National Alliance of Families


For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen


+ World War II + Korea + Cold War + Vietnam + Gulf War +

BITS 'N' PIECES - JANUARY 23RD, 1999




Dolores Apodaca Alfond

National Chairperson - (dolores@nationalalliance.org)

Voice/Fax 425-881-1499



Lynn O'Shea

New York State Director - (lynn@nationalalliance.org)

Voice/Fax 718-846-4350





Better Access to Vietnamese Film Archives -- We hope so -- From Reuters January 14th "A German company has signed a landmark deal with Vietnam to be the sole worldwide distributor of the communist nation's film archives, an executive said on Thursday... the deal, which was signed on Thursday, would make available footage of Vietnam which had never been seen before."



"Available footage would include the wars against the French and Americans, as well as a unique film of the death of former revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh and film shot by the former South Vietnam, he said."



"There are a number of large official archives in the country, including those owned by the military and the communist party, which... would probably become available.... North Vietnam had more than 130 cameraman working at the front during the Vietnam War against the Americans and the U.S.-backed Saigon regime....



Speaking of Photos - On a recent trip to Poland, Donna Downs Knox, President of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, located two photos showing American POWS, from the Vietnam era. She very kindly provided those photos to the Alliance and we are now attempting to identify the Americans (and they very definitely are Americans) shown in the photos. Unfortunately, the quality of the photos (xerox) does not allow clear faxing. One photo shows two Americans, one definitely U.S. Army. Based on information contained in the photo caption, these men were captured in, or prior to 1966. The second photo shows an American pilot we believe to be Air Force, based on aircraft wreckage.



We invite you all to visit our web site and view these photos. For those without computer access, Heart of Illinois has kindly agreed to publish the photos in the next edition of their wonderful newsletter, in hopes that someone can identify the photos.



Are the Russians Trying - In the December 5th edition of Bits 'N' Pieces we quoted from a February 18th, 1994 Reuters article. According that article, "Russian officials complained in a classified cable last November (1993) that State Dept. officials were discouraging them from releasing documents about American prisoners of war in Vietnam, The New York Times reported Friday."


"According to the cable, the Russians complained that some US officials were pressing them to turn over documents about US soldiers missing in Vietnam, while others told them that the release of the documents would hurt American-Russian relations."


On Tuesday, January 12th, 1999, almost 5 years later, the Washington Times reported, "A Russian parliamentarian who worked on prisoner-of-war issues claims the State Department discouraged Moscow from pursuing the fate of missing Americans, according to a senior member of Congress."


"Rep. Curt Weldon said he is upset by the claim of the Duma member who told him about the State Department comments during a meeting in Moscow last month.


"During a conversation, the official told me `I can tell you, we were told by your government, your State Department, not to pursue these issues,' " Mr. Weldon, Pennsylvania Republican, said in an interview.


"The statement bolsters private criticism by some Pentagon officials that the State Department is refusing to press the Russian government to investigate cases of missing Americans....."


In the January 9th edition of Bits 'N' Pieces, we wrote; "President Clinton has committed to an aggressive pursuit of the documentation referred to in the writings of General Dimitri Volkogonov. There was a plan to transport American POWs, from Southeast Asia to the former Soviet Union. We need to see the documents. We need to know if the plan was carried out and we need to know the names of the Americans taken to the former Soviet Union. Or, perhaps the Russians have already given us the names."



Did the Russians try to provide us with the names of American POWs either questioned by the Soviets or actually taken to the former Soviet Union?


In the early part of 1992, Senators from the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs traveled to Russia. During their visit they requested the Russians conduct a comprehensive search of all records to possibly locate the names of POW who the Soviets may have had contact with, during the Vietnam War.


From a reliable source, we learned the Russians responded in May of 1992, with a list of 41 names. However, their response would remain hidden, for another 16 months.


In June 1992, Boris Yeltsin visited the United States. During the flight, to the United States, Mr. Yeltsin was interviewed by NBC's Dateline. During his interview, Mr. Yeltsin spoke of American POWs taken into the Soviet Union. Not only did Mr. Yeltsin, speak of Americans taken to the former Soviet Union, he offered the possibility that some may still be alive.


The debunkers went into overdrive. First, the government claimed that the translator misunderstood Mr. Yeltsin remarks. So, Dateline had a second translation done. That translation confirmed Mr. Yeltsin's remarks. Then, privately the comments were written off to the possibility that Mr. Yeltsin had to much Vodka on the trip over. Still he persevered, because he believed the U.S. government seriously wanted answers on the POW/MIA issue. So, he stood before Congress and spoke of POWs taken to the former Soviet Union and the possibility that some may still be alive.


No one listened to Mr. Yeltsin and no one, outside of a select few within the Defense Department, knew of the existence of the Russian response, to the request of U.S. Senators.


Then, as it has so many times before, fate intervened. In the fall of 1993, a package of documents was sent to a Korean War POW/MIA family member. They showed the documents to a friend, who was a Vietnam War POW/MIA family member. It was the Vietnam family member who recognized the names on the list and immediately knew this list required further investigation.


The list made its way from California to New York, by way of Minnesota, then back to Washington State and into the hands of Ann Holland, wife of POW/MIA Melvin Holland. One of the names on the list was Arnold Mikhailevich Holland, with the comment "listed as Hollend, Melvin Arnold (H189)"


There are typos and misspellings in the list, but its intent is clear. The Russians were asked to search their records and they did. The list is not perfect. It contains the name of one returnee and the name of one serviceman known not to survive his incident. The remains of this serviceman were recently returned, identified and buried.


However, the list contains the names of several servicemen known to have survived their incident, such as Kelly Patterson.


The "Certificate," provided by the Russian reads;


"A check of a list of 3,752 U.S. servicemen missing in action in Southeast Asia, and other foreigners, against the records of the Main Information Center of the Russian Federation's Ministry of Internal Affairs, has established a similarity in the information recorded for 41 individuals who have undergone accounting by last name and who were sentenced for various offenses during the period of 1922 through 1968. These included the following sentences: "



1. Espionage - 10 persons



Filinov, Peter Mikhailovich, listed as Fellon, Patrick M. (F057)

Gaider, Rolf, listed as Geiter, Ralph Ellis (G045)

Grauert, Hans Georg Ludwig, listed as Groert, Hans Herbert (G383)

Hill, Daniel Davidovich, listed as Hall, Donald J. (H004)

Mayer [Maier?], Theresa, listed as Kerber, Maria Theresa (K733)

Stefan, Leopold, listed as Leopold, Steven Rider (L049)

Mac Donald, William Lionel, listed as MacDonald, Joseph William (M172)

Thomas, Robert listed as Thomas, Robert J. (T067)

Wano [Ueno?] Tomaso, listed as Thomas, William Z. (T064)

Washingotn, Leroy, listed as Washington, Bobby (W149)



2. Heinous crimes in the occupied territory and collaborating with the fascists -- 14 persons



Clifford; this is Braun, Charles listed as Braun, Charles A. (B198)

Daniel, Herbert, listed as Herber, Daniel A. (G600)

Dewitt, Martinas, listed as Martin David Earl (M365)

Meyer, Benno Edward, listed as Meyer, Elton Benno (M065)

Niko, Felix, listed as Neko-Kuinones, Felix B. (N021)

Ernst, Arthur listed as Olds, Ernst Arthur (O004)

Ernst, Arthur listed as Olds, Ernst Arthur (O004)

Parra, Richard listed as Perry, Richard Clark (P378)

Herold, Robert, listed as Roberts, Harold J. (R106)

Thomas, Robert listed as Thomas Robert J. (T067)

Leisten, Fritz listed as Lestien F. (L751)

Thomas Paul, listed as Pail Thomas Show [Shaw?] (R073)

(Note: the following entry is hand written)

Thomas Carl, listed as Weiderguist, Thomas Earl (W138)



3. Counter-revolutionary activities - 6 persons



Holland, Arnold Mikhailevich, list as Hollend, Melvin Arnold (H189)

Holinger-Hullinger, Edwin Henrikhovich, listed as Hollinger, Greg Neimen (H402)

Jans [?]. George, listed as Jones, George Emerson (J372)

Gere, Robert, listed as Lenrn [?], Gary Robert (L092)




OSIA/DXL




Berbar, Bernard Samuelovich, listed as Plassmeyer, Bernard Herbar (P097)

Thomas, Paul listed as Pail , Thomas Shaw [Show/] (R073)



4. Criminal offenses -- 8 persons



Un-Bon-A lsited as Cho Un Ban (C746)

Herbert, Lange, listed as Lanford, Herbert L. (L036)

Maider, Kurt Max, listed as Meider, Kurt (M742)

Parsons, Michael James, listed as (P102)

Peterson, William-Jay, listed as Patterson James Kelly (P057)

Francis, Robert Fridrikhovich, listed as Pariss, Robert Francis (P407)

Kurt, Frederich, listed as Waisman [?], Kurt Frederick (W374)

Worren, Dale, listed as Worren Gray D. (W081)



5. No indication of articles of indictment -- 3 persons



Un-Bon-O, listed as Cho Un Ban (C746)

Pepper, John Wilhelm, listed as Pepper, Anthony John (R375)

Roper, John Thomasovich, listed as Roberts, Harold J. (R106)



Chief, State Information Center

Colonel, Internal Services

Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs



[Signature] G. L. Lazhikov


14 May 1992





Based on Ann Holland's inquiries an "investigation" of the list was begun, in the fall of 1993. Four months later, in March of 1994, a meeting was held in Washington D.C. The meeting, with General Dimitri Volkogonov, was arranged by a group of Korean War POW/MIA families included two representatives of Vietnam POW/MIA families. One of these representatives was Ann Holland.


The following are Mrs. Hollands words -- "In March of 1994 I attended a meeting with the Russians in Wash. DC to find out why my husband's name was on the Russian list that Boris Yeltsin tried to give to George Bush in June of 1992. I would be allowed two questions which had to be submitted two weeks before the meeting. As I expected, before the meeting started a member of the Russian task force handed me a piece of paper that stated Arnold Mikhailevich Holland was an Estonian who was born in 1929 and sentenced in 1945. Most of the names on the "Russian List" were explained away the same way."


"...We were allowed two hours but the meeting ran much longer... Just as the Russians were calling an end to the meeting I was allowed to ask one question. General Volkogonov read from his notes the comment made about Arnold Mikhailevich Holland then added that because of the age he couldn't possibly be my husband and that I would have to go to the Vietnamese for answers. I asked him if because of the Russian close ties with the Vietnamese during the Vietnam war if he could use his influence to help me get answers from the Vietnamese. He told me "no" because the last time they tried to help us they got into a lot of trouble for it. He was referring to the 1205 document and the trouble came from the American side."


"I have always believed there was a reason my husband's name was on the Russian list no matter what excuse our government came up with. George Bush was the head of the C.I.A. the year I started my lawsuit against the government and I've been told by a very reliable source that all information about Site 85 was ordered destroyed. He sure wouldn't want to be given a list with TSgt Melvin A. Holland's name on it, sentenced for "counter revolutionary activities in the Soviet Union". The list was conveniently "misplaced" for 15 months until it was "accidentally" discovered with some documents in a Korean War families' records. A good friend to the families was fired from the Task Force office shortly afterward."


"When is the government going to learn that we are NOT going to go away. Maybe now is the time to work on President Clinton to help us. It would be pretty hard to convict a man of wrongdoing if he should suddenly discover Americans who had been sent to Russia. He would be a hero!!!!" -- Ann Holland



Estonians and Ukrainians - If United States Senators asked for a list correlating POWs, why would the Russians provide a list of Estonians and Ukrainians? How was it determined that the names on the list were Estonians and Ukrainians?


Maybe the Russians got the message.



Don't forget to order your copy of "One Day Too Long" by Dr. Timothy N. Castle. (See Bits N Pieces - January 9th for details or visit our website.) Learn how many lies were told to Ann Holland and the Site 85 families. Order you copy now.



New Search in Laos - From the Associated Press - "U.S. and Laotian experts will excavate 10 sites over the next three weeks where the remains of American servicemen missing in action from the Vietnam War are believed to be buried."


"The operation, which began Jan. 12, marks the 41st time that U.S.-Laotian teams have scoured for clues to the fate of the MIAs since a joint task force was formed in 1992, the official Laotian news agency KPL reported Tuesday.


The National Alliance of Families 10th Annual Forum is scheduled for June 17th - 19th, at the Sheraton Center City Hotel, in Washington D.C. (same as last year.) We will have reservation information, in an upcoming edition of Bits 'N' Pieces.


Remember - contributions are still needed to keep the Alliance going. Donations may be mailed to:


National Alliance of Families

P.O. Box 40327

Bellevue, Wa. 98015



Remember all contributions are tax deductible.



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