19 New POW Cases

133 alleged possible POWs
link added 01/28/2008

National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars

Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email   lynn@nationalalliance.org

June 24, 2006    Bits N Pieces Special  

"My review of JCRC casualty files has surfaced several messages which list a total of nine American servicemen Vietnam has acknowledged were captured alive, all of whom are listed by DOD as having been declared dead while missing.  None are officially listed as ever having been a POW.  This information has come from Vietnamese officials a piece at a time over the past two years.  I suspect we will learn about more such cases as time goes on.   While the precise fate of the nine is not clear, it appears likely they died in captivity in southern Vietnam and this is the first admission from Vietnam that these nine were captured alive."  So reads a memo titled "Vietnamese reports about U.S. POWs not previously known by the Defense Department," and dated July 22, 1992, prepared by Sedgwick D. Tourison, Jr. during his tenure as an investigator with the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.

In the memo Mr. Tourison speculates on the reason this information was not discussed during the 24 – 25 June 1992 hearing before the Senate Committee in which General John Vessey, along with representatives of DIA and JTF testified.  Mr. Tourison offers the following:  "… two obvious explaination (sic) could be that (a) it would be irresponsible to discuss such information prior to investigating it fully, (b) they do not want to publicly discuss active cases still under investigation, and (c) they may not believe Vietnamese assertions."

The memo continued; "A fourth explanation is that the Administration is too embarrassed at this point to even want to have this information made public.   After all, it must be clear to the Administration that the Vessey/DOD-ISA "lists" have led to a relatively inflexible investigation schedule which is being directly controlled from Washington and with little seeming flexibility on the part of those on the ground to react to changing conditions.   This is a direct repeat of the criticism levied at DOD/JCS/White House in its inept prosecution of the war two plus decades ago and it is evident that Viet Nam is well aware of these modalities and these new "POW" reports could well represent Viet Nam's own effort to tie up the Administration."

The nine servicemen acknowledged by the Vietnamese as "captured alive" are: Carlos Ashlock, James T. Egan, Jr., Robert L. Greer, Roger D. Hamilton, Gregory J. Harris, Donald S. Newton, Madison A. Strohlein, Robert L. Platt and Fred Schreckengost.   Remains for both Greer and Schreckengost were recovered.   Commenting on Greer and Schreckengost, Tourison notes; "During the recovery of their remains in 1990 Vietnamese officials acknowledged they had been captured alive and killed in captivity.   The U.S. Marine Corps still does not list them as having died in captivity but to have died while in a MIA status."

Of the 7 remaining "new POWs" Tourison offers the following information:

Carlos Ashlock – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Corporal Aslock (sic) was captured alive in Quang Ngai Province.  His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

James Egan, Jr. -- – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Lieutenant Egan was captured alive and has reported that he died in captivity in December 1968."  

[It should be noted that Egan's name was not on the list of POWs who died in captivity presented in Paris in January 1973.   Yet, based on this new information Egan survived in captivity for almost 3 years, from January 21, 1966 to December 1968.   As no other POW reported seeing Egan in captivity, where was he held?]

Roger D. Hamilton – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Lance Corporal Hamilton was captured alive in Military Region 5.  His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

Gregory J. Harris – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Corporal Harris was captured alive. His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

Donald Newton – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Sergeant Newton was captured alive and taken to Hospital 102 of Military Region 5.  His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

Robert L. Platt – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Private First Class Platt was captured alive. His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

Madison Strohlein – "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Sergeant Strohlein was captured alive on June 22, 1971 in Quang Nam Province.  His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

Whatever the reason, this information was not made public during the life of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.   Documents generated by that committee including its investigators were turned over to the National Archives where they remain today… Hidden in plain sight.

We immediately contacted the family of M/Sgt. Gregory J. Harris, acknowledged by the Vietnamese as "captured alive."   The family was shocked by the information contained in the Tourison memo.   Sadly, it came as little surprise to us, and the Harris family that they were never told of this information.   Nor, does it seem as if U.S. investigators have factored this stunning information into ongoing efforts to locate M/Sgt. Harris.    Instead, investigators continue to search for M/Sgt Harris at the loss area, when in fact the Vietnamese admitted, sometime prior to at least 1991, that he had been captured.

A word about this document, this and other documents were found within the Sedgwick Tourison Collection housed at Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas, in mid March.   With the discovery of this document the National Alliance of Families and Mary Reitano, cousin of Greg Harris, joined forces to download and review the documents within the Tourison Collection.   Through our efforts, many additional documents of value were located, and passed to family members.

Among them a memo dated August 1, 1992 titled "Individuals Reported Died in Captivity and not listed on current DOD/Vessey/SSC priority lists."  In this memo, Mr. Tourison states: "My review of POW/MIA case files disclosed DIA/JTFFA message traffic referring to individuals DOD now has information survived into captivity."  

This memo appears to be a follow-up to the July 22nd memo.   In the 13 cases cited, representing 19 servicemen, 9 are named in the July 22nd memo.   The additional servicemen added to the list of men who "survived into captivity" are: Richard C. Bram, John F. Dingwall, Fredric M. Mellor, Charles J. Scharf/ Martin J. Massucci, John F. O'Grady, Thomas A. Mangino, Paul A. Hasenbeck, David M. Winters, Daniel Nidds, and John T. McDonnell.   

Tourison then provided a breakdown of the cases "not currently listed as having died in captivity."

 4 individuals (MIA-KIA/BNR) killed in captivity.   Two of their remains have been recovered and identified (Greer/Schreckengost) and two have not (Egan/Newton)."

 6 individuals (MIA-KIA/BNR) who may have been captured alive and later killed.   The period of their captivity appears to have been brief.  (Bram/Dingwall/Mangini/Hasenbeck/Winters/Nidds).

 4 individuals (MIA-KIA/BNR) died in captivity of wounds suffered in combat. (Platt/Mellor/McDonnell/O'Grady.)

1 individual (MIA-KIA/BNR) survived into captivity, was wounded and precise fate unclear. (Ashlock)

1  case involving 2  airmen from the same loss incident (MIA-KIA/BNR), one parachute was reportedly seen by a wingman, witnesses in Vietnam have testified that a shootdown correlating to this case involved two bodies seen a the crash site. (Scharf/Massucci)

2 individuals (MIA-MIA/BRN,) wartime reporting possibly captured.  Vietnamese witnesses testimony appears to indicate killed in combat.  (Hamilton/Harris.)

In 1987, General John Vessey as special emissary for President Ronald Regan presented the Vietnamese with a list of 80 individuals representing 62 cases on which the U.S. Government believed the Vietnamese would have knowledge.  Sometime between 1987 and 1991 the Vessey list expanded with the addition of 39 individuals representing 32 cases.  This new or Vessey II list became known as the 119 Discrepancy List.   It is important we look at these additions to the list as they compare to the 19 individuals named in the Tourison memos.

All nine individuals named in the July 22nd memo acknowledged by the Vietnamese as "captured alive" were added to the Vessey II list.   Of the additional names included in the August 1st memo, only Tom Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Danny Nidds, David Winters, Richard Bram and John Dingwall were not added to the list of 119 Discrepancy cases.  They would eventually be added to the Last Known Alive List of 135.   This Last Known Alive list was based on revisions to the 119 Discrepancy list based on the addition of names and removal of names based on remains recoveries.

To put the importance of the List of 119 in perspective we need only to look at the testimony of Kenneth Quinn, Chairman of the POW/MIA Interagency Group before the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-Committee on Asia and Pacific Affairs given April 25, 1991.   In discussing the 119 discrepancy cases Mr. Quinn stated:

 "In terms of actually conducting investigations on the ground, General Vessey has focused on 119 discrepancy cases, which is to say those cases, which represent, from looking at all the information we know about them, represent the greatest possibility that the men involved might still be alive.   We had evidence that they were alive after the incident occurred where the plane was shot down or they were lost on the ground and we don't know what happened to them and what their fate was.  So those represented to General Vessey the possibility where it is most probable or most likely that they might still be alive."

Going back even further, we can look to the "Project X" study completed in 1976 to "evaluate the possibility of any of the unaccounted for being alive."   The conclusion reached stated; "there is a possibility that as many as 57 Americans could be alive, although it is highly probable that the number is much smaller, possibly zero."   Among the 57 individuals named in the "Project X" study, Robert Greer, Fred Schreckengost, Frederick Mellor,  Gregory Harris, John O'Grady, Tom Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Danny Nidds, David Winters, and John McDonnell were all, according to the Tourison Memos, acknowledged as captured by the Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese acknowledgement of capture of these men should have come as no surprise to U.S. officials.  One has only to look at the rationale for their selection as a "Project X" case.

Of Greer and Schreckengot, the Project X rationale stated; " Both individuals were reported in the custody of VC forces by many sources subsequent to their disappearance on June 1964. PFC Schreckengost was seen alive and in good health by both U.S. and Vietnamese sources on occasions as late as October 1974.  No correlated reports of death have been received for either individual."

The rationale for Frederick Mellor states: "After he had made a successful landing, search and rescue aircraft were able to make voice contact with Capt Mellor. He indicated at that time that he was all right, although later attempts to locate him either by voice or electronic contact was unsuccessful. No reports of Capt Mellor's death have been received since the date of the incident."

The inclusion of Greg Harris in the Project X study is based on the fact that "Two Vietnamese who were wounded during the same action from which CPL Harris disappeared reported his capture by Viet Cong Forces. Although there are no reports confirming CPL Harris as a Prisoner, there have been no subsequent reports of his death

The rationale for inclusion of John O'Grady in the Project X study is less clear.  In describing is incident of loss, the study reads; "After ejection from his stricken aircraft, Major O'Grady's parachute was seen twice in the air and once on the ground by a wingman of his flight. However, search and rescue aircraft were unable to re-locate his position."

The case rationale for Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters reads; " When last seen, all of the men were alive and unhurt in a sampan, and all could swim. An extensive search found nothing. One informant report indicates possible capture, but there have been no subsequent reports of death for any of the individuals in this incident."
Lastly, perhaps the most compelling of the Project X cases is that of Army Captain John T. McDonnell.  The rationale for including McDonnell in the Project X study reads; "The other crewmember survived the aircraft crash and was subsequently found and medically evacuated. All signs indicated CPT McDonnel left the aircraft under his own power. No correlated reports of Capt McDonnel's death have been received since the incident date."

In spite of the Vietnamese acknowledgement of capture and survival into captivity of these 19 individuals none were ever considered for a status change to Prisoner of War.  In fact, Mr. Tourison recommended against such a consideration but did state that one case that of L/Cpl Carlos Ashloch (sic), must be of priority interest.

Yet, the 19 individuals named as "captured" and "survived into captivity" are not the only unacknowledged POWs, held by the Vietnamese named within the Tourison documents.  This assessment of POW status is not based on opinion.  It is based as the notes state; "SRV acknowledged capture."

Of the names listed on the July 22nd and August 1st memos, six are very familiar to the National Alliance of Families, as their cases have been written about a number of times in this newsletter.   They are:  Greg Harris Tom Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Danny Nidds, David Winters and John McDonnell.     We were not at all surprised to find their names within memos, stating they "survived into captivity." as we have long and loudly stated that very fact.

Greg Harris was a radio operator serving with the 5th Battalion of the Vietnamese Marine Corps, on June 12, 1966, when his unit was attacked by the Viet Cong.   They suffered heavy losses.  Friendly forces were able to retake the area on June 13th, recovering the wounded and dead.   Greg Harris was not among them. 

Two wounded Vietnamese Marines reported seeing Harris.  One said he saw Harris was moving out of the area, toward the jungle.  The other said the Viet Cong captured him.   Some 25 years later, the Vietnamese admitted they captured Greg Harris.  Now, 40 years later, we still wait for Greg Harris to come home.

We can not speculate how long Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters survived in captivity.   We only know by Vietnamese admission that they survived into captivity.

A CIA report states that the 4 were captured and there were plans to move them to a western area.    This report was dismissed by DPMO.    Some 8 years after the Vietnamese admitted to capturing the 4, the Defense POW/MIA Office in a February 22nd, 2000 memo, to Jeanie Hasenbeck, stated: "to further comment on the CIA report, the first portion of the document does not relate to Refno 0646 loss. Nevertheless, the Field Comment analytical data in paragraph two relates to 0646 but the informant(s) incorrectly reported it to the collector.  The informant apparently knew that something happened to four Americans, but was wrong in claiming their capture.  Not only do we not know the source of the data reported in the field comment, we do not know the number of people the information was filtered through before the informant reported what is obviously hearsay." 

The memo continued: "the person who obtained the information related in the field comment portion of the report most likely had access to JPRC (Joint Personnel Resolution Center, predecessor of the Joint Casualty Resolution Center which proceeded the Joint Task Force Full Accounting, now known as Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command or JPAC) files in Vietnam that detailed U.S. losses.  Based on the date of the "capture," the location, and the number of men, the report writer probably made his own correlation to incident 0646.  Again, his correlation of that portion was accurate.  It was the information reported by the source in claiming that the men were captured as opposed to killed, which was inaccurate."

Ignored is the fact that the information was "evaluated possibly true" and that one source was rated "fairly reliable," indicating that he or she probably provided accurate information to U.S. forces in the past.  Based on the Vietnamese admission of capture, it would seem that information contained in the CIA report was very accurate.

Ms. Hasenbeck forwarded a copy of the DPMO response to the National Alliance of Families, along with a cover note venting her frustration.  "... I simply cannot comprehend how the rule of "credibility" is applied.  Without confirmation, it sometimes is creditable and it sometimes is hearsay.  Just how does that work?  When it doesn't confirm their determination of fate, it becomes hearsay, when it does confirm their determination it is creditable.  This is truly an ART as any rule of SCIENCE is thrown out the window.... It truly is an amazing logic they apply - most unique and never experienced anywhere else in my world."

There is also a May 5, 1967 report of 4 POW with a group of NVA correlated to Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters.  There are two possible photo identifications (dismissed by DPMO) of Danny Nidds in captivity and one possible photo identification of David Winters on which no judgment has been made.   None of this information is included in either the Project X rationale for selection or case summary.  Additionally, we have documentation which indication that David Winters may have survived for over 1 year in captivity.  

With the Vietnamese admission that Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters "survived into captivity," we must ask why U.S. investigators continue to maintain, based on Vietnamese witness statement that the four were ambushed and immediately killed by the gun fire and grenade blasts.   Nor, do we understand how the four "survived into captivity" yet were immediately killed, their bodies submerged along a river bank in an effort to hide them from U.S. forces searching the village 2 hours after the 4 disappeared.

The discrepancies between the Vietnamese witness statements and contemporary U.S. records are too numerous to detail.    Add these discrepancies to the facts the Vietnamese acknowledged their "survival into captivity," and the Project X study included them among the 57 American who could "Possibly …. Be alive" one is left to wonder….. What exactly happened to Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters.

Another case very familiar to the National Alliance of Families is that of Army Capt. John T. McDonnell.   Listed as Missing in Action and eventually declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.  There is no doubt that John McDonnell was a Prisoner of War.    The only question open to debate is if John McDonnell died in captivity or survives today.

The Vietnamese have provided varying stories on McDonnell's fate.  The first; McDonnell was injured in the crash of his Cobra helicopter, was immediately captured and died the next day.  The second version has McDonnell shot while attempting to evade capture and dying of his wounds the next day.   Still a third story states the wounded McDonnell was carried on a stretcher.  While crossing a river, McDonnell fell off the stretcher, hit his head and died.  The problem with the first version of the Vietnamese story is that there is absolutely no evidence that McDonnell was injured in the crash, as no blood was found at his position within the aircraft.  Nor, was any blood found on his helmet, found outside the helicopter.   As for the second and third versions, much of the statements provided by the Vietnamese were acknowledge hearsay.  Only one witness was located who claimed to have actually participated in McDonnell's burial.    The area was excavated.   No remains were found.   According to a JTF-FA field report the witness insisted that the area excavated was the burial site, "but bombing during the war and subsequent heavy rains and flooding completely wiped out all evidence or remains or a grave site. Consequently, the witnesses claimed it would be impossible for them to more accurately locate the burial site."

However, dismissed by U.S. investigators and analysis within DPMO are the two live sighting reports correlated to Capt. McDonnell putting him alive and in captivity as late as February of 1973.   The first report was a firsthand observation, on three different occasions, between May and July of 1971, in Laos.   Based on sources description, a member of the Joint Casualty Resolution Centers stated in the "Field Comment" -- "Records indicate that source probably observed Capt. John T. McDonnell, USA (JCRC Nr. 0176).... There is an indication that McDonnell may have been captured.... McDonnell's description follows: age in 1971 was 31, height: 1.77 meters; weight 75 kilos' hair; brown; race; Caucasian; wears white silver Seiko watch and large ring on left hand."

The second and far more detailed sighting of Captain McDonnell came during the period August 1972 – February 1973, in the Ba To area of Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam.  On four occasions the source saw and spoke with "a captured American Artillery Officer... who was captured (estimated 1968-1969)."   The source described the captured American as approximately 75 inches tall, with blue eyes and blond hair. He had a high bridged nose and was thin but had a large frame. The artillery Captain had a small mole on the upper portion of his left lip and a scar approximately 1 1/2 inches long behind his left ear. Subject had two tattoos- one on his right forearm (Dragon approximately 20 CM) and the other on his upper left arm (Nude Woman with two words probably in English).  The American was married and had one girl 11 and one boy aged 5. Source states that on the four occasions he conversed with this Captain, a Sr. LT. Hinh, MR-5 (Military Region 5) interpreter, assisted him.  Source states the Captain was from Texas, the same place where President Johnson lived, and from source's imitation of the sound of his name it may be inferred that the officer's first name was John (sic)...."

How does the description of Capt. McDonnell stack up against the description provided by the source?   You decide.

Category                                     John McDonnell                        Ba To POW
                                                                                                   as described by source

First Name                                  John                                          John

Rank                                          Capt./Arty                                  Capt./Arty

Captured                                    March 6, 1969                             Captured 1968 - 1969
                                                                                                     time frame

Loss Location                            Thua Thien                                  Binh Dinh

Height                                        70"                                              75"

Weight                                       175 lbs                                        described by source as thin

Hair                                           Light Brown                                Blond

Eyes                                          Hazel                                           Blue

Scars                                         behind left ear                              behind left ear

Tattoos                                      unknown                                     2

Home of Record                        Texas                                          Texas

Married                                       Yes                                             Yes

Number of Children                     3                                                 2

                                                 Son 11,                                    

                                                  Son 9,
                                                  Daughter 8

                                                                                                     Daughter 11,
                                                                                                     Son 5

In reviewing this material one must remember that all four conversations between the Source and the Army Captain were conducted through an interpreter. Minor errors of translation may have occurred regarding the number of children. It should also be remembered that the number of children is a minor detail, which the source may have been confused on.   It is critical to remember that all major facts relating to the American "Captain" correlate to John McDonnell.   Another interesting point is that the second and far more compelling sighting between 1972 -1973 was never mentioned in the Project X study.

The report, in 1973, of a captured American with a dragon tattoo, was but the first.  In the early 1980's another source provided a limited description of an American Prisoner seen in Hanoi in 1977, who had a dragon tattoo on his forearm.   This second report of a dragon tattoo had U.S. investigators, once again looking at the case of Capt. McDonnell.  All this leaves us asking…. What are the odds of two sources reporting an American in captivity with a dragon tattoo on his forearm?

19 New POWs cases…. Captured alive….. Survived into captivity…. Yet none of the 19 were acknowledged as captured or died in captivity by the Vietnamese in January of 1973.    Today, 17 of the 19 remain unaccounted for, still listed as Missing in Action in spite of the fact that the Vietnamese have acknowledged their captivity.

We hear, in glowing terms, of Vietnamese full cooperation on the POW/MIA issue.  Yet, we continue to negotiate for new levels of that cooperation, while waiting for the Vietnamese to return men they admit were captured.

It doesn't sound like full cooperation to us.

But the documents quoted here are not Vietnamese documents.   They are U.S. documents generated by the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, based on reports from the Vietnamese, and real time intelligence.  Yet, these documents and other remain largely ignored by DPMO. 

How much more information on our unaccounted for service personnel remains available and ignored?

How many more servicemen were captured by the enemy and remain unacknowledged?

The answers are in Hanoi, the National Archives, Library of Congress and at Texas Tech.


The clock is ticking......


National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email lynn@nationalalliance.org

Bits N Pieces July 8, 2006

The National Alliance of Families mourns the passing of former POW Laird Guttersen. Laird was a true American Hero and a great friend to the POW/MIA issue. To his family and friends we offer our deepest sympathy. Cards may be sent to: Mrs. Jennifer Rude Guttersen, 141 West Vista Grande Drive, Tucson, AZ 85704.


Continued Support needed for Norman KassAs of this writing no decision has been announced with regard to the appointment of a permenant Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs. As our regular readers know, the National Alliance of Families, along with the Korea/Cold War Families of the Missing, the Korean War POW/MIA Network, the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, the POW Network, Help Free POW*MIA's Now, the Northeast POW/MIA Network, the Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action CT Forget-Me-Nots, Inc., Task Force Omega of KY, and Heart of Illinois have all endorsed Mr. Norman Kass for the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for POW/MIA Affairs.

Our voices need to be heard and we need your help. We need more faxes, letters and emails of support for the appointment of Norman Kass for the DASD position. If you’ve sent your faxes, letters and emails send another. Mr. Kass is, by far, the most qualified individual ever considered for the DASD position. His appointment will insure competent and qualified leadership at DPMO. The personal respect and trust he enjoys with POW/MIA family members will go a long way in restoring trust in DPMO.

In the past, we’ve asked you to e-mail and fax the President, the Presidential Personnel Office and the White House Liaison Office at the Pentagon. Now, we ask that you also e-contact Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Email the President at president@whitehous.gov

Use this link http://www.capwiz.com/politicsol/mail/?agencyindid=112&type=AN to send an email to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfled. There is a quick easy form that makes sending your email a snap.

Fax your letters to:

Honorable Donald Rumsfled                        Ms. Liza Wright                                        Mr. Jim O’Beirne
Secretary of Defense                                   Presidential Personnel Office                     C/O Ms. Margaret Hemenway
1000 Defense, The Pentagon                       The White House                                      White House Liaison
Washington, DC 20301                              Washington, DC 20502                             Dept of Defense
                                                                                                                                    Pentagon Rm 3D964
Fax: (703) 697-8339                                   Fax: 202-456-1121                                  Fax: 703-693-6908


Sending The Wrong Message – A little noticed Associated Press Article, dated May 27th 2006, described the contents of recently released papers belonging to Dr. Henry Kissinger. According to the AP article, "Henry Kissinger quietly acknowledged to China in 1972 that Washington could accept a communist takeover of South Vietnam if that evolved after a withdrawal of U.S. troops — even as the war to drive back the communists dragged on with mounting deaths."

"President Nixon's envoy told Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, "If we can live with a communist government in China, we ought to be able to accept it in Indochina." Kissinger's blunt remarks surfaced in a collection of papers from his years of diplomacy released Friday by George Washington University's National Security Archive. The collection was gathered from documents available at the government's National Archives and obtained through the research group's declassification requests."

"Kissinger's comments appear to lend credence to the "decent interval" theory posed by some historians who say the United States was prepared to see communists take over Saigon as long as that happened long enough after a U.S. troop departure to save face."

"But Kissinger cautioned in an interview Friday against reaching easy conclusions from his words of more than three decades ago. "One of my objectives had to be to get Chinese acquiescence in our policy," he told The Associated Press. "We succeeded in it, and then when we had achieved our goal, our domestic situation made it impossible to sustain it," he said, explaining that he meant Watergate and its consequences."

"....The meeting with Zhou took place in Beijing on June 22, 1972, during stepped-up U.S. bombing and the mining of harbors meant to stall a North Vietnam offensive that began in the spring. China, Vietnam's ally, objected to the U.S. course but was engaged in a historic thaw of relations with Washington."

"Kissinger told Zhou the United States respected its Hanoi enemy as a "permanent factor" and probably the "strongest entity" in the region. "And we have had no interest in destroying it or even defeating it," he insisted.

"He complained that Hanoi had made one demand in negotiations that he could never accept — that the U.S. force out the Saigon government..... While America cannot make that happen, he said, "if, as a result of historical evolution it should happen over a period of time, if we can live with a communist government in China, we ought to be able to accept it in Indochina."

"Pressed by Zhou, Kissinger further acknowledged that a communist takeover by force might be tolerated if it happened long enough after a U.S. withdrawal."

".....The envoy foresaw saw the possibility of friendly relations with adversaries after a war that, by June 1972, had killed more than 45,000 Americans. "What has Hanoi done to us that would make it impossible to, say in 10 years, establish a new relationship?"


How long did it take the Chinese to relay Kissinger’s thoughts to the North Vietnamese? Is it any wonder they violated every aspect of the Paris Peace Accords, chose not to account for POWs known to be in their custody, failed to acknowledge others they held and moved on the South Vietnamese government.

Almost 2,000 men died between Kissinger’s trip to China and the signing of the Peace Accords in January 1973.


19 New POW Cases

Part II

Clarification – The memos written by Sedgwick Tourison during his tenure as an investigator with the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs are part of a series of memos dealing with the "numbers." The numbers in question related to how many POWs may have been captured but not acknowledged by the Vietnamese.

Both the July 22nd and August 1st memos were addressed to "FAZ" as in Frances A. Zwenig, chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee. Ms. Zwenig was often seen during the hearings sitting behind committee chairman Senator John Kerry, and on many occasions was seen whispering in his ear, during a hearing. The information gathered by Mr. Tourison was presented at highest level of the committee.

Attached to the August 1st memo was a draft letter addressed to Alan Patak, International Security Affairs - Dept. of Defense. The letter was to be signed jointly by Senator John Kerry, as Chairman and Senator Bob Smith, as Vice Chairman. We don’t know if the letter was sent or if a response was received.

The first paragraph of Tourison’s draft letter answers one of the many questions we’ve received since our June 24 newsletter. Who provided the information on captured and survival in captivity?

The first paragraph of the letter, to be signed by Senators Kerry and Smith stated: "It has come to our attention that over the last several years, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center and/or Joint Task Force Full Accounting (JTFFA) have received information from witnesses in Vietnam that some American servicemen declared dead while in a missing status actually survived into captivity. In some cases this information has come from Vietnamese officials who are acknowledging for the first time that some Americans not previously confirmed captured alive did in fact survive into captivity but later died. This appears to represent a significant breakthrough and this Committee needs to learn more about such cases, a preliminary list of which is attached."

Mr Tourison was confident enough in the information to recommend the committee issue a formal request for additional information. Among the questions asked was... "What is the Defense Department's policy regarding casualty reclassification of individuals declared dead while missing when information is received from witnesses that they died while captured?"

Another concern expressed by readers is Mr. Tourison’s well known opinion that no POWs were alive in Vietnam after Operation Homecoming concluded in 1973. This opinion, which we totally disagree with, does not preclude him from issuing a memo stating that men previously listed as died while missing were in fact captured. While the August 1st memo clearly state the men named "survived into captivity," it also states; "there is evidence that death occurred in captivity and during the war."

With regard to the 19 New POWs, Mr. Tourison observed; "the majority are South Vietnam cases which occurred in an area and at a time that survivors would have been moved to one of the several well (sic) camps in the western portion of Central Vietnam. None were seen there and none were seen in North Vietnam, supporting the hypothesis that they did not survive for long in captivity."

Let’s look at two of the statements made by Mr. Tourison in that last paragraph. The first... "they did not survive for long in captivity." Yet, Mr. Tourison’s July 22nd memo, stated "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Lieutenant Egan was captured alive and has reported that he died in captivity in December 1968."

Lt. Egan was captured January 21st 1966. Egan was never seen in any of the known POW camps by any of the returned POWs. So, where was he held during his almost three years of captivity?

Today, the Egan case is considered active and is listed as "urgent" on the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) web site. According to the JPAC web site: " The URGENT list includes all unaccounted-for casualties from all conflicts, including WWII, where we currently lack an FRS (Family Reference Sample) but have a specific need for an FRS in relation to active casework. These are cases where the JPAC CIL already has remains (recovered or received) that might represent the casualties listed. There is a real possibility that casualties that are listed in this category could be identified and a real certainty that an FRS provided for the listed casualties will be used to contribute to the forensic analysis of unidentified remains. A listing here does not guarantee an identification. For example, the CIL might have recovered five sets of remains and can only narrow the list to twenty missing service members. In such a case we would request all twenty FRS but only five identifications can result."

Are James Egan’s remains awaiting identification at CIL-HI? Will the truth ever be known about Egan’s captivity and death? Only time with tell.

The second statement deals with the well known policy to move American’s captured in Quang Ngai to "one of the several well (sic) camps in the western portion of Central Vietnam." As no returned POW ever reported seeing James Egan, perhaps another camp existed in the western portion of Central Vietnam, unknown to U.S. Intelligence. The existence of an unknown camp in Central Vietnam would certainly explain how someone "survived into captivity" yet was never seen by any of the returned POWs.

One CIA document dated July 1967, reports the capture of 4 men on April 21st 1967. The four were captured on the Thuong Hoa River by a Binh Son District VC main force. A second report stated the four Americans had been captured at a "secret tunnel" and were to be moved to a western area." There is no doubt that the four men are Tom Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Danny Nidds and David Winters. They are the only four men to disappear on April 21, 1967 on the Thuong Hoa River in the Binh Son District. Knowing that they "survived into captivity" as stated in Tourison’s August 1st 1992 memo, adds weight to the second report that they were to "be moved to a western area."

In spite of the information contained in Tourison’s 1992 memos, the Defense POW/MIA Office has steadfastly maintained that the four were killed during an ambush. They dismissed the CIA report of capture stating: "the informant reported what is obviously hearsay."

Every witness interviewed by JTF-FA investigators reported the men shot and killed during the ambush. It was based on these witness interviews that this case was declared fate determined. Yet, somewhere within either DIA or JTF-FA files are the documents on which Tourison included Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds, and Winters in the group of 19 New POW Cases, men who "survived into captivity."

Another question asked by a family member of one of the 19 New POW Cases is why didn’t this information come out during the life of Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs?

Imagine the furor had the committee announced it had uncovered the existence of 19 new POW cases. Men, who by the Vietnamese own admission, "survived into captivity." How would such information effect the push for trade and diplomatic relations with Vietnam? Had this information gone public back in 1992 or 1993, when the committee issued its final report, efforts to establish trade and eventually diplomatic relations with Vietnam would have come to a screeching halt! With media attention focused on the activities of the SSC, the announcement that 19 servicemen had "survived into captivity" and only two of the 19 had been recovered would have caused a national furor. How would the Vietnamese explain they never listed any of these men as captured, never listed them as having died in captivity

For more than two decades, Vietnam denied any knowledge as to the fate of Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds. Then in 1992, JTF-FA investigators were shown a display at the Da Nang Museum. There for all to see were the personnel effects of all four men. Drivers licences, shot records, ID cards, various personal papers, even a Texaco credit card belonging to Tom Mangino. All were in pristine condition, with no signs of blood or water damage. This fact always bothered the families, as the men were supposedly killed in an ambush where both guns and grenades were used and then their bodies were submerged in a river bank to avoid detection. Now we know why the personal effects were in such good condition.

But, none of the information on the 19 New POW cases was ever made public. To our knowledge only two families were ever informed that Vietnam provided information that their fathers died of wounds shortly after capture. They are the O’Grady and McDonnell families.

However, it is highly improbable that John McDonnell died of his wounds, the day after his capture. In fact, evidence indicates that Capt McDonnell survived in captivity at least to February of 1973. One source saw and spoke with a POW he identified as John. He provided a detailed description which was correlated to Captain John McDonnell.

None of this information is found in the final report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.

The final report acknowledged that "There is evidence; moreover, that indicates the possibility of survival, at least for a small number, after Operation Homecoming...." Yet, the committee did nothing to address the question.... what happened to that small number? While the 19 individuals named in the July 22nd and August 1st 1992 memos were added either to the Vessey or Last Known Alive lists, there was no specific mention that these 19 were New POW Cases, or that Vietnam acknowledged they "survived into captivity."

Even the case summaries, included in the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs final report, failed to reveal the depth of information held on the 19. Nowhere is that failure more visible then in the case summary of of Sgt. Donald S. Newton. It reads:

"On February 26, 1966, Sergeant Newton and Private First Class Willis were members of a long range reconnaissance patrol. They departed their patrol base on a short mission and were never seen again. After their disappearance, information was received that two U.S. servicemen had been captured during a firefight. One of the two was killed and the second, named "Newton," had been found wounded and captured alive.

Both were deceased missing in action. Neither was classified as captured and after Operation Homecoming were declared dead, body not recovered. Neither of their remains have been repatriated.

In August 1990, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed witnesses in Vietnam who described the ambush of two Americans. One was shot and killed, his body left behind on a river sandbank. The second was taken prisoner. Enroute to a higher headquarters the Viet Cong unit found itself having to move to avoid detection from a U.S. heliborne operation. The American prisoner, believed to possibly correlate with Sergeant Newton, was shot and killed to ensure the unit could move and avoid detection. A grave site of the dead American was identified but no remains could be located. In March 1991, U.S. field investigators interviewed another witness who provided generally similar information concerning the killing and burial of an American which correlated well to this incident." End Summary

The SSC case summary is lengthier than the case description found within the July 22nd 1992 Tourison Memo. Yet, it does not carry the weight of the simple declarative sentence issued by Tourison. "Vietnam has now acknowledged that Sergeant Newton was captured alive and taken to Hospital 102 of Military Region 5. His eventual fate has not yet been determined."

Yet the case summary published as part of the findings of the SSC report, in 1993, implies little question as to fate. Left unmentioned is that fact that Newton was alive and taken to Hospital 102 in Military Region 5 (Quang Ngai Province.) It is also interesting to note that the case summary found in the final report is almost verbatum to a case summary attached to the August 1st memo. While the memo spoke of capture and being taken to Hospital 102 of Military Region 5, the case summary ,which was eventually made part of the public record, never mentions that fact.

James Egan’s case summary ignores the fact that the Vietnamese admitted holding him, and that he died in captivity, in December 1968. almost three year after his capture.

The great value of the Tourison memos is that they resurrect men long listed, by U.S. officials,
as have having died in their incident.
Men, Vietnam claimed they had no knowledge of.
Now, all we need to do is determine when or if these men died,
where they or their remains are and how to get
Vietnam to finally "fully cooperate" by returning the men we know and they admit died in their hands.


The full text of the July 22 and August 1, 1992 Tourison Memos may be viewed on our web site at:



The National Alliance of Families has long been involved in the cases of Tom Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Danny Nidds, David Winters and John McDonnell. To learn more about these cases visit our web site.

For the Mangino Group visit www.nationalalliance.org/four/index.htm

For McDonnell visit www.nationalalliance.org/mcd/jtm-00.htm

For more on the 19 New POW Cases visit www.nationalalliance.org/vietnam/19cases.htm


Why does Johnie Webb still have a job?


The clock is ticking...................


National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea ---- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email lynn@nationalalliance.org

August 19, 2006 Bits N Pieces

DASD for POW/MIA Affairs - Multiple sources are telling us that a decision has been made with regard to the appointment of the next Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs. An announcement could come at any moment. We are also hearing that the announcement may be made to coincide with POW/MIA Recognition Day.

As our regular readers know the National Alliance of Families, along with the Korea/Cold War Families of the Missing, the Korean War POW/MIA Network, the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, the POW Network, Help Free POW*MIA's Now, the Northeast POW/MIA Network, the Prisoner of War/ Missing in Action CT Forget-Me-Nots, Inc., Task Force Omega of KY, and Heart of Illinois, have all endorsed Mr. Norman Kass for the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for POW/MIA Affairs.

We’ve all made our calls, sent our faxes and e-mails..... Now all we can do is wait.


Lt. Theodore Watson U.S. Army Korea.... Killed in Action or POW – According to the 5th Edition of the Gulag Study, there were several reports of an American named Watson held in Soviet Gulag’s. According to the Gulag Study;

"On 15 October 1957, a Polish witness visited the American Consulate in Strasbourg, France. He stated he was held in a prison camp in Bulun until July 1957 and reported seeing the following Americans:

Watson, an American professor of physics captured in Vienna,

Dick Rozbicki, an American soldier captured during the Korean War,

Stanley Warner, an American soldier captured during the Korean War, and

Jan Sorrow, an American soldier captured during the Korean War."

"On September 20, 1957, two Polish witnesses visited the American Consulate in Genoa, Italy. Both men claimed to have been WWII POWs held captive in Bulun Camp 217. They had escaped on May 6, 1957. They claimed to have made their way across the USSR, Rumania, and Yugoslavia, entering Italy on September 18, 1957. They reported that two men, who claimed to be American army officers captured during the Korean War, had been transferred to Bulun Camp 217 from another camp on July 24,1955. The men were: Stanley Rosbicki, approximately 24 years old, of Buffalo, New York and Jack Watson, 38 or 39, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both were infantry lieutenants."

"On September 5, 1960, a Polish witness visited the American Embassy, Brussels, Belgium. He stated he had been imprisoned in Bulun Camp 307 for seven and a half years and was released on May 1, 1960. He reported seeing two U.S. Army personnel captured in Korea: Ted Watson, an infantry lieutenant, and Fred Rosbiki, a commando or paratroop sergeant."

"A Catholic priest visited the U.S. Embassy in Paris on July 11, 1958 to report an interview he had recently conducted with a former Polish Gulag prisoner. The prisoner told the priest that he had recently escaped from North Siberia where he had been held in Bulun Camp 315. He claimed to have been acquainted with two Americans in the same camp: a chaplain, John Westley, captured in Korea in 1952, and a lieutenant, Stanley Rosbicki, from New York. The witness further advised the priest that the two Americans, who appeared to be in good health, had requested that he convey this information to the American authorities for transmittal to their families."


Let’s take a closer look at the September 5 1960, report, on Ted Watson. The source, Richard Romanowski, described Watson as a 38 year old Army Infantry Lieutenant. His date of birth was either April 12 or 13. Watson was not married. He was from Buffalo and had a mother, father and two sisters. Rosbiki was described as a commando or paratrooper. His grandparents were Polish emigres. His father was dead and he had two sisters who lived on Liberty Street in Chicago. Both men, according to Romanowski were captured in 1951 and believed their families thought them dead.

Neither Theodore Watson or Fred/Dick/or Stanley Rosbiki are listed either as a Prisoner of War or Missing in Action as a result of action in Korea. Yet the multi-source reporting of both men can not be a coincidence.

A Theodore Stanley Watson was found on the list of servicemen killed in the Korean War. An Army Infantry 2nd Lt., Watson is listed as Killed in Action, February 23, 1951. His home city of record is listed as Brooklyn, NY and his date of birth was March 11, 1924. Watson had a mother, father and brother. Watson was married and he and his wife lived in Long Island, NY.

Records show that Lt. Theodore S. Watson was buried in the Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale L.I., in September 1951, some six months after his date of loss.

Does Ted Watson lay beneath the stone marking his grave or did he survive at least until 1960 in a Soviet Gulag?


Recovery Operation in South Korea - Korea Times, August 3, 2006, – "South Korea and the United States Thursday began work to excavate the remains of U.S. soldiers from the 1950-53 Korean War, the Army said Thursday. The excavation work is the first since the two sides signed an accord in 2000."

"The joint search team will conduct the month-long work in four areas - Seoul, Chilgok in North Kyongsang Province, Changnyong in South Kyongsang Province and Chongok in Kyonggi Province, the Army said in a statement. "About 10 sets of the American solders remains are believed to be buried in those areas," an Army spokesman said. ``We want to recognize the dead for their devotion and acknowledge their families through the recovery of the remains."


Ex-POW Aids Search for Soldier's Remains, – Stars and Stripes Pacific Edition, August 20th 2006, by Erik Slavin – "Gyeonggi Province, South Korea — Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph L. Annello is in the midst of a trip back in time. He was held as a prisoner of war by the Chinese here more than 50 years ago. Today, he's back to help find the remains of a fellow prisoner."

"Annello's story began on April 24, 1951, when two divisions of Chinese soldiers with heavy artillery advanced on the then-sergeant's company during the height of the Korean War. Two days before, the Chinese had begun their offensive against the Kansas line, which ran a few miles north of the 38th Parallel dividing the two Koreas.

While fighting the larger force the best he could, Annello remembers a bullet striking his leg. A grenade exploded as he fell, sending metal fragments into his back."

"The next morning, a Chinese soldier prodded me with a bayonet," Annello said. "He motioned me to get up, but I couldn't." When the Chinese forced a group of 20 prisoners to march, Sgt. Hiroshi Miyamura carried Annello about 15 miles before he was ordered to drop him. Miyamura apologized. Annello understood."

"They figured I wasn't worth the price of a bullet, so they left me there," he said. Two days later, another Chinese unit loaded him on a pushcart and carried him to an outpost where five other prisoners of war shared a shack with barnyard animals. Although they were prisoners at a medical unit, they received no food or care."

The Chinese allowed the one prisoner who could walk to get them water from the river each day. For more than a month, they survived on "roots, dandelions and anything else we thought was edible." During that time, one of the soldiers died from his injuries. The remaining prisoners buried him."

Fifty-five years later, Annello is back at the scene. It looks far greener and a flood has sloped the land but he still remembers several features of the property. After the soldier died, the prisoners knew they had to find a way to escape. While fetching water one night, Air Force 2nd Lt. Melvin Shadduck dove in the river and swam for three days before making contact with the 5th Cavalry Regiment. Shortly after, five tanks surrounded the encampment and whisked Annello and the others to safety."

"Three years later, Annello picked up a copy of Newsweek and saw a picture of Miyamura, the man who had carried him, being awarded the Medal of Honor. Annello traveled to Gallup, N.M., and found his comrade in arms. "You're dead!" Miyamura said, stunned but elated. "No, I'm not," Annello said with a smile. Annello remained in the Army until 1970, retiring as command sergeant major of U.S. Forces Japan."


19 New POW Cases

Part III

The documents found this past spring in the Sedgwick D. Tourison Collection at Texas Tech University raises many troubling questions. The questions that leap out at us are: How long and where were these men held?

In the case of Lt. James T. Egan USMC, the Vietnamese provided the answer to the second part of our question. According to the Vietnamese, Lt. Egan died in captivity in December 1968. Captured January 21st 1966, Egan was held as a Prisoner of War for 2 years, ten months and an unknown number of days. Yet, no returned POW ever reported seeing Egan in captivity.

Where did the Viet Cong hold him? We can't answer that question. We can tell you where they didn't hold him. According to the case summary published in the Report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Lt. Egan and Marine Cpl. Edwin "Russ" Grissett disappeared from the same patrol, one day apart.

The following is excerpted for the Senate Report:

[Begin Summary] According to the Lieutenant Egan was serving as Artillery Forward Observer with a patrol element of the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. Their patrol was fired upon, and after the skirmish, Lieutenant Egan could not be located. The next day Lance Corporal Edwin R. Grissett, Jr. (Case 0236) was also declared missing when he became separated from the same patrol.


In April 1966, information was received that both Grissett and Egan were captured alive from a South Vietnamese Popular Force soldier who had just escaped from Viet Cong captivity. The soldier asserted that Corporal Grissett told him Lieutenant Egan was wounded and later shot by the Viet Cong. Another report was received from a different source that an American with an individual correlating to Corporal Grissett had been shot and killed.

Corporal Grissett told him Lieutenant Egan was wounded and later shot by the Viet Cong. Another report was received from a different source that an American with an individual correlating to Corporal Grissett had been shot and killed.

Corporal Grissett was reclassified as POW during the war, but Lieutenant Egan was not. Neither were accounted-for at the end of Operation Homecoming, after which both were declared dead/body not recovered. Corporal Grissett's remains were repatriated and identified in June 1989.

In August 1990, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed eight witnesses concerning the capture of the two Marines. The information they provided did not lead to the recovery of any remains of Lieutenant Egan.

[End Summary]

Russ Grissett was taken to a Quang Ngai POW Camp and held with other American POWs. Egan was never seen in that camp or any other camp. Yet, he was held as a POW for almost three years. Did he travel with the Viet Cong, as their prize to be exhibited from village to village? Highly unlikely. Or was he held in a second tier POW camp, a camp no one came home from? Both the U.S. and Vietnamese deny the existence of a second tier prison system. If we are to believe that no second tier prison system existed, where was Lt. Egan held for his 2 years, 10 months and unknown number of days in captivity?

As detailed in our newsletters of June 24th and July 8, two memos written in 1992 by Sedgwick Tourison an investigator with the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, reported that the Vietnamese had acknowledged the capture of 19 servicemen the U.S. carried in the status of Missing in Action. One memo described the 19 as having "survived into captivity." Of the 19, only two Robert Greer and Fred Schreckengost have been accounted for with the return of remains and questions surround the Schreckengost identification. The cases of the 17 remaining servicemen who "survived into captivity" have been declared "fate determined." As of this writing those "fate determinations" were made without benefit of remains.

On July 22nd 1992, the very same day Sedgwick Tourison wrote his first memo stating; "My review of JCRC casualty files has surfaced several messages which list a total of nine American servicemen Vietnam has acknowledged were captured alive, all of whom are listed by DOD as having been declared dead while missing. None are officially listed as ever having been a POW," the committees’s Chief of Staff Frances Zwenig was writing a memo of her own.

The topic of Zwenig’s memo was her recent trip to "Thailand, Vietnam and Laos." The memo itself is of little value. However the attachments are of great interest. Specifically, it is the July 17th cable from Joint Task Force Full Accounting Detachment Three Vientiane. The cable describes Zwenig’s July 14 - 15th meeting with "Mr. Le Mai and other high ranking Vietnamese officials." The main topic of the meeting... accounting for the 135 servicemen listed as Last Known Alive.

In her meetings, Ms. Zwenig made it clear she was representing the views of committee chairman Senator John F. Kerry. According to the cable: "She said that the Senate Select Committee looked at DOD records and identified the names of 244 missing Americans who did not return at Homecoming, and 111 who died in captivity. She added that the committee asked DOD to research the remaining 133 names hoping to reduce the list, but DOD did not respond in time for the hearings. She remarked that for the most part, the 133 names are the Vessey 135 and that she understood the SRV’s confusion on what Senator Kerry said at the conclusion of the hearing. She said Senator Kerry believes that the Vessey cases can be resolved by the recovery and identification of remains, through records, from witnesses of deaths, or some combination of these. She said that Senator Kerry believes SRV explanations of deaths could be based upon past policies and inadequate records in the South."

With an accounting method provided by the Committee’s chief of Staff, that did not require identifiable remains, the Vietnamese now had a way of dealing with that pesky problem of men captured but not returned, without the bother of actually recovering and returning them.

During Zwenig’s trip to Vietnam, normalization was a hot topic of conversation. The Vietnamese expressed their opinion that the U.S. was not moving fast enough toward recognition. Ms. Zwening stated that the Committee had no control over the decision to normalize. According to the message traffic, "Ms Zwenig explained the mission of the Senate Select Committee is to produce a better accounting of POWs since WW II and that the fall of the USSR has aided the SSC mission. She added that the SSC cannot deal with aid to the SRV and that Senator Kerry see the SSC as a way to bring this issue to a close."

In reviewing 2 of the cases involving 5 of the 19 servicemen who "survived into captivity" we found several interesting reports that conform to what we can only call the "Kerry Method" of accounting.

Various Vietnamese witnesses reported that Army Capt. John McDonnell, injured his arm in the crash and subsequently died of that injury, injured his leg and subsequently died of that injury, was shot while attempting to evade capture and subsequently died of that injury, was injured either in the crash or during capture and while being transported fell of his stretcher hit his head and died, and last but not least was killed during an American bombing raid. These various "witness" statements allowed a determination of fate to be made in the McDonnell case, without the recovery of remains.

Among the first victims of the "Kerry Method" of accounting and by far the most public are Thomas Mangino, Paul Hasenbeck, Daniel Nidds and David Winters. The four, included in the Tourison Memo of August 1st 1992, as "survived into captivity." In a much publicized trip to Hanoi in November 1992, some 2 ½ months after Tourison wrote his memo, which stated the four had "survived into captivity," Senator John Kerry was presented with the diary of Col. Pham Duc Dia. In his diary, Dia detailed the ambush, killing and burial of the four. To the media he described how he participated in the ambush. Several years later in the book "Hanoi’s Secret Archives" Dia is quoted by the author stating he participated in the burial of the four and could lead U.S. investigators to the burial site, but no one had asked.

The problem.... Dia lied. He did not participate in the ambush, killing or any of the two exhumations or burials supposedly conducted under the nose of American search teams. Ignored is a CIA report from sources evaluated as "possibly true" that the four were captured and there were plans to move them westward. DPMO ignored this CIA report saying it was hearsay. According to DPMO the source reporting was accurate but the information reported was wrong. It would also seem that the Vietnamese admission, as described in the Tourison memo that the four "survived into captivity," was also ignored.

Without the requirement of identifiable remains, or any remains at all, the door was opened for a new level of creative accounting, which accepted questionable Vietnamese witness statements and ignored U.S. intelligence reports of capture.

Zwenig’s trip paved the way for the Kerry trip in November of 1992 and the public accounting for of Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters. When hearings resumed in December 1992, Kerry bragged how he had gotten an accounting on these four men. Yet, within the committees own records, that statement was known to be untrue. Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters "survived into captivity."


Why Does Johnie Webb Still Have His Job?


National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email lynn@nationalalliance.org

New DASD - President Bush appointed Ambassador Charles Ray to fill the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs. We wish Ambassador Ray well in his new position.


POW/MIA Recognition Day - September 15th veterans and concerned citizens nationwide paused to remember our POWs and MIAs from World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam and our two Gulf Wars. In reviewing media coverage, this year we found few articles that made specific reference to either Navy Capt. Scott Speicher and Army Sgt. Matt Maupin. This is a sampling of what we found:

From The American Forces Press Service by Donna Miles - "Navy Capt. Scott Speicher, a Gulf War pilot, remains missing since his plane was shot down in Iraq in January 1991. Army Reserve Sgt. Keith "Matt" Maupin is the only U.S. servicemember missing in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Insurgents captured Maupin April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy came under attack at Baghdad International Airport."

From The Journal News by Bill Hughes – "One service member is listed as missing in action from the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and Ohio resident Keith "Matt" Maupin remains the only missing serviceman from the current Operation Iraqi Freedom."

From NewJersey.com by Oshrat Carmiel – "By the Pentagon's tally, the unaccounted for include 8,100 servicemen from the Korean War; 1,801 servicemen from the Vietnam War; 78,000 from World War II; one serviceman from the Persian Gulf War and one, Sgt. Matt Maupin of Ohio, who is still missing from the current war in Iraq."

Is there anyone out there, besides the bureaucrats at the Department of Defense who do not grasp the  concept that this man is a Prisoner of War, or that Scott Speicher is a Prisoner of War.

U.S. Government Gave Viet Cong Prisoners Higher Status Than Speicher and Maupin – For more that five years we have been writing about the fact that the use of the designation/status Prisoner of War had been eliminated from the most recent (December 2000) Controlling Directive. First we were told that the POW designation had not been eliminated. However, it didn’t apply to then PFC Maupin, as he was captured by insurgents. We pointed out that the Viet Cong were an insurgency. Yet, service members captured by the Viet Cong were considered POWs.

We asked DPMO for a copy of the Directive that provided a POW designation for captured service personnel. We were told it would be forthcoming. We were told it was in the mail. Then we were told it didn’t exist.

We asked why Scott Speicher who was captured by the recognized Army of a recognized government was not designated POW. We pressed and we pressed. Then finally we were told that the United States Government never had a POW designation. POW was an international designation provided by the Geneva Conventions to captured service personnel. The domenstic designation for captured service personnel is, was and always had been "Missing/Captured."

We acknowledged that documents in individual case files, on occasion, used the word "captured." However, we had never seen a document referring to a captured service member as "Missing/Captured." In our May 5th 2005 edition of Bits, (www.nationalalliance.org/naf2005/050507.htm ) we provided page after page of official government documents showing the use of the designation/status Prisoner of War (POW.)

We challenged DPMO to produce one document from available case files using the designation "Missing/Captured." To date, none has been produced. We’ve discussed and debated the point privately with more than one DPMO official. In our most recent conversation, the conversation boiled down to..... "the lawyers... the lawyers...."

You probably never heard of Major General George S. Prugh, Jr., USA Ret. He passed away this past July at the age of 86. In an article on his passing, Rachel Gordon of the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote: [Begin excerpt] "Retired Army Maj. Gen. George S. Prugh Jr., a Bay Area resident who was credited with helping to save the lives of American prisoners of war in Vietnam, died July 6 at the age of 86."

"Maj. Gen. Prugh, in his role as an Army lawyer, persuaded the South Vietnamese ambassador to grant POW status to Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War. The U.S.-backed designation gave the enemy combatants international protections and set humane standards for their treatment under the Geneva Conventions."

"Prugh realized that if the South Vietnamese continued to treat the Viet Cong as criminals and dealt with them in their own way that there was no way the captured Americans would survive,'' said retired Col. Fred Borch, a historian with the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps, the legal arm of the service." [End Excerpt]

No uniforms, no recognized government, no country, yet American service members captured by the Viet Cong were recognized as Prisoner of War.

No uniforms, no recognized government, no country, yet members of Viet Cong captured by both U.S. and South Vietnamese forces were recognized as Prisoners of War.

Today, Scott Speicher captured by a recognized army of a recognized government, and Matt Maupin captured by an insurgency not unlike the Viet Cong are listed as "Missing/Captured."

The National Alliance of Families continues to maintain its opposition to the use of the ambigious designation of "Missing/Captured" for servicemember who like Speicher and Maupin are clearly Prisoners of War.

We realize our enemies violate the rules of international law and the Geneva Conventions regarding the care and treatment of captured American Service Personnel. Termonology will not change that. Termonology does change world perception regarding the value we place on our captured personnel. In the eyes of the enemy, doesn’t it downgrade the worth of a battered American service member displayed on television worldwide for the Dept. of Defense to designate him or her "Missing/Captured" rather than Prisoner of War?


19 New POW Cases

Part IV

One of the things that surprised us most about the composition of Sedgwick Tourison’s list of New POW Cases was the number of crossovers from the Project X study. For our reader who may not be familiar with Project X, it was a study initiated by the Joint Casualty Resolution Center in 1975 and completed in 1976. Its purpose was to "evaluate the possibility of any of the unaccounted for being alive"

The study concluded: "There is a possibility as many as 57 Americans could be alive, although it is highly probable that the number is much smaller, possibly zero." An addendum to the Project X cover letter included a summary of each case. Within that case summary is a listing of intelligence reports used in the Project X evaluation. We have long been convinced that there was more intelligence reporting used in the Project X evaluations than was cited in the study. In some cases we have located some of that unnamed intelligence reporting.

Of the 19 New POW Cases named in the Tourison memo of August 1, 1992, ten are named in the Project X study. They are Robert Greer, Fred Schreckengost, Fredric Mellor, Gregory Harris, John O’Grady, Paul Hasenbeck, Thomas Mangino, Daniel Nidds, David Winters, and John McDonnell. Of these ten, only Greer and Schreckengost are considered remains returned and identified.

Today, we are going to take a quick look at the case of Fredric Mellor. The following is excerpted from the Project X Case Summary:

"1. On 13 August 1965 Capt Frederick M. Mellor departed Udorn RTAFB in an RF101, (#56-0186), as the flight leader of a flight of two aircraft to conduct photo and visual reconnaissance of a suspected surface-to-air missile (SAM) site in North Vietnam. During the flight over the target area Capt Mellor's aircraft was damaged by hostile ground fire. His radio became inoperative and the wingman noticed a fire in the nose wheel-well area of the flight leader's aircraft. Capt Mellor, using hand signals, instructed his wingman to assume the lead. The wingman did assume the lead and noticed that Capt Mellor was in a good close, wing position for weather penetration; the weather was very poor with layered clouds from the ground to 35,000 feet.

2. After a short time in the lead position, the wingman turned to check the damaged aircraft, and it was missing. An immediate search was begun, but Capt Mellor could not be found. Search and rescue facilities were alerted, and additional RF101 pilots established radio beeper signals and voice contact with Capt Mellor. Capt Mellor indicated that he was all right and that the search aircraft had flown right over him. On the first search the helicopters were unable to locate Capt Mellor. On the second search one of the RF101 pilots who had made the radio contact with Capt Mellor on the ground went along in the backseat of an AlE. On this search a strong beeper was heard. Capt Mellor was instructed not to give his position away; to turn his beeper off; and to await helicopter pick up. When the helicopter was two miles away, broadcast instructions were given to Capt Mellor to throw out flares for marking the pick-up point. No flares were seen and no further contact was made with Capt Mellor. Search was continued until darkness that day, (3 August), and for the next two days an expanded area was searched but Capt Mellor could not be found. (Ref 1)"[End Project X Excerpt]

By now, we are all familiar with the wording of Tourison’s August 1, 1992 memo which referred to the 19 men named as "individuals DOD now has information survived into captivity." In a breakdown of the 19 names, Tourison referred to Fredric Mellor as having "died in captivity of wounds suffered in combat." Yet, the Project X Study stated Mellor was in voice contact with Search and Rescue and "indicated that he was all right."

Was Mellor injured during an attempt to evade capture? Or, were the wounds suffered in combat simply a Vietnamese excuse to account for Capt. Mellor under the "Kerry Method" which only required a Vietnamese witness and a lost grave site.

No doubt Capt. Mellor was buried in a grave that was disturbed by animals, buried on a sandbar and lost due to flooding, buried in a flooded field or destroyed by U.S. bombing. We recently found a notation in the case summary of Navy Lt. Kelly Patterson discussing the mounting number of lost graves. Expressing his frustration with the Vietnamese over the failure to identify a grave site for Patterson, one analyst wrote: "In numerous recent reports the VNOSMP (Vietnamese Office Seeking Missing Persons) have stated that graves containing remains of U.S. personnel have been destroyed by wild beasts, natural calamities, reforming of the terrain, and U.S. bombings. The mounting incidence of such alleged loss of graves borders on the incredible. This report contains still another such claim."

The 19 individuals named in the Tourison Memo were all part of the Senate Select Committees 135 Last Known Alive Cases. However, we have been unable to find any public mention, in the Committee report, that the Vietnamese acknowledged these individuals "survived into captivity." This leaves us with a glaring unanswered question.

Tourison wrote his memo of August 1 1992, along with a letter calling for a change in status from MIA to POW for the 19 named in his memo. He recommended the letter signed by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Bob Smith (R-NH) as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. The memo was sent to the committees Staff Director Frances Zwenig. This leaves us with several glaring unanswered questions.

What happened to the Tourison Memo once it reached Zwenig’s desk? Was it forwarded to Senators Kerry and Smith? Was the letter, as written by Mr. Tourison, ever sent? If it was sent, why wasn’t it acted upon? If it wasn’t sent, why? In the published report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Frances Zwenig is acknowledged as having "presided over the full range of passions on this issue, coordinating divergent and ultimately tenuous views much of the credit for the consensus in this report."

One of those passions was Ms. Zwenig’s deep commitment to establishing trade and diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Shortly after the committee concluded its work, Ms Zwenig took a position as Vice President of the U.S./Vietnam Trade Council lobbying for the lifting of the trade embargo against Vietnam and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. We’re sure Ms. Zwenig’s efforts were made easier by the conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affair..... conclusion she helped form. We are also sure the push toward trade and normalization would have come to a screeching halt were it known that the Vietnamese now acknowledged 17 individuals as "survived into captivity" but had not accounted for them.

Perhaps that is why Senator Kerry participated in the Hanoi dog and pony show, which "accounted" for Hasenbeck, Mangino, Winters and Nidd. Witness after witness told how the four were ambushed and immediately killed and buried. This in spite of the fact that the Vietnamese government had acknowledged the four "survived into captivity."

We leave you with this question.... are the 19 New POWs named in the Tourison Memo the only individuals acknowledged as captured by the Vietnamese?


After our last newsletter, we received the following email from one family member stating: "In the National Alliance of Families Bits N Pieces, there is usually a line stating:

"Why Does Johnie Webb Still Have His Job?"

After this last Bits N Pieces, I think we should make a point of adding,

"Why Does John Kerry Still Have a Job?"


Our New Ally in the War on Terror.... Vietnam – from the Deutsche Presse Agentur, Sept. 7, 2006 - "Hanoi- US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson thanked Vietnam's prime minister Thursday for "cooperation" on requests to close down Vietnamese bank accounts controlled by North Korea. Paulson did not elaborate if the reported North Korean accounts, which would help fund the regime of totalitarian leader Kim Jong Il, had already been closed."

"Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation finance ministers meeting in Hanoi, he said he was "very pleased for their co-operation, with the Vietnamese efforts in keeping their banking system free of abuse by North Koreans or other would-be miscreants."

"... In July, the US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Stuart Levey, visited Vietnam to discuss the reported opening of 10 bank accounts by North Korea in the country."

"....The governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Le Duc Thuy, later told journalists that he had instructed Vietnamese commercial banks to check whether they had any bank accounts controlled by North Korean interests and to immediately close any that they found....."

One can only hope that Vietnamese "cooperation" in this matter is more concrete than Vietnamese "cooperation" on the POW/MIA issue.



National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email lynn@nationalalliance.org

October 21, 2006 Bits N Pieces

Continued Prayers and Get Well Wishes – needed for Steve Golding. Please send your prayers and good wishes Steve’s way. Cards may be sent to Steve Golding at 307 A Main Ave., Stirling, NJ 07980. You can also leave a message at a special blog site, set up by Mary Ann Reitano. Leave your messages for Steve at http://stevegolding.blogspot.com/


New Effort or Last Ditch Effort – On October 13th WKRC 12 Cincinnati reported on a new effort to locate Sgt. Matt Maupin, Prisoner of War in Iraq. According to the story filed by Local 12 reporter Paul Adler; "A new push by the Army to find Sergeant Matt Maupin has resulted in a paid advertisement that appeared on Iraqi television. A military official, close to the project, told Local 12 the ad produced no new leads during its run. That official also expressed doubts that Matt Maupin is alive. We want to make it clear, this military official requested his name be withheld as part of our report."

"Tonight he shows us the ad.... You may not understand the spoken words, but here's the translation. "Help heal the pain of these separated families." The ad is a plea to find Matt Maupin, but you don't see him until 15 seconds after the start. His parents don't appear for another 20 seconds....."

"An official in Iraq, close to the production of the ad, told us the men who attacked Matt's convoy are hard core opponents, very little will get them to talk. The military official told us the ad focused on Iraqis because, he says, the majority of Iraqis don't care what happens to Americans."

"Carolyn Maupin: "I'm just hoping and praying there's someone over there that's a little bit different than that. Maybe they feel a little bit differently, believe a little differently."

"Our source told us the ad produced no new leads. He went on to say it's decreasingly likely that we'll elicit information on Matt's location and increasingly likely he's dead or deceased. As you might expect, those are fighting words for Army officials who speak on the record, and they're fighting words for Matt's parents, too."

" Carolyn Maupin: "We're to keep our hope up. And praying until they can prove to us 100 percent either way. And that's what I'm going to do. And I realize we only have a 50/50 chance here, but I'm not going the low road. I'm going the high road."

"The Army's official stance is we're committed to tracking all leads. The goal is to return Staff Sergeant Matt Maupin. We have no substantiated evidence he's deceased..... While others express doubts, Matt's parents expect no less than a safe return."

"Keith Maupin: Just bring Matt home. That's all I ask from you."


Is the Army Preparing to Declare Matt Maupin Dead - Several months ago we were told, by a very well placed individual, that the Army believed Sgt. Maupin is dead and would like to change his status. We did not report this information, as we usually like a least a second source confirmation. WKRC has now confirmed that that information. While the WKRC story is soft in it’s wording, no punches were pulled when we were told the Army believes Maupin is dead. When we were told of this information, we asked why the Army had not acted, on the status. Our answer was a pointed look, with a "Well....." That trailed off into a shrug of the shoulders. Our response was "the POW/MIA groups." There was a slight nod of the head and the topic was changed. ##################

Earthquake McGoon Is Going Home – Remains of one of America’s first MIA’s in Southeast Asia have been identified as the legendary James B. McGovern Jr. better known by his nickname of "Earthquake McGoon." McGovern and his co-pilot Wallace Buford, both World War II veterans, were flying for Civil Air Transport, an airline owned and operated by the Central Intelligence Agency. Their aircraft was hit by ground fire, after a supply drop to French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. An excellent article by Richard Pyle of the Associated Press describes the man, the mission and the secrecy surrounding the loss of McGovern and Buford, America’s first casualties of the Vietnam War. Excerpts from the AP article follow:

"More than half a century after he died in the flaming crash of a CIA-owned cargo plane and became one of the first two Americans to die in combat in Vietnam, a legendary New Jersey soldier of fortune known as "Earthquake McGoon" is finally coming home."

"The skeletal remains of James B. McGovern Jr., discovered in an unmarked grave in remote northern Laos in 2002, were positively identified on Sept. 11 by laboratory experts at the U.S. military's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Hawaii....."

"Six feet and 260 pounds - huge for a fighter pilot - James McGovern Jr. carved out a flying career during and after World War II that made him a legend in Asia. An American saloon owner in China dubbed him "Earthquake McGoon," after a hulking hillbilly character in the then-popular "Li'l Abner" comic strip, and the nickname stuck."

"The Elizabeth, N.J., native died on May 6, 1954, when his C-119 "Flying Boxcar" cargo plane was hit by ground fire while parachuting a howitzer to the besieged French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. "Looks like this is it, son," McGovern radioed another pilot as his crippled plane staggered 75 miles into Laos where it finally cartwheeled into a hillside."

"Killed along with "McGoon," 31, were his co-pilot, Wallace Buford, 28, and a French crew chief. Two cargo handlers, a Frenchman and a Thai, were thrown clear and survived. Ho Chi Minh's communist forces captured

Dien Bien Phu the next day, ending a 57-day siege that had captured the world's attention in 1954. It signaled the end of French colonial power in Indochina, and helped set the stage for the 15-year "American war" that ended with the fall of the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government in 1975."

"Although civilians, the swashbuckling McGovern and Buford, an ex-World War II bomber pilot, were the first Americans to die in combat in the Asian country where war would later take nearly 60,000 American and more than a million Vietnamese lives."

"It was no mystery in 1954 that the United States was supporting colonial France against Vietnam's communist-led rebellion, and "McGoon" was already famous for his exploits when he was killed."

"The only secret was that his employer, a charter airline called Civil Air Transport, or CAT, "was owned by the CIA - lock, stock and barrel," Felix Smith, a retired CAT pilot and McGovern friend, said in an interview in 2002. The secrecy was maintained even after crash evidence was located, he said."

"The spy agency, which for decades did not acknowledge any connection, is arranging for James McGovern III to fly to Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu and escort his uncle's body home, he said. The CIA did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case...."

"McGovern first went to China in 1944, as a fighter pilot in the 14th Air Force's "Tiger Shark" squadron, descended from the famous American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers. According to Smith, he was credited with shooting down four Japanese Zero fighter planes and destroying five on the ground."

"At war's end in 1945, McGovern signed on with CAT, which was under contract to Chiang Kai-Shek's Chinese nationalist regime, then fighting a civil war against Mao Zedong's communists."

"Captured by communist troops after a forced landing, "McGoon" was freed six months later. Colleagues joked that his captors simply got tired of feeding him. CAT moved to Taiwan after Chiang's 1949 defeat. In 1950 it was secretly acquired by the CIA, and continued to fly commercially as a cover for clandestine activities. Three years later it was detailed by the Eisenhower administration to Indochina, flying supply missions for the French with its planes' insignia painted out. Ultimately, CAT morphed into Air America, the "CIA airline" that operated in Laos and South Vietnam during the second Vietnam war."

"McGovern's exact fate was unknown until a French visitor learned of the crash during a 1959 visit to the Laotian village of Ban Sot. That report was suppressed by the CIA, Smith said, but after a private historian found it in French files years later, a group of former CAT pilots led by Smith persuaded the CIA to back a search effort. The CIA-CAT connection was finally declassified in the 1990s."

"In 1997, an American MIA team investigating an unrelated case found a C-119 propeller at Ban Sot, and William Forsyth, a JPAC photo analyst, spotted possible graves in aerial photos. Excavation in 2002 uncovered remains that turned out to be McGovern's."

"JPAC experts are still seeking the remains of co-pilot Buford, one of 35 civilians among 1,797 Americans still unaccounted for in Indochina, said Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green, a JPAC spokeswoman.


19 New POW Cases Part V

Donald S. Newton was a member of a Long Range Reconnisance Patrol (LRRP) when he and Francis D. Willis went missing on February 26, 1966. Both men were listed as Missing in Action, in spite of the fact that Newton was reported, by name, alive and in enemy hands. Government records state that at approximately 0745, on February 26th, Newton and Willis "Left the patrol to conduct a routine reconnaissance out from the patrol area, a distance not to exceed 250 meters and then return. By 1300 hours, they had not returned to the patrol area, search teams were sent to look for the two missing men. Again, on 27 Feb 66 search parties were sent to look for the individuals but with negative results."

On March 24th, ARVN (Army Republic of Vietnam) officer Lt. Tran Tien, provided information obtained from a source. According to Lt. Tien’s report; On 28 February 1966 two Americans approached from the north to grid coordinates BQ97733763. They dug a two man foxhole where they remained for the duration of the night of 28 February 1966. At approximately 0700 hours on 1 March 1966, an L-19 airplane flew over. The Americans signaled the airplane with three red smoke grenades. The Vietnamese Communists (Viet Cong) (VC) had apparently been watching them from the time they arrived at BQ977373 until they threw the smoke granedes. The VC realizing they were in trouble then attacked the two Americans killing Willis and wounding the Caucasian...... The Caucasian was taken prisoner, given medical attention, interrogated, and then paraded before the local (word unreadable) for the purpose of propaganda.... the VC held the Caucasian in the area until the morning of 3 March 1966 when they moved him south... prior to moving the American they dressed him in a khaki uniform...."

The source described the captured American as Caucasian, 5'8" or 5'9", thin build with hair described as red or blond. He was wearing a camouflage uniform with soft brown wide brim hat, jungle boots. He carried a shot gun and .45 caliber pistol and his name was Newton.

On that same day, another source reported the incident stating that Willis "was captured by the VC during the fighting and then killed. Both sources stated that ‘Newton’ was wounded in the arm and then captured alive by the VC."

How did the description of "Newton" stack up against the description held in U.S. records? According to those records Donald Newton is described as Caucasian, 5'6", medium build with reddish blond hair.

Two additional sources report "that a Caucasian with a name tag "Newton" was paraded alive through several VC villages."

Four sources independently confirmed Donald S. Newton as alive and in enemy hands. It would be some 20+ years before the Vietnamese Government would acknowledge his captivity. It would be another 14+ years before that acknowledgment would be publicly known. Source reporting and Vietnamese official acknowledge Donald S. Newton survived into captivity. When will the U.S. Government acknowledge it and when will they ask the Vietnamese to return Donald Newton.

During preparation for the 11th Iteration of Joint Activities with the Vietnamese, in August 1990, a message was sent from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington D.C. to the Commander of the Joint Casualty Resolution Center (now JPAC.) Information contained in the message traffic was to be presented "in writing" to the Vietnamese. Outlining the case of Donald Newton and Francis Willis, the message stated;

"Sergeant Donald S. Newton was taken to the 102nd Dispensary under the jurisdiction of Military Region Five after treatment for injuries. Request you locate and make available to US any records concerning Sergeant Newton’s treatment at this medical facility – request that you locate and make available for interview individuals who served in the Prisoner of War section, the Enemy Proselyting, the Military Proselyting or the Security Section, of the Phu Khanh Province Committee during the time Sergeant Newton was in that area. Those individual would likely have information on Sergeant Newton."

"Request that you locate and make available for interview witness to the movement of sergeant Newton by the 250th Transportation Group or Military Region Five or the Prisoner of War section of B3 Headquarters." Request that you locate and make available for interview witnesses to Sergeant Newton’s movements up the Strategic Route which was under the jurisdiction of Group 559."


Why does Johnie Webb still have a job?



National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site
email lynn@nationalalliance.org

Bits N Pieces November 18, 2006

If It’$ $aturday, It Must Be Vietnam – President Bush is wrapping up a 4 day vi$it to Vietnam. He is there to discuss economic$ and trade. In the not to distant future, Vietnam will be admitted to the World Trade Organization. The Vietname$e will have gotten everything they wanted, while continuing to withhold information on American POW/MIA’s, and violating the basic human rights of its citizens. It’$ a proud day.

In a perfunctory acknowledgment of the MIA issue, that’s right MIA issue as there is no POW issue in this Bush Administration, the President visited JPCA headquarters in Hanoi. A Reuters story written by Matt Spetalnick, describes the visit as "only a brief stop for Bush, the second post-war U.S. president to visit Vietnam. Bush has made clear that rather than dwelling on old animosities, he wants to focus on Vietnam as an emerging trade partner and economic success story.... Bush asked few questions of his military briefers as he moved briskly and almost without expression from one display to another in the courtyard of a two-story colonial-style building housing the U.S. mission."

The article continued, saying; "Bush brought up the issue of MIAs, the official term for the more than 1,500

service members still listed as missing in action in Vietnam, with the country's Communist leaders in talks on Friday dominated by talk of trade and economics. "He thanked the Vietnamese for strong cooperation," White House spokesman Tony Snow said."

As for the men the Vietnamese admitted they captured...... Well, we guess they and their families are on their own. But, weren’t they always......

Very early in the Bu$h administration we received an email asking.... Can the POW/MIA issue survive the Bu$h Administration? We’ve been thinking about that question a lot, lately.


Continued Prayers and Good Wishes - to our good friend Steve Golding. Cards may be sent to Steve Golding at 307 A Main Ave., Stirling, NJ 07980. You can also leave a message at a special blog site, set up by Mary Ann Reitano. Leave your messages for Steve at http://stevegolding.blogspot.com/


Another American Serviceman Held Prisoner in Iraq – On November 2nd the Department of Defense announced the name of an American soldier kidnaped in Iraq. Listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) Army Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie, 41, of Ann Arbor, Mich Altaie was kidnaped from the home of his wife’s relatives on October 23rd. The U.S. has offered a reward of $50,000 for his safe return.

Lest anyone think this soldier is less a POW than Scott Speicher or Maupin, because he was kidnapped off duty, we have three words..... Sgt. Dallas Pridmore. Pridmore was kidnaped Sept. 8, 1968, by the Viet Cong also an insurgent group, and listed as a Prisoner of War.


November 18, 2006 Bit N Pieces Page 2 of 7

19 New POW Cases – Part VI




"I lost sight of the aircraft as I turned to watch the one parachute, and observed the chute almost until ground impact...."

Marvin Quist - October 4 1965

"The other two aircraft lost sight of the parachute..."

DoD Press Release - November 9, 2006

"One member of the flight reported seeing one fully deployed chute... In 1991 U.S. Investigators in Vietnam interviewed several witnesses.... Information from witnesses conflicts with information from U.S. Personnel at the time of the loss....."

Report of the
Senate Select Committee on
POW/MIA Affairs

"JPAC’s detailed analysis of the debris and other evidence concluded that the parachute sighted was the F-4C’s drag parachute.



DoD Press Release - November 9, 2006

"The aircraft did not explode in mid-air but remained intact until impact."

Case Summary prepared by DPMO staff, dated Dec. 19, 2001,

"Scharf’s plane began to disintegrate...."


DoD Press Release - November 9, 2006


On November 9th the Department of Defense issued a Press Release announcing the remains of identification of Capt. Charles J. "Chuck" Scharf lost over North Vietnam on October 1, 1965. Sadly, the Scharf family is divided over the accuracy of the identification.

Scharf’s wife Patricia has accepted the identification. Barbara Scharf Lowerison, Chuck’s sister, has serious doubts regarding the identification of the remains. Mrs. Lowerison believes official records and documents relating to her brothers case indicates that he survived the incident.

Scharf, the pilot of an F4-C Phantom, along with his backseater, Lt. Martin Massucci were named in the August 1, 1992 Tourison memo identifying 19 New POW Cases. Referring to the Scharf/Massucci case Tourison wrote: "1 case involving 2 airmen from the same loss incident (MIA-KIA/BNR), one parachute was reportedly seen by a wingman, witnesses in Vietnam have testified that a shootdown correlating to this case involved two bodies seen a the crash site."

The final report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs described the Scharf/Massucci incident this way...."After jettisoning their external tanks, one member of the flight reported seeing one fully deployed chute... In 1991 U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed several witnesses.... Information from witnesses conflicts with information from U.S. Personnel at the time of the loss who reported observing one fully deployed parachute."

Shortly before the public announcement of the remains identification, Mrs. Lowerison provided the National Alliance of Families copies of documents relating to her brothers case. Prior to our review of the documents, we believed in all likelihood Capt. Scharf did not eject from the aircraft. After reviewing the documents, we recognized Mrs. Lowerison’s concerns.

The Department of Defense Press Release announcing the identification raised additional concerns. Most striking is the misleading way the witnesses observations are portrayed in the DoD Press Release. According to the Press Release "After he completed two bombing runs, Scharf’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire.

His radio transmission of "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" was heard by the other two aircraft. One radioed "Gator 3, (Scharf’s call sign), you’re on fire, you’d better get out! Bail out, Gator 3." Scharf’s plane began to disintegrate and a parachute was seen leaving the aircraft. The other two aircraft lost sight of the parachute, and circled the area for about 10 minutes where Scharf’s aircraft had crashed "

The implication that the witnesses lost sight of the parachute is designed to give the impression that witnesses did not get a good look at it. It is a setup for the last line of the press release.

We stop at this point to review the original eyewitness reporting from one of the two airmen who observed the incident. His statement given October 4 1965, paints a different picture. According to Capt. Marvin Quist; "I heard Capt. Scharf call "Mayday" three times followed by some undistinguishable comment. I told him his aircraft was on fire and to bail out. I observed the external stores leave the aircraft and shortly after, a chute in the same approximate position. The aircraft was in a very steady course toward mountainous terrain. The engines and afterburners appeared to be functioning properly. I lost sight of the aircraft as I turned to watch the one parachute, and observed the chute almost until ground impact. The chute impact point was approximately one quarter mile from heavy mountainous cover. It impacted on level, open terrain about 1 mile from the nearest settlement. I then turned hard to relocate the aircraft and saw what appeared to be the aircraft impact point in mountainous terrain about 3 - 5 miles southeast of where it caught fire. The time period from when we lost sight of the aircraft until we saw the impact area was 45 - 60 seconds. No other fire or smoke was observed . This led me to believe the aircraft remained intact until impact and did not suffer a severe explosion in the air. In my opinion there is a strong possibility that the other occupant bailed out prior to aircraft impact. He had sufficient altitude and it is felt he had sufficient time for a successful ejection."

Another witness that day was Phil Ordway. In a 1996 letter to Mrs. Lowerison, Ordway offered the following: "I always believed that Marty (Lt. Massucci) got out and Chuck did not. One pilot ejected for sure. The other pilot could have ejected, and we would not have seen him in our turn. A twenty-two foot diameter parachute is pretty small from a mile away."

We would remind our readers that no one saw Capt. Scott O’Grady’s parachute when he ejected over Bosnia in the late 1990's. Yet, we all know Capt. O’Grady ejected safely and landed uninjured. Failure to observe a parachute does not mean a pilot did not eject from his aircraft.

After obtaining information, in 1991, that Vietnamese witnesses had seen two bodies at the crash site, U.S. investigator visited the site in October 1992. Witnesses led investigators to a sight where they were adamant in their insistence that the two pilots were buried. Investigators found no remains were found at the site indicated by the witnesses. They did find aircraft wreckage which led them to the cockpit area of the crash site.

Recovered from the site were one of Capt. Scharf’s dog tags, an identification card bearing his name, and a "parts of a dental appliance" identified as Scharf’s, along with remains described as "one bone fragment." Also recovered were a religious medal, a leather wallet, nail clippers, a piece of a watch band and a lieutenant’s (Massucci’s rank) insignia.

U.S. investigators returned to the site in January 1993 and again in 2004. During these visits additional crew related artifacts were recovered. The 2004 visit also located a Captains (Schaf’s rank) insignia.

Based on the wreckage and duplication of pilot related artifacts, a determination was made that both men were on board when the plane crashed.

If that is true, how do you explain the parachute?

The DoD Press Release neatly explains away the witness statements regarding the parachute saying; "JPAC’s detailed analysis of the debris and other evidence concluded that the parachute sighted was the F-4C’s drag parachute." By stating the parachute observed was the F4-C’s drag chute, JPAC effectively put both men back in the plane.

How, we wondered, could two experienced airmen mistake the F4-C’s drag chute for a pilots parachute? We issued a call for help for information on the F4-C, drag chutes and pilots parachutes. We were swamped with e-mails, from F4 pilots, crew chiefs and ground maintenance crews, as well as pilots of all types of military aircraft.

Using Capt. Quist’s quote.... "I lost sight of the aircraft as I turned to watch the one parachute, and observed the chute almost until ground impact...." as context, we asked the question – is it possible the pilot mistook the drag chute for a pilots parachute?

The general consensus was that while anything was possible, it was highly unlikely that the witnesses mistook the F4-C’s drag chute for a pilots parachute. Here is a small sampling of the responses received.

"I can't imagine that the drag chute could be mistaken for a pilot's parachute. The drag chute would usually remain attached to the tail of the aircraft. If it was ripped off, by the speed of the aircraft or some structural problem it would undoubtedly collapse completely. The normal actuation of the parachute of the crew would, almost always occur only by the crew members ejection from the aircraft. The ejection process is quite colorful, with lots of debris, including the canopy, the ejection seats, smoke, even flame from the rocket motors pushing the seats out of the aircraft. Use of the drag chute, for spin recovery or some tactical purpose could be accomplished, but it is very unlikely that any observer would mistake the drag chute and the parachutes used by the aircrew."

Another stated: "If a drag chute came out and separated from the aircraft, I think it would not be likely to be confused with a man in a parachute. The chute would most likely collapse and just be a piece of falling cloth."

Still another stated: I would have to say that although the Peter Principle would say that anything is possible, I would venture to believe that a chute spotted on the ground, or even in the air would most likely be a PERSONNEL chute, and not a drag chute. This makes sense, if you remember that the drag chute was not intended IN MOST CASES to be used in the air. There is always the possibility that the drag chute was dislodged from it's container when the aircraft was hit, but the chances of that happening, and then of that same chute opening in the air and not just tumbling to the ground unopened is pretty slim."

And another stated: "... If a drag chute was deployed in flight for whatever reason, it would have been torn from the aircraft and just floated to Earth, because the landing speed of the F-4 was less than 200 knots and chutes were then deployed."

And another stated: "He was looking at the aircraft, then turned to watch the parachute. Were it a drag chute, it would have been attached to the aircraft and he would not have had to turn his head to look at it. Let's say that it was a drag chute and that it came loose from the aircraft. A parachute with no load on it is a rag; it would have fluttered down without filling. If he turned his head and looked at a parachute, it was a pilot's chute."

And another stated; "I was a crew chief on the "Phantom", specifically, an F-4E based in Korat Thailand. An aircraft's drag chute is about three times the size and weight of a crew chute....if the drag chute deployed in flight, it would most likely be ripped from the aircraft due to the speed and force on the chute. Once separated from the aircraft, it would fall as limp material since their would be no weight to allow it to maintain a parachute profile."

The DoD Press Release also noted; "Scharf’s plane began to disintegrate...." Yet, Quist stated his belief, based on his first hand observation, that "the aircraft remained intact until impact and did not suffer a severe explosion in the air...."

Lastly, a case summary prepared by DPMO staff, dated Dec. 19, 2001, states; "The aircraft did not explode in mid-air but remained intact until impact." Intact then, disintegrating now.

Did one or both of the airmen aboard the F4-C get out of the stricken aircraft or were they both on board when it crashed? The sighting of one parachute would certainly indicate someone got out. U.S. aviators who witnessed the incident say at least one man exited the aircraft. But, the Vietnamese witnesses stated they found and buried two bodies at the crash site and pilot related equipment recovered at the crash site indicates both Scharf and Massucci were aboard the aircraft when it crashed. So, who do we believe?

In an attempt to shed further light on the Scharf/Massucci case, we went back to a Pentagon Communique issued 21 August 1985 directed to National Security Advisor Richard Childress. This message outlines "the results of a JCRC analysis of all the loss incidents of Americans remaining unresolved in Vietnam."

The purpose of the JCRC study was to determine:

"The number of cases involving crash or ground sites which must be surveyed and those which are most likely to require excavation, based upon available file evidence."

"Those cases in which a site-survey or excavation would be of negligible value, without prior receipt of additional information from the Vietnamese. (This category includes cases involving personnel who Died in Captivity, ejected from the aircraft before it crashed, and were lost in inland waters. Also included are personnel for whom loss locations were not established and those for whom the Vietnamese have provided material evidence.)"

"Losses at sea, which have little chance of resolution."

"The JCRC analytical breakdown of the Crash / Ground sites (by REFNO NUMBER) in Vietnam follows. These sites are categorized first by location. I.E.. In North Vietnam, South Vietnam or losses at sea. Sub Categories are determined by the circumstances surrounding the incident."

The memo categorized 335 loss incidents over North Vietnam and 535 incidents in South Vietnam.

Describing incidents, over North Vietnam, with a "firm indication that the aircraft crashed without a crew aboard, the memo states: "Of these, 105 are crash sites involving incidents in which the crew was out of the aircraft. These include cases where parachutes were sighted, oral contact was established, captures were reported, beepers were heard, or there was some other firm indication that the aircraft crashed without a crew aboard. In general, these are the cases for which the Vietnamese would be expected to possess significant information. Most of the cases discussed in the technical meetings (I.E. Warehouse Cases) have been selected from this category. Refnos are as follows...."

Among the 105 cases referenced in this category is Case # 0158, Capt. Charles Scharf and Lt. Martin Massucci. It would seem JCRC the forerunner to JTFFA and now JPAC, clearly had information that had Scharf and Massucci out of the aircraft prior to impact. This would certainly explain Mr. Tourison’s inclusion of Scharf and/or Massucci as one of the 19 New POW cases.

In 1985 JCRC (now JPAC) had "Firm indication that the aircraft crashed without a crew aboard." Today, a parachute is a drag chute and both crewmen were onboard the aircraft.

Based on multiple mt-DNA testing, the first test involving a sample provided by Sharf’s sister Barbara proved inconclusive. A second mt-DNA test on samples taken from old envelopes, the identification media, and dental apparatus, the "one bone fragment" recovered from the site was identified as Capt. Charles J. Scharf.

There is one more thing, that needs to be mentioned. When investigators arrived at the crash site in October of 1992, they reported "the site had recently been cleared of most vegetation. The team also found evidence of earlier digging in the site...." The JTF-FA report attributed the digging to scavengers. That plane was on the ground for 27 years any salvageable material was long gone. Evidence of digging suggest site salting. It’s been done before. The case of Navy pilot Dan Borah is a prime example.

A document provided by Mrs. Lowerison describes the items recovered during the 1992 and 1993 field activities. According to the report prepared by the Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii, "all artifacts were found in the upper portion of the cockpit area." Describing the crash site the report states: Despite the affects of long-term erosion, the distribution of wreckage appears consistent with a relatively high velocity crash and to the rear of the cockpit fairly intensive burning."

Continuing, the report described the condition of the personal effects stating; "the personal effects recovered from the cockpit area are not burned. For example, the condition of the dog tag suggest that it was torn from its chain but otherwise it shows little evidence of heat-induced color change such as was clearly evident on aircraft parts aft of the cockpit. Moreover, the identification card was laminated in plastic and the wallet and the talisman/amulet are both made of leather, but none show any evidence of charring. These are, of course, items that would very likely have been protected by the aircrew’s flight suits. But if charred, whole or nearly whole bodies had been buried, then how these "on-person" items came to be separated from the bodies requires explanation. Another critical piece of evidence concerning the nature of this crash is the relatively large section of anti-G garment that was recovered unburned with the zipper still closed."

Is it possible that the dog tags, plastic laminated identification card, religious talisman/amulet, wallet or what is described as a "relatively large section of anti-G garment" would survive unscarred by the flames and heat of an air crash? Did these items lay on that mountainside, undisturbed for 27, waiting to be found or were they returned to the site to be found?

The bone identified as Charles J. Scharf will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 30th 2006. His sister, Barbara, does not accept the identification. His wife, Patricia does.

For us, all we see is another POW/MIA case closed, leaving behind more questions than answers.


Why Does Johnie Webb still have his job?


The NSC Document – We wrote about this document many years ago, in Bits. We’re going to go back to take a second look at this document. It will be interesting to see how JRCR, circa 1985, described all of Tourison’s "19 New POW Cases." We’ll let you know what we find.


This will be the last Bits N Pieces for 2006. As we approach this Holiday Season, please keep a special spot in your heart for Scott Speicher, Matt Maupin, and Ahmed K. Altaie held as Prisoners of War somewhere in Iraq, for the American’s reported alive in Southeast Asia in 1998, and all our POWs and MIAs in North Korea, China and the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

To our Troops Deployed - You are in our prayers, stay safe and may you all be home soon.

To our POW/MIA family members, veterans and concerned citizens, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year.


For this holiday season we, once again, share our favorite poem with you.

"Though we've come a long way, there is much, much more to be done.
The deck is stacked against us. Our adversaries are well-entrenched
and well-financed and scared of any change in the status quo.

In the long run, we will prevail.
We hold the trump card, folks and when the dust clears, and the dense morning fog burns off,
when we clear our wire of sappers, and the gunships go home,
by God, we'll still be there, because what we seek to do is right."

--- Author Unknown


"Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping,
and thine eyes from tears;
for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord:
and they shall come again from the land of the enemy;
and there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord,
that thy children shall come again to their own border."

JerMIAh 31:16--17:

Let us all work together in the New Year to make the words

"I'll be home for Christmas"

more than just a dream for our POW/MIAs.



Dolores and Lynn and the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Families


National Alliance of Families
For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen
World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499
Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350
Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org
email lynn@nationalalliance.org

Bits N Pieces -  March 3, 2007
H.Res. 111 A Status Report
- As of this writing, H.Res 111 calling for the establishment, in the House of Representatives, a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs as 10 co-sponsors. Many more co-sponsors are needed and we are not going to get then without your help.

Introduced by Congressman Peter King (R-NY), H.Res. 111 calls for "a full investigation of all unresolved matters relating to any United States personnel unaccounted for from the Vietnam era, the Korean conflict, World War II, Cold War Missions, or Gulf War, including MIA's and POW's."

The Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs concluded in 1993 that; "There is evidence, moreover, that indicates the possibility of survival, at least for a small number, after Operation Homecoming...."

Isn’t it time we find out what happened to that "small number" and address the "unresolved matters" relating to our POW/MIAs

We’ve set up a web page providing you with the text of H.Res 111, a contact list for Congressional Representatives, with email links and fax numbers. There is also a sample letter. Use it, change it or write your own letter. This information may be accessed from our website. Follow the links.

Text of H.Res 111 visit


Contact List for Congressional Representatives


Sample Letter


Seven Reasons We Need H.Res 111


Documents Supporting the Case for H.Res 111


Make sure you contact your congressional representative,
asking them to co-sponsor H.Res 111.


North and South Korea Conclude Talks
– After four day’s of meetings Pyongyang, North and South Korea reached agreement on a number of topics. Of interest to those concerned with the POW/MIA, the Associated Press reports that North and South Korea will "Hold Red Cross talks April 10-12 to discuss the issue of South Korean abductees and POWs."

When is someone going to talk about the American POWs in North Korea?

Remember the words of I.O. Lee, an analyst with DPMO, who wrote: "There are too many reports, specifically observations of several Caucasians in a collective farm by Romanian and North Korean defectors’ eyewitness of Americans in DPRK to dismiss that there are no Americans in North Korea."


Video of Captured Soldier
– On February 14th a video surfaced showing Spc4 Ahmed Altaie. According to an Associated Press article by Sinan Salaheddin: "A Shiite militant group has released a video of a kidnapped

Iraqi-American soldier, the first time he has been seen alive since he was abducted four months ago in Baghdad, his uncle said Wednesday."

"Army translator Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, a 41-year-old Reserve soldier who was born in Iraq and lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., was seized by gunmen on Oct. 23 while visiting his Iraqi wife’s family in the Karadah neighborhood of central Baghdad."

"A previously unknown Shiite militant group called Ahl al-Bayt Brigades posted a 10-second video on the Internet on Tuesday showing al-Taayie in front of a greenish flat surface with short dark cropped hair, unshaven and wearing a wide dark-green collared shirt, said SITE, a U.S. group that monitors extremist messages."

"Al-Taayie’s eyes were downcast and his lips were moving as if he was reading aloud, SITE said Wednesday. Although the video carried no sound, SITE said that the militants also issued a document, saying: "We warn the American people of the result of sending their soldiers to Iraq so they don’t face the same fate. The video was also broadcast earlier Wednesday by CNN."

"It was unclear when the video was made but Entifadh Qanbar, al-Taayie’s uncle, said he had identified his nephew in it. The Associated Press could not immediately find the video in a search of militant Web sites."

"....Al-Taayie, whose name is also spelled Ahmed Kousay Altaie, was born in Iraq and moved to the U.S. as a teenager. He joined the Army Reserves in December 2004 and was deployed to Iraq in November 2005."


Who wants to tell Scott Speicher, Matt Maupin and Ahmed Altaie, they are not POWs?


Question for Our Readers
– Do active duty U.S. service members still carry Geneva Conventions identification cards? If you have the answer, email us at lynn@nationalalliance.org


Disgrace at Walter Reed
– No doubt you have read the articles detailing the horrible condition, wounded soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have endured at the Army’s Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. Thursday, as a result of the media attention, the top General at Walter Reed, Maj. Gen. George Weightman was fired. On Friday, Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Army, was forced to resign his position as part of the fallout over the deplorable conditions found at Walter Reed.

Their commands were found deficient. As a result both Weightman and Harvey lost their jobs.

So we ask you this..... If a command is investigated, not once but twice, and that command is found deficient why didn’t the commander loose his job.....


Why does Johnnie Webb still have his job??????


The 19 New POW Cases – Part VI
Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winter and Bram and Dingwall
What do they have in common, aside from being among the 19 New POW Cases?
Coincidence or Scripted..... What Do You Think
Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters

The Vietnamese Version
Three Burials —
1. Bodies weighted down by rocks, and placed in the Tra Bong River. Bodies resurfaced requiring movement to a ground located gravesite.

2. The bodies were buried but heavy rains exposed the grave forcing a second exhumation and movement.

3. Final Burial on a Sandbar – The bodies were placed on a boat and moved to a sandbar in the Tra Bong River, where they were buried for the third time. JTF-FA reported that the area flooded and the sandbar had shifted.

It is important to remember that the two exhumations and re-burials occurred during intensive searches, by U.S. forces to find these men.

Bram and Dingwall

The Vietnamese Version

Three Burials —

1. Buried in ground. Fearing discovery the bodies were exhumed.

2. Bodies were moved across the Song Tra River.   On the opposite bank, the Vietnamese weighted the bodies down with rocks and submerged them. They immediately resurfaced.

3. Final Burial on a Sandbar – Based on one witness statement JTF-FA reports: "the sandbar where the burial took place had shifted to the west sometime after the burial and now has shifted back to the east."

It is important to remember that the two exhumations and re-burials occurred during intensive searches, by U.S. forces to find these men.

Let’s not forget Cpl. Gregory J. Harris who was also, according to the Vietnamese version of events, buried on a sandbar.


Mellor and O’Grady
– In the spirit of everything old is new again, we went back to a February 11th 1995 letter signed by then Secretary of Defense William Perry. In this letter Perry stated:

"I am submitting this report in response to the requirements of the Fiscal Year 1995 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 103-33337, Section 1034. In accordance with the legislation, the Department of Defense is required to submit to Congress "a complete listing by name of all such personnel about whom it is possible that officials of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam can produce additional information or remains that could lead to the maximum possible accounting for these personnel, as determined on the basis of all informatio available to the United States Government."

The listing was broken down into three categories. They are Special Remains Cases, Photo Cases, Priority Discrepancy Cases and Viet-Lao Border Cases. It is no surprise that the 19 New POW Cases are listed among the Priority Discrepancy Cases. What we did find surprising was that two of the 19 New POW case are listed among the Photo Cases.

The two POWs listed as a Photo Case are Air Force Capt. Fredric Mellor and Air Force Major John F. O’Grady.

We do not know if the photos referred to are from identification cards. Or if the photos were taken by the Vietnamese. They could be photos taken after death, or while in captivity.

However, the existence of photos or Vietnamese possession of identification cards, clearly shows that the Vietnamese had access to these men, and alive or dead, know exactly what happened to them.


National Alliance of Families 18th Annual Forum is scheduled for June 21th - 23th, 2007. Our forum is conducted to coincide with the Government’s annual Vietnam POW/MIA Family Briefings. We urge all family members to attend this years government briefings. The government will provide free airfare to two family members to attend the government briefings. There is no charge or registration fee to attend these briefings and you DO NOT have to belong to an organization to attend the government briefings.

We are in the process of arranging meeting space and special room rate, which will be announced when finalized.

The Alliance is an all volunteer organization. Our meetings are open to all, without charge. At this time of year, we actively seek contributions to finance our forum. If you wish to contribute, donations may be mailed to:

National Alliance Of Families
P.O. Box 40327
Bellevue, WA. 98015
Remember all contributions are tax deductible.