MIA Facts Site

  Gia Lam Warehouse and Airport

 
 Background

 There are two major airports in Hanoi:  Noi Bai and Gia Lam.  Gia Lam is primarily a military field and, for many years, it served as the terminal for the entry of Soviet and East European aid and advisors.  There were Soviet bloc advisors who lived at Gia Lam; their duties included:  overseeing delivery of equipment and material; training of Vietnamese; and, various coordination of training, aid, and assistance to the NVA.  US intelligence has extensive holdings on Gia Lam and on the activities of Soviet bloc advisors there, even to the point of having had access to receipts and documents signed by various advisors.

Garwood's Claim

Garwood claims that he saw five or six US POWs at the Gia Lam airport warehouse complex who were stacking, loading, unloading, and generally handling material.  He claims to have seen them during the many trips he made to this facility between ( according to Garwood ) 1973 and 1979, while he was located at Bat Bat.  However, Garwood told the WSJ that he departed Bat Bat for Gia Lam in the fall of 1973 and that he remained at Gia Lam until 1975.

Garwood's claims in regard to having seen US POWs at Gia Lam vary widely.  In some cases, Garwood claims that he saw US POWs there once in 1978. At other times, he has claimed to have seen US POWs at Gia Lam on several  occasions between 1973 and 1979.

Analysis

US intelligence has extensive holdings on activities at and around Gia Lam, including the activities of Soviet bloc advisors there.  Much of the information held by US intelligence comes from interviews with former North Vietnamese military personnel who were stationed at Gia Lam or whose duties took them there frequently.  These individuals unanimously report on the presence of Soviet bloc advisors at Gia Lam but they unanimously deny that any Americans were there at any time.

Vietnamese officials told US investigators that the Gia Lam warehouse area is a major stocking and distribution facility for vehicle parts and that Soviet bloc advisors were the only foreigners permitted there.

Conclusions

Garwood claims to have been at or to have visited the Gia Lam warehouse area on several occasions.  He likely did observe foreigners there but they were Soviet bloc advisors, not US POWs.
 

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