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In January 1993 the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs published its final report. Among the Committee's conclusions was one very simple and critical sentence. That sentence read:
This one sentence has always struck us as rather abstract, giving the impression that the Committee's conclusion was based on the overwhelming body of evidence but without specific information on individual servicemen. This has left us wondering and asking over the years, what is a small number? We recently learned the answer to our question. The small number is…
That's the Senate Select Committee's "small number." The list of "59 Possible POWs" in 1973 is based on information available in 1992. The number was arrived at based on a consensus among committee investigators, and it's not the final number. The 59 simply represent the "the minimum number of possible live POWs today." (in 1992) At least two of the investigators had their own handwritten working lists, with telling notes.
Beyond the "Possible POWs" in 1973 are the servicemen captured, but not officially listed as captured, who died in captivity prior to 1973. With regard to the time and circumstances of death for these individuals, we have only the word of Vietnamese officials and the witnesses provided by them.
For example, according an analysis of 64 Discrepancy Cases "Peter J. Russell was captured but later succumbed from his wounds… the available evidence indicates he died prior to 1973." Therefore, Lt. Russell was not considered a "Possible POW." But, Lt. Russell was a POW. It should be noted that several Vietnamese witnesses reported Russell had died, of malaria, one week after capture. Of course, we only have the conflicting word of the Vietnamese regarding of Lt. Russell's death.
For decades those within the POW/MIA issue have maintained many more American servicemen were captured than acknowledged by the Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian governments. But, this too is an abstract statement, until you start listing the names.
Since the discovery of the "Tourison Memos" in March of 2006, naming 19 servicemen listed as Missing in Action who actually "survived into captivity," we have been looking at the files of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, specifically the committee investigators. We have not reviewed all of the investigator files, time constraints simply have not allowed for a complete review. Nor, were we able to review every page within the files we did review.
This past June our attention was drawn to a critically important document. We were made aware of the value of this document and where to locate it.
The information on the "59 Possible POWs" comes from a 15 page memo, with some 500 pages of supporting material. This backup consisted of analyses of various lists and case summaries. Many of the case summaries were printed in the Report of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. While the content of the memo is based on a consensus of committee investigators, its author, once again, is Sedgwick Tourison. Within the committee this compilation was referred to as the "Wick Book."
The memo, addressed to Senator John Kerry, thru Francis Zewnig, the Committee's staff director is titled, "The Universe of Possible POWs: 1973 versus 1992," and is dated August 17, 1992.
The memo begins:
|"In the fall of 1991 the Senate Select Committee identified one of its priority tasks as defining the universe of Americans who could have survived in captivity in Southeast beyond the end of Operation Homecoming in April 1973. This led to a recovery of major historical documents which confirm what the Administration knew in 1973 and what it knows today.|
After collecting and analyzing the various lists of confirmed or possible prisoners and reviewing the case files of each of these individuals, the Committee staff has drawn the following conclusions:
|-- Due to the nature of the war in Southeast Asia it was not possible to state at any time since 1973 that all Americans reported captured in Southeast (Asia) and not repatriated alive during Operation Homecoming were dead by the end of Operation Homecoming.|
|- Since 1989 U.S. teams have gathered evidence in Vietnam that between 20 and 30 Americans, neither officially acknowledged by Vietnam as a POW at Operation Homecoming nor officially classified a POW by the Defense Department, were in fact taken prisoner by the Vietnam People's Army during the war. Most appear to have died before 1973 but the fate of at least 5 is as unclear today as it was 19 years ago. Defense Department archival intelligence files contain reports these individuals had been captured during the war.|
|-Today, Defense Department files contain evidence that at least 59 Americans were -- or may have been -- taken prisoner and their precise fate is still unclear. This includes the 20-30 not officially acknowledged by Vietnam in 1973. This represents the minimum number of possible live POWs today. The upper limit appears far less than the 269 currently used by the Administration."|
According to the memo, two factors affected the preliminary conclusions reached in this memo:
|"The Defense Intelligence Agency's archival documents provide evidence that the Agency did not know the exact number of Americans in a POW status as of the start of Operation Homecoming. Key data to clarify what the Agency knew during 1971-1976 was effectively withheld from the Committee staff until mid-August 1992."|
|"Key military service intelligence staff documents vital to a proper investigation into what the separate services knew before, during and after Operation Homecoming have been requested repeatedly by the Committee (since) December 1991 but have never been provided."|
Describing the criteria used, the memo stated;
|"The Committee staff's criteria for conclusions about the current best possible POW cases is based on official Defense Department files and is derived from the following: return of remains, evidence of death in captivity or evidence the individual was not captured alive. This includes both wartime evidence and evidence from sources since the end of the war."|
The staff noted this observation:
|"The Committee staff notes that those cases which appeared in 1973 to offer the greatest hope of survivability have, with the receipt of remains and new information, resulted in evidence that most whose fate in captivity could not be confirmed in 1973 now appear to have died in captivity prior to 1973. However, U.S. field teams in Vietnam since 1989 have uncovered evidence that more Americans were in fact taken captive than officially recorded. Most appear to have died. Increased access to tightly controlled information within Laos and Vietnam can significantly assist in the resolution of these cases."|
|"It is not now possible to determine if some whose remains have been returned since Operation Homecoming might have survived in captivity after the end of Operation Homecoming. This is for two reasons. First, the condition of some remains does not permit such a determination. Second, U.S. information gathering efforts have focused constantly on an accounting for the fate of those who have remained unaccounted for, not attempting to describe the date and precise circumstances of death of those whose remains have been returned. There may, to some, always remain a concern that some in this group did survive in captivity after Operation Homecoming. In this vein it would be appropriate to develop additional data on their fate to resolve this point."|
|"Based on a review of archival statistical reporting prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department Comptroller, it is apparent that DIA did not have an accurate record of the total number of all servicemen captured as reported by the separate military services. After comparing lists of American POWs to be returned alive or died in captivity in Laos and Vietnam, DIA believed 73 Americans, 63 military and 10 civilians, remained unaccounted for. At the same time the Defense Department Comptroller knew of 78 military POWs unaccounted for. Due to differences in accounting for civilians, the precise number could not be fixed but may have been 16. Today, the Defense Department officially records 116 Americans as having died in captivity and 57 of their remains have not been recovered."|
|"Since military casualties involved in covert cross border operations had been falsified during 1965-1970, DIA's information on their loss location was inaccurate as of 1973. Therefore, it was not possible for either the Defense Intelligence Agency or the Joint Casualty Resolution Center to state authoritatively until after 1973 that it had accurate records of who was killed, captured or missing in what country."|
As with the July 22 and August 1, 1992 Tourison Memos naming 19 servicemen previously listed as missing in action who "survived into captivity", you will see a crossover from the 1976 "Project X" study to the "59 Possible POW." The purpose of "Project X" was to evaluate the possibility of surviving POWs in Southeast Asia.
The study concluded; "There is a possibility that as many as 57 Americans could be alive..." Ten of the men named in the "Project X" study are among the 19 acknowledged as "survived into captivity." Others are Vessey Cases. Six are among the "59 Possible POWs."
These servicemen are the "small number" and they are only the beginning.
|0051-0-01 DODGE, EDWARD R.||1062-0-00 MILIUS, PAUL|
|0051-0-02 MCDONALD, KURT C.||1100-0-00 HESFORD, PETER|
|0108-0-01 BRAM, RICHARD C.||1205-1-01 SCHMIDT, WALTER R.|
|0108-0-02 DINGWALL, JOHN F.||1258-0-00 ACOSTA-ROSARIO, H|
|0253-0-01 MAUTERER, OSCAR >||1274-1-01 PRIDEMORE, DALLAS R.|
|0275-0-01 HOLMES, DAVID||1329-1-01 FRANCISCO, SAN D. >|
|0372-0-00 ELLIS, WILLIAM||1329-1-02 MORRISON, JOSEPH C >|
|0386-0-01 HESTLE, ROOSEVELT||1388-1-01 BRUCHER, JOHN M.|
|0524-0-01 PITTMAN, ALAN||1428-0-01 NEWTON, CHARLES V.|
|0536-0-00 BOTT, RUSSELL||1428-0-02 PREVEDEL, CHARLES F <|
|0607-0-01 SMALL, BURT C.||1428-0-03 DAHILL, DOUGLAS E.|
|0646-0-01 HASENBECK, PAUL A. >||1435-0-00 BRASHEAR, WILLIAM|
|0646-0-02 MANGINO, THOMAS A. >||1456-0-01 SPARKS DONALD|
|0646-0-03 WINTERS, DAVID M. >||1572-0-01 SCULL, GARY B.|
|0647-0-01 HAMILTON, ROGER D.||1598-1-01 WHEELER, EUGENE L.|
|0706-0-01 BACKUS, KENNETH F.||1630-0-00 PRICE, BUNYAN|
|0706-0-02 PERRINE, ELTON L.||1683-0-00 DUCKETT, THOMAS, 1 OF 2^|
|0728-0-01 PLATT, ROBERT L.||1683-0-00 SKINNER, OWEN 1 OF 2 ^|
|0859-0-01 DERRICKSON, THOMAS G.||1723-1-01 JEFFS, CLIVE G.|
|0867-0-01 FITZGERALD, PAUL L. 1 OF 2 ^||1730-0-00 CHRISTMAN, JAMES|
|0867-0-02 HARGROVE, OLIN 1 OF 2 ^||1747-1-01 SOYLAND, DAVID P. >|
|0928-0-01 BRENNAN, HERBERT O.||1748-0-01 ENTRICAN, DANNY D.|
|0928-0-02 CONDIT, DOUGLAS C. <||1756-0-01 STROHLEIN, MADISON A.|
|0930-0-01 MILLNER, MICHAEL||1816-0-01 DUNLOP, THOMAS E. <|
|0952-0-01 INNES, ROGER B <||1820-1-02 WALKER, BRUCE C.|
|0952-0-02 LEE, LEONARD M. <||1868-0-01 MORROW, LARRY K.|
|0984-0-00 COHRON, JAMES||1908-0-00 TOWNSEND, FRANCIS M <|
|1004-0-02 EIDSMOE, NORMAN E. <||1927-1-01 BORAH, DANIEL V. <|
|1046-0-01 BROWN, HARRY W. .||2044-0-01 GREENLEAF, JOSEPH G|
|1049-0-00 ELLIOT, ROBERT<|
|Alliance Notes:||> Project X Case|
|< Remains identified since 1992|
|^ One of the two involved in the incident was captured identity of the captive unknown|
We have no way of knowing, at this time, if the "Wick Book" and the list of 59 was revised, either up or down after the August 17, 1992 date of the of the memo. However, within months of the memo's distribution two very public events occurred which appeared to account for 5 individuals, 4 of those individuals are on the list of 59.
The first is Air Force Major Joseph C. Morrison. In the fall of 1992, shortly before the Presidential election, it was announced that Hanoi was about to release important information on unaccounted for servicemen. Dispatched to Hanoi was a high ranking delegation that included retired General John Vessey.
Once in Hanoi, the delegation was given some 5,000 photos depicting crash sites, aircraft wreckage, pilot related equipment, identification cards and lastly, photos of apparently deceased American servicemen. The vast majority of the photos were duplicates within the 5000. Many were already in U.S. hands. Several dozen, however, provided new information on unaccounted for servicemen and their apparent fate.
One of the photos depicted Joseph Morrison, apparently deceased. The photo showed Morrison from the waist up, lying on the ground. There are small marks above his right eye, and on the cheek and neck. The marks could be blood, dirt or mud. (Note: The photo was widely published and circulated in October of 1992. For those who wish to view the photo it is on our website at; www.nationalalliance.org/59/morrison.htm)
The Vietnamese were very careful to document Morrison's apparent death. They are however, to this day remarkably silent on how he died, the disposition of his remains and the fate of his co-pilot San D. Francisco.
Morrison and Francisco (both Project X cases) were shot down on November 25, 1968. Both ejected the aircraft and landed uninjured. Search and Rescue (SAR) established radio contact with both men, with one of the SAR aircraft sighting one of the pilots and reported a "truck heading for survivor." There is no indication which of the pilots was in the trucks path. For a period of time contact was lost with the crew. When contact was reestablished with one of the pilots, he was told to "hide." A short time later contact was established with the second crewman.
Weather in the area began to deteriorate. According to the SAR log, Morrison and Francisco were told "to dig in and wait until first light." Our reading of the SAR log seems to indicate contact was maintained with the pilots.
One entry reads; "A" says that there are bad guys around him for about a mile. He doesn't think that they know where he is. "B" was not on radio at this time." [Note: The pilot, Morrison, was designated the "A" man with Francisco designated the "B" man]
Hours passed intermittent radio contact was maintained with Morrison, as one SAR pilot told him to "hang loose." There was no word from Francisco.
As search and rescue prepared for the pickup, voice contact was lost with Morrison. A short time later the log entry reads: "still no voice." Eight minutes later the log entry reads; "no voice for about 2+15 hours don't (sic) look good at this time."
Later that day, North Vietnamese press reported the shoot down of an F4 and that two pilots were captured alive. Both Morrison and Francisco were listed as Prisoners of War, by the Defense Intelligence Agency. A 1994 document mentions the Vietnamese news report of captures and states; "a usually reliable source indicated that one crewman was captured." The reference to "usually reliable source" in many cases refers to signal intelligence. The document went on to say that photos were found of "personal effects of both crewmen." To view the ID cards visit www.nationalalliance.org/59/idcards.htm
As of this date, some 16 years after the photo of his remains were provided to U.S. official, Vietnam has not returned the remains of Joseph Morrison. The fate of San D. Francisco remains unknown.
The second accounting involved Senator John Kerry. During a trip to Hanoi in November 1992, Kerry met with a Vietnamese Col. Pham Duc Dia. Dia provided his diary detailing the ambush of 4 soldiers and told anyone who would listen that he had participated in the ambush in Quang Ngai Province on April 21, 1967. The only loss that day fitting the description provided by Dia involved Sp4 Thomas Mangino and PFC's Paul Hasenbeck, Daniel Nidds and David Winters.
Upon his return, Kerry bragged; "I got accountability on four men." The problem? Dia lied. He did not participate in the ambush, the burial and wasn't even in the area on the day of the incident.
We've long believe that the four were captured. Our belief was reinforced by the inclusion of the four in the Project X study, and their naming in the August 1, 1992 Tourison memo which described 19 men as "survived into captivity." Now, we know that three of the four Mangino, Hasenbeck and Winters are listed among the "59 Possible POWs." This leaves us to wonder; what information did the staff investigators review that led them to omit Daniel Nidds from the list?
Among the "59 Possible POWs" are nine individual whose remains were identified since 1992. We looked at three of those cases.
In the case of Roger Innes and Lee Leonard, information available post 1993 indicates that their inclusion in the list of 59 was based on either faulty intelligence, reporting the capture of one individual involved in the incident or a mis-correlation of accurate intelligence.
In the case of Thomas Dunlop, an enemy POW identified Dunlop as "captured alive." Post 1993 records state minimal "small highly weathered" bones were recovered from a crash site along with portions of an ejection seat. The remains could not be identified. According to the forensic report: "The human remains found amid the wreckage of the aircraft cannot be individually identified as those of Cdr. Dunlop given the current state of forensic technology: however, the context in which they were recovered is sufficient to establish a presumptive correlation."
Was Dunlop "captured alive" as the witness stated or did he die in his aircraft, as the evidence seems to indicate?
The third case is that of Daniel Borah. Two signal intelligence reports placed Borah alive on the ground, having successfully exited his aircraft. Borah's last words to U.S. forces, "Gomer all around," indicated a heavy enemy presence. The recovery of his remains is highly suspect, as they were recovered in a full flight suit. The condition of the flight suit clearly shows that it had not been buried in the ground for some 24 years. Nor, had a human body decomposed in it. Based on the condition of the flight suit, the Borah site was salted. Borah clearly survived his incident and signal intelligence reported his capture. Only the Vietnamese know what happened after that.
Vessey II - The August 17, 1992 memo also discusses various lists including the Vessey II list of 39 individuals. These cases were added to the original priority list of 80 individuals General Vessey took to Hanoi. With the addition of the 39 individuals the combined lists became known as the Vessey 119 Discrepancy List. The importance of this list is illustrated by the comments of Kenneth Quinn, then Chairman of the Administration's POW/MIA Inter Agency Group, during testimony before a Senate Committee on April 25th 1991.
In response to a question from Senator Alan Cranston, 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."|
The August 17th 1992 memo says this about the addition of the 39 individuals to the Vessey List;
|"….the Vessey II priority list represents an effort to move forward with a process. It was never intended to be a list of all possible candidates but did include all but 12 Americans last known in captivity and unaccounted for as of April 1973." [Note: > Indicates Project X Case]|
|0031-0-01 GREER, ROBERT L. > .||1086-1-01 HAMM, JAMES E|
|0031-0-02 SCHRECKENGOST, FRED >||1112-0-01 CICHON, WALTER A.|
|0124-1-01 MELLOR, FREDRIC M. >||1402-0-01 MCDONNELL, JOHN T. >|
|0158-0-01 MASSUCCI, MARTIN J.||1428-0-01 NEWTON, CHARLES V.|
|0158-0-02 SCHARF, CHARLES J.||1428-0-02 PREVEDEL, CHARLES F|
|0235-0-01 EGAN, JAMES T.||1428-0-03 DAHILL, DOUGLAS E.|
|0258-1-01 NEWTON, DONALD S.||1572-0-01 SCULL, GARY B.|
|0258-2-02 WILLS, FRANCIS D.||1598-1-01 WHEELER, EUGENE L.|
|0349-1-01 STEEN, MARTIN W.||1660-0-01 PLASSMEYER, BERNARD H.|
|0358-0-01 HARRIS, GREGORY J. >||1723-1-01 JEFFS, CLIVE G.|
|0453-1-01 TATUM, LAWRENCE B. >||1748-0-01 ENTRICAN, DANNY D.|
|0641-1-01 OGRADY, JOHN F. >||1756-0-01 STROHLEIN, MADISON A.|
|0647-0-01 HAMILTON, ROGER D.||1820-0-01 POTTS, LARRY F.|
|0678-0-01 ASHLOCK, CARLOS||1820-1-02 WALKER, BRUCE C.|
|0703-0-01 WROBLESKI, WALTER F.||1868-0-01 MORROW, LARRY K.|
|0728-0-01 PLATT, ROBERT L.||1882-0-01 MCCARTY, JAMES L.|
|0804-2-01 SITTNER, RONALD N.||1934-1-01 ANDERSON, ROBERT D.|
|0805-2-01 LANE, CHARLES||1981-0-01 MORRIS, GEORGE W. >|
|0826-1-01 MOORE, HERBERT W. >||1981-0-02 PETERSON, MARK A. >|
|0986-1-01 HORNE, STANLEY H.|
The Universe of POWs - Among the supporting documentation found with the memo were analysis of various list, including the Discrepancy Cases, providing a far larger Universe of POWs. Men capture but not acknowledged by the Vietnamese and unknown or unrecognized by U.S. Intelligence.
Many of the names are familiar, some are not. Some of the information has trickled out over the years since 1992 and possibly some of the information may, based on information available today, be incorrect. However, one thing is very clear; far more American servicemen were captured and held by the Vietnamese, Lao and to a lesser extent the Cambodians.
As you review the lists, you will note that some men named are categorized as having died in captivity. Remember, we have only the word of the Vietnamese, and the Lao on that. In one case, well known to us, a Vietnamese defector put Capt. John T. McDonnell alive in captivity in February 1973. The source provided the POWs first name as John and described him down to the 1 ˝" scar behind is left ear. The odds that the source could fabricate a description so closely matching John McDonnell, who records show had a 1 ˝" scar behind his left ear, strains the imagination.
McDonnell was named in the Project X Study, the Vessey II List, the Last Known Alive List and the August 1, 1992 Tourison Memo stating he "survived into captivity." There is no doubt John McDonnell was captured, and we believe the evidence indicated he was alive in February 1973.
Analysis of 62 DoD Vietnam Discrepancy Cases
|"Information obtained in Vietnam since 1989 indicates that the following 17 individuals died after capture and prior to 1973:" [Alliance Note: We realize that the list contains 20 names. We can only speculate as to the reason for the difference between the number 17 used in the description and the total number of 20 names listed.]|
|0011: Gerber, Daniel||0903: Honeycutt, Charles @|
|0011: Mitchell, Archie||0904: Cook, Kelly @|
|0011: Viettie, Eleanor||1112: Cichon, Walter|
|0054: McLean, James >||1321: Erskine, Jack >|
|0235: Egan, James T. @||1402: McDonnell, John @ >|
|0258: Newton, Donald @||1329: Pederson, J.P. @|
|0333: Dexter, Bennie||1329: Phillips, Robert @|
|0641: O'Grady, John @ >||1329: Rozo, James|
|0678: Ashlock, Carlos @||1920: Potts, Larry @|
|0762: Van Bendegom, James||1981: Peterson, Mark @ >|
|Alliance Note:||@ Listed as Missing in Action by the U.S.|
|> Indicates Project X Case|
|"Information obtained from Vietnam since 1989 indicates that the following 22 individuals died prior to 1973 and it appears the died (sic) before 1973 although the circumstances of death in some cases may be disputable:|
[Alliance Note: Again the memo states 22 individuals with only 21 listed.]
|0094 Dale, Charles A.||0804 Sittner, Ronald N.|
|0094 Demmon, David S.||0826 Moore, Herbert W. Jr. >|
|0213 Mims, George I. Jr.||0859 Hardy, John K. Jr.|
|0158 Scharf, Charles J.||0903 Morgan, James S.|
|0158 Massucci, Martin J.||0904 Crew, James A.|
|0304 Tromp, William L.||1086 Hamm, James E.|
|0453 Tatum, Lawrence B. >||1327 Cuthbert, Bradley G.|
|0656 Estocin, Michael J.||1660 Plassmeyer, Bernard H.|
|0667 Netherland, Roger M.||1981 Morris, George W.|
|0703 Wrobleski, Walter F.||1982 Hall, Harley H|
|0727 Apodaca, Victor J. Jr|
> Project X Case
|"Information obtained from Vietnam since 1989 regarding the following 15 individuals indicates either were captured and their fate is unclear, there is evidence of capture and some evidence they died but the evidence is not compelling or no judgment about capture or death can be made:"|
[Alliance Note: While the memo states 15 individuals only 14 are named.]
|0607 Small, Burt C.|
|0647 Hamilton, Roger D.|
|0728 Platt, Robert L. Jr.|
|1274 Pridemore, Dallas R. >|
|1329 Morrison, Joseph C. >|
|1329 Francisco, San D. >|
|1428 Newton, Charles V.|
|1428 Prevedel, Charles F.|
|1428 Dahill, Douglas E.|
|1456 Sparks, Jon &|
|1572 Scull, Gary B|
|1598 Wheeler, Eugene L.|
|1820 Walker, Bruce C.|
|1927 Borah, Daniel V. Jr.|
|Notes:1,1||& Case # 1456 is listed as Sparks, Jon. This case # actually belongs to known POW Donald Sparks.|
|> Project X case|
Analysis of 64 DoD Vietnam Discrepancy Cases
|"….Cases 0386, 0706 and 1258 represent cases where by the end of Operation Homecoming, there was sufficient indication of captivity that they should have been priority cases which require resolution."|
Also named in the analysis are Robert Hunt and Kenneth Plumadore (actually Mark Judge), who died in captivity.
The analysis goes on to say: "The Committee staff concludes that the following cases contain sufficient evidence which warrants their being placed on a list of possible POWs:"
|0051 Dodge, Edward R.||0706 Perrine, Elton L|
|0051 McDonald, Kurt C.||0867 Fitzgerald, Paul L. Jr. 1 of 2|
|0108 Bram, Richard C.||0867 Hargrove, Olin Jr. 1 of 2|
|0108 Dingwall, John F.||0930 Millner, Michael|
|0372 Ellis, William R.||0952 Innes, Roger B. 1 of 2|
|0386 Hestle Roosevelt Jr.||0952 Lee, Leonard M. 1 of 2|
|0646 Hasenback, Paul A. >||1004 Eidsmoe, Norman E|
|0646 Mangino, Thomas A. >||1046 Brown, Harry W.|
|0646 Winters, David M. >||1258 Acosta-Rosario, Humberto|
|0646 Daniel R. Nidds >||1816 Dunlop, Thomas E.|
|10706 Backus, Kenneth F.|
Analysis of 49 DoD Lao Discrepancy Cases
"8 of the 49 are deemed possible POW candidates out of 9 individuals. There is credible evidence that 2 of the 8 should have been listed by DIA as possible POWs at Homecoming….."
"A by case review of these Lao cases contains some evidence that 10 of the 49 were, or could have been, captured. Of these, the only listed POW at Homecoming was reliably reported by one returning POW to have died in Thanh Hoa Province, North Vietnam. This information was further supported by nine Vietnamese commandos repatriated at that time who had knowledge of his probably (sic) death at the hands of his guard. Of the remaining 9, there was wartime evidence correlating to the capture of two individuals, James D. Cohron and Alan D. Pittmann, but their status was not changed from MIA to POW."
"Reporting correlated to Cohron indicated capture but there was no information on his fate. Although DIA and their military services had this information, they did not list them as possible POWs at Homecoming. The second individual, Alan D. Pittmann, appeared to have been captured and was reportedly killed. A third individual, Frederick L. Christman, was identified in 1973 as having been captured alive during the war but was heard to have later died of his wounds in a Vietnam People's Army hospital. None of these three were accounted for during Operation Homecoming by either returning U.S POWs or the DRV."
"Of the remaining 6 individuals, the quality of information suggesting the possibility of capture varies among the cases. All appear to be valid possible POW candidates. None were ever reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system and the circumstances of their loss indicates the Vietnam People's Army may have information on their fate. They include the following individuals:"
|0253 Oscar Mauterer >|
|0275 David H. Holmes|
|0536 Russell P. Bott|
|1062 Paul L. Milius|
|1437 William J. Brashear|
|1683 1 of 2 Owen G. Skinner/Thomas A. Duckett|
Analysis of 9 DoD Cambodian Discrepancy Cases
|"The 9 Cambodian cases consist of four civilians and five military. None of these cases were in either the Vessey II or Last Known Alive lists. 8 of the 9 were in the Senate Select Committee's list. Only 1 of the 8, Bunyan D. Price, is a possible POW candidate." "Bunyan D. Price was the subject of wartime reporting correlated to a purported sighting of him and this led to a change in his status from missing to captured."|
It's Not Just Tourison -- Sedgwick Tourison was not the only investigator to realize far more men were captured than originally believed. In additional to a handwritten list found among the Tourison papers, we found another list in the files of Neal Kravitz. We can not say with certainty who wrote these lists, as they appear to be working notes and are not signed. However, they provide a snapshot of the investigators thoughts and the information available.
Among the names in the notes found among the Tourison papers is Robert Platt and Carlos Ashlock. Here is a sampling of comments found in these notes:
|Robert Platt -- "1/6 captured docs corr. Captured & died poss still????"|
|Carlos Ashlock - "'89 SRV ack. Captured. Apparently died."|
The notes found in the files of Neal Kravitz list servicemen and the type of intelligence available on the individual "SI" Signal Intelligence and "SCI" Sensitive Compartmented Information (Codeword classified). Under the column "SCI" one note reads; "Morris, Peterson - shot down on 1-27-73 (!) one PW."
Two other pages of handwritten notes were found in the Kravitz file. One page lists criteria:
The second page lists several name, with notes such as "3 of 3" or "2 of 3." We DO NOT know if this list relates to the criteria listed on the other page of handwritten notes. Our guess is that it does. Again we offer a sampling of entries:
|"Demmon 3 of 3"
"Francisco 2 of 3"
|"Mark Peterson 3 of 3"
"Morrison 2 of 3"
Another very experienced intelligence analyst working as an investigator for the Senate Select Committee said this in a handwritten memo dated March 3rd, 1992;
|"There are over 40 guys who were/are POWs based on the evidence. I did not/not accept inference or presumption as a basis for determining a man's status. Thus, sound of shooting, boot tracks, etc., I did not accept as the basis for a status determination."|
The memo is signed McCreary. For those unfamiliar with John McCreary, here is what Major General Glen Shaffer, USAF (Ret.) had to say about him;
|"John McCreary is an unsung hero of U.S. Intelligence. He spent 38 years serving the Department of Defense Intelligence as a strategic analyst, most of that time in the Directorate of Intelligence (J2) office of the Joint Staff serving the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Secretary of Defense. This is where I got to know John. I retired as the J2 in 2003 and John was the senior analyst on the staff. John was, quite simply, the very best intelligence analyst I ever worked with in my 33 year career."|
McCreary's integrity is well known among those familiar with a series of memos issued in 1992. The memos protested the order to destroy documents of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA, including a briefing book on live sightings prepared by staff investigators. [Note: To view the McCreary Memos visit www.nationalalliance.org/mccreary/index.htm ]
Imagine an analyst who does not "accept inference or presumption as a basis for determining a man's status."
DPMO Debunk Overdrive -- We have no doubt that DPMO will go into overdrive to debunk the list of 59. After all nine of those named are remains returned and another is apparently dead. For three others, Vietnamese witnesses say they were ambushed and killed. In fact, Vietnamese witnesses probably say all of the unaccounted for individuals named are dead. Therefore, in the eyes of DMPO, they are dead.
At least that's what they would like us to believe.
An analyst the caliber of John McCreary would not take the "sound of shooting, boot tracks, etc.," as a basis for a status determination. DPMO will, even when documents of the day say the shooting involved another unit. They will ignore contemporary correspondence stating; "weapons fire was heard in the area; however, the firing involved a squad of men in an area other than where the second sampan was last seen." They will ignore the content of the duty log and in the statements made during the Board of Inquiry, all confirming the shots heard involved another patrol.
In order for DPMO to consider the four men involved in this incident, Sp4 Thomas Mangino and PFC's Paul Hasenbeck, Daniel Nidds and David Winters "fate determined" DPMO needs those shots to involve the four men. Therefore, those shots will relate to the four. As for evidence, why let a little detail like evidence get in the way.
This has been a very long Bits N Pieces and it could go many pages more. For now we will end with this quote, from the August 17, 1992 memo:
|"The Committee was able to identify and obtain nearly 50 wartime lists which document the development of the Administration's knowledge of who was confirmed or suspected of being in captivity during 1966 - 1973. The Committee also located DIA's weekly casualty status changes covering the period 1966 - 78. When DIA's previously Secret casualty status change reports are used in conjunction with the individual case files and current lists, they confirm that DIA should have known by April 1973 that more Americans had been captured and were unaccounted for as of April 1973 than it believed as of February."|
To View All Documents visit
Links for Additional Information
The McDonnell Case - www.nationalalliance.org/mcd/jtm-00.htm
Mangino, Hasenbeck, Nidds and Winters Case - www.nationalalliance.org/four/index.htm
Project X - www.nationalalliance.org/projx/cover.htm
Bits 'N' Pieces Index 2008