint Task Force interviewed witnesses to the
downing of the two F-4 aircraft and the reported sighting of either
3 or 4 parachutes. The location of their downing was determined to
be in Tuyen Quang Province, not in Thai Nguyen Province. Witnesses
reported the capture of two airmen and stated that they were unable
to locate the other two crewmen until 1970 when the partial remains
of one of the two was located. Local witnesses also stated that a
nearby People's Republic of China military unit arrived at one of
the crash sites and recovered the wreckage of one of the downed
aircraft. They provided no other details about the incident. The
Joint Task Force concluded that the reported partial remains may
have correlated to the remains of Lieutenant Lane, who was not
confirmed to have ejected from his aircraft but could have done so.
In April 1992, a U.S. team interviewed additional witnesses and
recovered personal artifacts from both grave sites that did not
correlate to the two airmen.
South Vietnam Kenneth L. Plumadore
On September 21, 1967, Lance Corporal Plumadore, a member of the
4th Marine Division, was wounded in action while engaging People's
Army of Vietnam forces during Operation Kingfisher in the area of
Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. He and fourteen other members of his
unit were left behind in the withdrawal from the battle area. When
friendly forces retook the area they located fourteen dead Marines,
two of bodies there were difficult to identity. Information later
surfaced that one survivor was reported captured and was last seen
being escorted North. Corporal Plumadore was declared dead/body
not recovered in September 1967.
In April 1986, Vietnam returned remains of someone captured in the
same engagement as the one during in which Corporal Plumadore
became unaccounted-for. Information provided with the remains was
that the remains belonged to an American serviceman captured at Con
Thien who had died on September 27, 1967 at Vinh Linh, North
Vietnam. Corporal Plumadore's records could not be used in remains
identification because they were lost in an aircraft crash on
October 2, 1967.
Subsequent to the return of the remains, U.S. intelligence located
archival intelligence information, usually highly reliable, that
indicated for the first time that someone, probably Plumadore, had
been captured and taken North to Vinh Linh. He was last known
alive on September 23rd in the area of Con Thien. He was the only
individual who remained missing in the Con Thien area.
South Vietnam Paul L. Fitzgerald, Jr.
On October 17, 1967, Specialist Fitzgerald and Private First Class
Hargrove were with their unit on a search and destroy mission in
Binh Long Province. Their unit engaged a hostile force and
suffered heavy losses. The two soldiers were last seen alive
midway between U.S. forces and advancing Viet Cong. PFC Hargrove
was reported wounded at that time.
In February 1972, a former Viet Cong reported observing one
American captive in 1967 in the area where the two soldiers were
lost. This report was thought to possibly correlate to one of the
two missing soldiers. In December 1984, U.S. intelligence received
reports about the recovery of U.S. remains from the general area
where the two had last been seen.
Both soldiers were initially declared missing. Each was eventually
declared dead/body not recovered in March 1978. Neither individual
was reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
North Vietnam James S, Morgan
Kelly F. Cook
James A. Crew
On November 10, 1967, Major Morgan and First Lieutenant Charles J.
Honeycutt were the lead aircraft in a flight of two F-4 striking a
target in Quang Binh Province. A forward air controller lost radio
and radar contact with them at the point of their bomb release.
Contact was also lost with the other F-4 crew, Lieutenant Colonel
Cook and First Lieutenant Crew. On November 10, 1967, Radio Hanoi
reported two F-4s were shot down on that date in Quang Binh
All four airmen were initially reported missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any sightings of any of
them alive. However, one returning POW reported hearing a Radio
Hanoi broadcast naming Lieutenant Honeycutt as one of the U.S. POWs
held alive in captivity by North Vietnam. After the end of
hostilities, the four pilots were declared dead/body not recovered
based on a presumptive finding of death.
In May 1987, U.S. intelligence received information concerning the
recovery of identification media and remains associated with
Lieutenant Honeycutt. In December 1988, JCRC staff interviewed
witnesses in Vietnam concerning Case 0903. They were taken to the
alleged crash site and shown two purported graves which were
excavated in April 1990. No remains were found.
U.S. investigators in Vietnam during March 1991 visited Le Ninh
District and received information regarding the shoot down of Major
Morgan's aircraft. Vietnam turned over the identity card of
Lieutenant Honeycutt together with his remains.
Based on intensive investigation in Vietnam, information in
Vietnamese archival records and witness statements, it appears that
one crewman in each aircraft died in the shoot downs. Available
information also indicates the likelihood that Major Morgan and
Lieutenant Crew both perished in their aircraft, but both
Lieutenant Honeycutt and Lieutenant Colonel Cook parachuted alive
from their aircraft and reached the ground seriously wounded. Both
were later reported to have died.
North Vietnam Herbert O. Brennan
Douglas C. Condit
On November 26, 1967, Colonel Brennan and First Lieutenant Condit
were the crew in one of two F-4C jet aircraft on a strike mission
over North Vietnam. During their first pass over the target, their
aircraft exploded causing the wreckage to land in the area of their
target. There was no hostile fire noted at the time of their
crash. There were no chutes or voice contact with the crewmen.
Search and rescue aircraft arrived and drew hostile fire from the
crash site area. In addition, it appeared their signaling devices
had been captured and were being used in an attempt to lure SAR
aircraft into a trap.
Both crewmen were initially declared missing. During Operation
Homecoming, neither was accounted-for as alive. Moreover,
returning U.S. POWs were unable to confirm that Brennan and Condit
were alive in captivity. Both were later declared dead/body not
U.S. investigators in Vietnam during November 1988 interviewed
witnesses in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. The team also
located a crash site within 500 meters of Colonel Brennan's loss
location and confirmed the wreckage as that of an F-4. The team
was unable to locate any information regarding the crew. The team
did learn that the aircraft was shot down while attacking a
People's Army of Vietnam anti-aircraft unit that was providing
security for an engineer road building unit. One witness stated
Vietnamese officials had already recovered seven skeletal remains
associated with U.S. aircraft lost in the area.
South Vietnam Michael Millner
On November 29, 1967, Staff Sergeant Millner, a member of
Detachment B-34, 5th Special Forces Group, was with a provincial
reconnaissance unit when it was attacked by a Viet Cong company
approximately 35 kilometers north of Loc Ninh, Phuoc Long Province.
A member of his unit, Sergeant Paul Posse, later stated he saw
Sergeant Millner being captured. When last seen he was not
wounded. U.S. intelligence received a report in October 1974
concerning the sighting of a captured American circa October 1967
in the area Sergeant Millner was last seen, but it could not be
correlated specifically to him.
Sergeant Millner was initially declared missing. In July 1974 he
was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs had no
information about him.
Cambodia Robert H. Grzyb
In the late morning of December 11, 1967, a U.S. Army private
assigned at Pleiku City, South Vietnam, reported to his unit that
he, Mr. Grzyb, and two Koreans had been ambushed by the Viet Cong
on the afternoon of December 10, 1967. Mr. Grzyb was reportedly
wounded in the arm, and one of the Koreans was killed, when they
were ambushed north of Pleiku City where they had gone to buy pigs.
A subsequent investigation revealed a Vietnamese police officer, a
neighbor, and Mr. Grzyb departed Pleiku at noon on December 10th
in a Vietnamese police jeep. It was located by an aircraft spotter
late that afternoon at the village of Plei Pok 25 kilometers north
of Pleiku. The damaged jeep was recovered, and its FM radio and
battery had been removed. The body of the dead policeman was found
there with a bullet wound in the head which had apparently been
fired at close range. Plei Pok villagers said Mr. Grzyb and the
policeman were ambushed by Viet Cong just outside their village
after buying five small pigs for 500 Vietnamese dong, equivalent to
approximately $4.00. The policeman was killed, and Mr. Grzyb was
Further police investigation determined Mr. Grzyb, a former U.S.
Army serviceman and unemployed U.S. civilian in Vietnam without
proper identification at the time, had been arrested in Pleiku on
September 30th by the Vietnamese National Police following the
discharge of a pistol which blinded a young Vietnamese boy. Mr.
Grzyb was attempting to sell the pistol to another serviceman at
the time of the incident. A search of his residence led to the
recovery of a .45 caliber sub-machine gun. Also during that time,
he was wanted for the illegal sale of 384 cases of stolen U.S.
Government C-rations. Mr. Grzyb was jailed and fined and was
released from jail on November 11, 1967, at which time he told U.S.
authorities he wanted to apply for Vietnamese citizenship. The
American private who claimed he was with Mr. Grzyb was on an
unauthorized absence from Pleiku at the time of the incident,
having been confined to the city after his release from a U.S.
military jail in November 1967. When captured, Mr. Grzyb never
mentioned any Koreans with him. He said he was in the U.S. Army,
wounded in the side when captured, and had been due to rotate from
Vietnam the day after his capture.
Mr. Grzyb was first listed by Department of State and DIA in 1970
as unaccounted-for after receiving his file from JPRC. He was
listed as a POW at the time of Operation Homecoming and, in January
1973, was listed by the PRG as having died in captivity.
Seven returning U.S. POWs described Mr. Grzyb's incarceration with
them at a People's Army of Vietnam B-3 Theater of Operations prison
along the Vietnam/Cambodia border where he died one evening late in
1968 while suffering from malaria and malnutrition. Wartime
reports related his name as "Gzip" or "Gzeb." One wartime report
from a Vietnam People's Army Captain described Mr. Grzyb's presence
at the prison while suffering from malaria. Two other reported
sightings of Americans in captivity were placed in Mr. Grzyb's file
but, apparently, did not pertain to him.
North Vietnam Roger B. Innes
Leonard M. Lee
On December 27, 1967, Lieutenant Commander Lee and Lieutenant JG
Innes were crewmen of an F-4B on a strike mission over Nghe An
Province. Their aircraft was seen on radar as it started its bomb
run on target, but other flight members were unable to actually
observe the aircraft during its bomb run. The aircraft disappeared
and could not be located during a subsequent search. There were no
chutes and no beepers.
In May 1972, a People's Army of Vietnam soldier described the
downing of two U.S. aircraft in Quynh Luu District, Nghe An
Province. He heard that one airman was killed and one was
captured. The captured pilot was last seen being escorted north on
Highway 1. This report was believed to be a possible correlation
to this aircrew because it was the only loss in the area at that
Both crewmen were initially declared missing and, in April 1977,
were declared dead/body not recovered. Neither airman was reported
alive in the Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S. POWs.
South Vietnam Richard W. Fischer
On January 8, 1968, Lance Corporal Fisher was with an ambush team
in Dien Ban District, south of Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province.
He left his ambush site with a one-legged girl and was never seen
again. A search and rescue party attempting to locate him was
fired upon. A later search failed to locate any trace of him but
an older local resident did say that an American had been taken
prisoner. The non-commissioned officer in charge of the ambush was
recommended for court-martial for permitting a member of the team
to leave the site. In 1970, a former Vietnam People's Army
Lieutenant Colonel provided information, possibly hearsay, that
Corporal Fisher had been killed and buried.
Corporal Fisher was initially declared missing. In December 1978,
he was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were
unable to provide any information about him being alive in the
Vietnamese prison system.
South Vietnam William D. Johnson
On August 19, 1968, Private First Class Johnson was a rifleman from
the 4th Infantry Division on a search and destroy mission with his
unit in the mountainous central highlands area of Sa Thay District,
Kontum Province. His unit encountered hostile forces and six men
were declared missing; four were last seen at the initial point of
contact, one of whom was PFC Johnson. PFC Johnson was reported
alive after the hostile fire had stopped.
The partially decomposing bodies of five of the six missing
soldiers were later located. Their remains showed major
destructive injuries associated with fragmentation munitions.
PFC Johnson was not located with the others.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his eventual fate. In
March 1979, he was declared killed in action/body not recovered
based on a presumptive finding of death.
In 1974, DIA received a report of a possible collaborator seen in
coastal Quang Ngai Province. The American was reportedly captured
from a truck convoy, and two others with him had escaped. While
not correlated to PFC Johnson, a copy of the report was placed in
his file for unknown reasons.
North Vietnam Michael Dunn
Norman E. Eidsmoe
On January 26, 1968, First Lieutenant Dunn and Lieutenant Commander
Eidsmoe were on a solo mission against Vinh Airfield. Their
aircraft disappeared from radar contact approximately ten
kilometers north of Vinh City, and both airmen were declared
In April 1972, a former People's Army of Vietnam soldier reported
observing an American POW in Nghe An Province in January 1968. The
report was placed in the case files of those involved in the
incident as only a possible correlation to Commander Eidsmoe.
Several returning U.S. POWs reported hearing a name similar to his
while in Son Tay Prison in November 1968, but it was never
confirmed that he was alive.
Lieutenant Dunn was declared dead/body not recovered in November
1973. Commander Eidsmoe was declared dead in January 1978.
South Vietnam Henry F. Blood
Blood was a missionary with the Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA)
in the South Vietnamese mountain town of Banmethuot. On February
1, 1968, the CMA compound was overrun by Vietnamese communist
forces during the opening phase of the 1968 Tet Offensive. Another
American civilian who was also captured and returned during
Operation Homecoming, Michael D. Benge, described being held with
Blood until July 1968 when Blood became ill, died and was buried
near their prison camp in the Central Highlands.
At Operation Homecoming Blood's name appeared on the Provisional
Revolutionary Government died in captivity list. The date of death
was recorded as October 17, 1972.
Blood's burial site location was investigated in December 1990 by
a U.S. field team. During that investigation, the Joint Casualty
Resolution Center learned that Blood's grave had been opened in
1987. The remains recovered by Dac Lac Province security
officials, which were reportedly Blood's remains, were given to
U.S. officials in February 1988. U.S. records confirm there was a
repatriation in April 1988, but the remains have not yet been
South Vietnam Elizabeth "Betty" A. Olsen
Ms. Olsen was captured on February 1, 1968 at the Christian
Missionary Alliance compound in Banmethuot City, South Vietnam. A
returning POW, Michael Benge, reported Olsen was brought to his
prison camp after capture. They were being taken on foot toward
Cambodia when Olsen died. Benge buried her near the Cambodian
Olsen appeared at Operation Homecoming on the Provisional
Revolution Government's died in captivity list; the date of death
was September 26, 1968.
In December 1990, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center interviewed
witnesses in Vietnam who described her burial near commo-liaison
station T8 in Quang Duc Province, South Vietnam. Her remains have
not yet been located.
South Vietnam Joseph S. Zawtocki
Dennis W. Hammond
On February 8, 1968, Corporals Zawtocki and Hammond were captured
in South Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive. They were
initially held with other U.S. POWs who were present when Zawtocki
and Hammond died in captivity. Hammond's name appeared on the
Provisional Revolutionary Government's died in captivity list, and
his date of death was recorded as March 7, 1970. Both were later
declared dead/body not recovered.
In August 1985, the remains of American POWs who died in captivity
in South Vietnam in Quang Nam Province, the same prison camp where
Hammond and Zawtocki were held, were repatriated by Vietnam.
Zawtocki's remains were identified. The remains attributed to
Corporal Hammond were determined to be the remains of a Southeast
Asian Mongoloid. Based on all available information, the remains
of those who died in this jungle prison had been recovered by
Vietnamese officials during the 1970s.
South Vietnam Alan W. Gunn
Wade L. Groth
Harry W. Brown
Jerry L Roe
On February 12, 1968, Gunn, Groth, Brown and Roe were members of a
UH-1H on a night medical evacuation flight. Their aircraft
disappeared in Darlac Province. A search and rescue effort failed
to locate them. The four crewmen were initially declared missing.
In July 1971, a Vietnam People's Army defector identified a
photograph of First Lieutenant Brown as an individual he had seen
at a POW camp near Vinh City in August 1970. U.S. POW returnees
were never able to confirm that Lieutenant Brown and the other
In July 1974, the wreckage of the UH-1H was located by a woodsman,
but there was no trace of the crewmen. All four crewmen were
declared dead/body not recovered on different dates between October
1973 and September 1978.
South Vietnam Robert W. Hunt
On February 28, 1968, Corporal Hunt was a member of an M-41 tank
crew in combat with hostile forces in Hoc Mon, a suburb of Saigon.
He was last seen standing on the tank when it took a direct hit
from two rocket propelled grenades. The next day friendly forces
recovered the bodies of two tank crewmen, but there was no sign of
Corporal Hunt. He was declared missing.
In January 1973, the Provisional Revolution Government reported the
death of PFC James J. Scuiter while in captivity. However, PFC
Scuiter's remains were located and recovered from the scene of the
combat where Corporal Hunt was declared missing. It was believed
that the PRG had misidentified the remains.
Corporal Hunt was declared dead/body not recovered in September
1978. He was not identified alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
In 1975 U.S. interviewers located a former soldier from the
People's Army 84th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He described
himself as the individual who had fired the rocket propelled
grenades which disabled the M-41 tank and stated that an African-
American had been captured on that date.
Since 1985, U.S. intelligence has received several reports about an
African-American killed in action and buried in the Hoc Mon area.
While not identified as Corporal Hull, these reports are similar to
the location and circumstances pertaining to his loss.
South Vietnam James E. Hamm
On March 14, 1968, First Lieutenant Hamm and Major Gary L. Tresmer
were flying an F-4D, one in a flight of two aircraft on a close air
support mission over Thua Thien Province. Their aircraft was hit
by hostile fire on the fourth pass over the target. Both crewmen
ejected and good chutes were seen. Search and rescue forces
established radio contact with the crewmen, but rescue attempts
were hampered by a large hostile force in the area. Lieutenant
Hamm radioed that he thought he had a broken leg, but radio contact
was eventually lost with him. Major Tresmer was subsequently
In June 1971, a U.S. Army unit located the back seat from the F-4D.
It was confirmed to be from Lieutenant Hamm's aircraft because it
was a seat installed in his F-4 after the aircraft was obtained
from Iran and issued to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing.
Lieutenant Hamm was initially declared missing in action. On
February 2, 1974 he was declared dead/body not recovered based on
a presumptive finding of death. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to
provide information on his eventual fate.
During April and May 1992, U.S. investigators in Vietnam
interviewed witnesses concerning this incident. One witness, a
woman from a unit on the scene, described having approached a
wounded pilot who pointed his pistol at her. She shot and killed
the pilot. She turned over the pilot's wrist watch, pistol and
other material to members of a nearby unit of the Vietnam People's
Army who then retrieved the pilot's body and buried it.
South Vietnam James M. Ray
Private First Class Ray was captured in South Vietnam on March 18,
1968. He is reliably reported to have died in captivity in 1969.
In January 1973, the Provisional Revolutionary Government reported
that he died in captivity on November 6, 1969. After Operation
Homecoming, he was declared dead/body not recovered based on
information from returning U.S. POWs.
South Vietnam Walter A. Cichon
Specialist Cichon was a member of the 4th Infantry Division which
encountered People's Army of Vietnam forces in Kontum Province on
March 30, 1968. He was hit in the head while moving up a hill. A
member of his unit found him, and he had a gash above the ear and
a hole in the back of his head. He was not moving and had turned
white. Believing that he was dead, his unit pulled back, and he
was left behind. He was declared missing in action.
In April 1968, the U.S. Army's 525th Military Intelligence Group
forwarded information from two former North Vietnamese Army
soldiers who reported that their 320th Regiment had captured an
American soldier in Kontum Province in March 1968. The soldier had
a head wound and was taken to facility T-3 in the tri-border area
of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Facility T-3 was known by U.S.
intelligence to be a commo-liaison way station. This report was
believed to possibly correlate to Cichon.
U.S. intelligence later obtained a document which described the
capture of an American on March 30, 1968 in the Chu Tang area by
elements of unit K-7. The American was taken to a surgical station
of Group 21, a designator of the 1st Division to which the 66th and
320th Regiments belonged. Unit K-7 has been associated with the
7th Battalion, 66th Regiment. This report was believed to possibly
correlate to the capture of Cichon.
In January 1972, DIA changed its internal casualty status for
Cichon and listed him as a POW, although the U.S. Army continued to
list him as missing in action. During Operation Homecoming,
returning U.S. POWs were unable to confirm his precise fate. In
October 1974, he was declared dead/body not recovered based on a
presumptive finding of death.
In December 1990, U.S. investigators visited Sa Thay District, Gia
Lai-Kon Tum Province as part of a joint U.S./Vietnamese
investigation team. They interviewed witnesses in the area where
Cichon was last seen who had served with People's Army of Vietnam
forces during the war years. Medical personnel who served in the
area described an American brought to the 66th Regiment treatment
station in 1968. The information appeared to correlate to Cichon.
Medical personnel from Hospital V84 also described an American with
a head wound whom arrived at the B3 Theater Headquarters treatment
station and who seemed to resemble Cichon. These witnesses also
described a half dozen American POWs brought into their hospital.
They were, however, unable to describe the precise fate of each
American and could not provide the names of the six or seven
Americans taken to this hospital.
South Vietnam John W. Held
On April 17, 1968, Captain Held was the pilot of an A-37A scrambled
from Bien Hoa Air Base for a mission in Phuoc Long Province. His
aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire, and Captain Held ejected
and landed approximately 300 meters north of the aircraft's crash
site. Rescue forces landed and located his parachute in trees, but
no one was in the parachute. There were foot prints beneath the
parachute and four trails leading from the area. The search team
fanned out and searched the area but could not locate any sign of
Captain Held. Aircraft hovered over the area for five hours but
were unsuccessful in locating him. Later, a voice that sounded
Vietnamese broadcast from his radio, and these transmissions
continued until April 19th, but it was never followed by the proper
authentication signal. Captain Held was initially declared missing
In January 1975, U.S. intelligence received a report of a wartime
sighting of three Americans and one Korean being moved north along
the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This report was filed in Captain Held's
file although the description of the three Americans did not appear
to correlate to Captain Held.
After the end of hostilities, Captain Held was declared dead/body
not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death. Returning
U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate.
In March 1992, U.S. investigators in Vietnam traveled to Bu Dang
District, Song Be Province and interviewed three witnesses who
described locating a dead pilot in the area where Captain Held
landed. They also located an apparent crash site, however, the
witnesses provided different accounts of the recovery of the body,
and the investigators were unable to rule out the possibility that
one of more of the tribesmen had been involved in the pilot's
death. The team was unable to locate any human remains.
South Vietnam Walter R. Schmidt, Jr.
On January 9, 1968, Lieutenant Schmidt's A-4E aircraft was shot
down by hostile ground fire over the A Shau Valley in Thua Thien
Province, South Vietnam. He ejected and landed safely and
established voice contact with search and rescue forces to whom he
reported that he had a hurt hand and a possible broken leg. SAR
forces observed him on the ground and established that enemy forces
were within 20 meters of his location.
Lieutenant Schmidt was carried as a POW at the time of operation
Homecoming and was declared dead/body not recovered after the end
of hostilities. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any
information on his fate.
Joint Casualty Resolution Center investigations in the A Shau
Valley during August 1989 failed to locate any witnesses who could
provide information on the crash site or the reported capture of
Lieutenant Schmidt. They were also unable to locate any evidence
about his aircraft or his grave site.