National Alliance of Families

For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen

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

BITS 'N' PIECES - September 4, 1999

Dolores Apodaca Alfond

National Chairperson - (

Voice/Fax 425-881-1499

Lynn O'Shea

New York State Director - (

Voice/Fax 718-846-4350

We are back a week early with lots of news to share -

For those who haven't heard, Jane Duke Gaylor, mother of POW/MIA Charles Duke passed on August 29th, 1999, after a long illness.

Jane fought tirelessly for the truth about her beloved "Bubba" and all our POW/MIA's. Jane was a dear friend and staunch supporter of the Alliance. Many of you will remember her as one of the ladies leading the chant "tell the truth" when then President Bush told a gathering of POW/MIA family members to "Shut up and Sit down." Others will remember her, in her wheelchair, chained to the White House fence, to draw attention the the POW/MIA issue.

We will miss Jane. Her voice may be stilled but her many friends will continue to carry the message. We will not let her "Bubba" be forgotten!

From the U.S. Veteran Dispatch September, 1999 - "One month after Petty Officer First Class Leonard Gene Smith disappeared from his ship at a Brooklyn, New York shipyard in January 1973, the Navy declared him a deserter and turned the case over to the FBI."

"Without looking for Smith or even listing him with local authorities as missing, the Navy removed his name from the ship's roster and passed his case to the FBI where he was logged in as a common criminal to be arrested on sight. "

"Last Christmas, Smith's youngest son, Tom, who had successfully put himself through law school, took over his fathers records from his mother and began a basic investigation of his father's disappearance."

"On a hunch, he sent his dad's finger prints to the New York police. Computer analysis successfully matched the prints with that of a John Doe, who in March 1973 was pulled "bloated and naked" from the East River near the Brooklyn shipyard where Smith's ship was being repaired. Tom Smith says the Navy told him in June that in light of the new information his father's deserter status would be changed, but that did not happen."

"The 1973 autopsy performed by the New York City Medical Examiner's office lists March 13 as the date Petty Officer Smith's body was found....." "...The conditions of the body indicate that it had obviously been in the icy river a long time before police found it."

"In August, Hampton, Virginia Daily Press columnist Jim Spencer summed up the Leonard Smith case: "Tom Smith has a notice of death from the New York City Police Department for a 'John Doe.' He has a computer fingerprint comparison from the New York City Police Department that declares that 'John Doe' is Petty Officer 1st Class Leonard Gene Smith.

"At this point, that ought to be enough for the Navy to take action. A good sailor's reputation has been ruined. His remains lie in a potter's field. His family has suffered unnecessarily. This is already an American tragedy."

For the full text of this article visit the web site of the U.S. Veteran Dispatch at

Remember it was Ted Sampley and the U.S. Veteran Dispatch that broke the story of the identity of the Vietnam Unknown.

We all pulled together, to get Michael Blassie home. Now, let's help the Smith family clear the name of Petty Officer First Class Leonard Gene Smith and give this veteran a burial with honor. Leonard Smith deserves better than an unmarked grave in New York's Potters Field.

Call your Senators and Congressperson, let's right this injustice.

The Navy should hang their head in shame for their handling of this case.

They're awful free with the "D" word - The "D" word... DESERTER! If a man disappears with no known explanation... label him a deserter. Originally, they said Sabog was a deserter... For 30 years they said Pfc. Allen Lee Adams, stationed at Fort Meyer in 1967, was a deserter.... In December of 1996, they found his remains in a building under demolition in Washington D.C. They charged Garwood with desertion.... The charge wasn't proven. They say the 4 American soldiers who disappeared off the DMZ in Korea are deserters... Like everything else, saying it doesn't make it so.

They're awful free with the "D" word.

What Did Dulles Have To Say - We all know about POW's transported through China to the Soviet Union during the Korean War. We know that several sources reported on the movement of POWs through Manchouli, China. We know it and then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles knew it.

A 1954 cable marked "Secret" bearing the name "Dulles," as in John Foster Dulles, (Note: Cable below is reproducted as is - with all typos and misspellings) states; "According Despatch 1716 from Hong Kong airpouched you a recently arrived Greek refugee from Manchuria reported seeing several hundred American POW's being transferred Chinese trains to Russian trains Manchouli late 1951 and early 1952. Some POW's wore sleeve insignia indicating they were Air Force non-coms. Great number Negro troops also observed. This report corroborates previous indications UNC POW to might have been shipped to Siberia during Korean hostilities."

"United States has been greatly concerned general subject UNC personnel who may still be Communist custody. Department has just accepted British offer make representations Peiping behalf UNC personnel who may be Chinese Communist custody. Question raising this matter informally Geneva under careful consideration."

"Unless you perceive objection request you approach highest available level Foreign Ministry and leave Aide Memoire undicating (sic) reports have now come attention United States Government which support earlier indications that American Prisoners of War Korea had been "transported into Soviet Union and are now Soviet custody. Request fullest possible information these POW's and their reparation earliest possible time."

"In your discussion with Foreign Office, you may desire inform Soviets without revealing source that we have reliable accounts transfers POW's Manchouli."

That's what Dulles had to say in 1954 "we have reliable accounts transfers POW's Manchouli."

What was the State Department saying in 1955 - A memo from the office of the secretary of defense, dated sept. 16th, 1955 and signed by G.B. Erskine, general USMC, Assistant to the secretary of defense, special operations, on the subject of Geneva Negotiations on Prisoners of War, states;

1. In accordance with telephonic conversations with representatives of this office today, it is the position of the Department of Defense that the Chinese Communists should account to the U.S. for the ultimate fate of all 450 U.S. armed forces personnel.

2. The names of these individuals were conveyed to the Department of State and to Ambassador Johnson in July prior to his departure for Geneva. A further copy is attached hereto.

3. It should be particularly noted that the Department of Defense does not and has never alleged that any or all of these individuals are now alive or that they were ever prisoners of war. Rather, it is our position that they were either captured or killed in action under circumstances in which the UN forces were unable to determine their fate. Equally, it is our position that one or another of the elements of the Chinese and/or North Korean forces were in a position at the time of the incidents concerned to determine their fate.

4. To cite an example, we have been able to determine through the interrogation of returned U.S. armed services personnel that some of these individuals were last seen engaged in combat and completely surrounded by enemy forces. Whether the individual died during that combat or was taken prisoner, it is the obligation of the enemy forces under the Geneva Convention to report upon his fate.

5. In other instances we have been able to determine from the interrogation of returned prisoners of war that some (perhaps 33) of the individuals listed in the group of 450 were in fact taken prisoner. For example, we have sworn testimony that a given individual was seriously wounded, in "prison camp number 5" on a given date, and was removed by the Chinese Communists during the night, after which he was never seen again.

6. On the basis of this evidence, we are also in a position to insist that an accounting for these individuals be rendered. The names of these individuals are included in the list of 450.

7. There is also evidence based upon radar plots and intercepted voice messages, as well as upon the recovery of casualties, that a small number of Air Force crews whose missions involved flights over the Sea of Japan during the Korean War were shot down by aircraft based in the Soviet Far East, some of whom are probably held in the Soviet Union. These cases (some 33) are of course not directly relevant to the current negotiations at Geneva. The missions on which these aircraft were flying, while related to the Korean War, are highly classified and the names of these individuals have never been included on any lists for which we have demanded an accounting from the Chinese Communists.

8. In summary, it is the view of the Department of Defense that the Chinese Communists should make an accounting for the fate of the entire 450 whose names have been made available. As a negotiating point it may be added that at least 33 of these individuals were at one time in POW status. More were undoubtedly in such status but no positive evidence to that effect is available to us. In any case, however, we do not consider it desirable to treat these 33 in any way separately from the entire 450.

9. Some of the 450 may still be alive. However, no positive evidence on this score is available to us.

10. The Department of Defense has undertaken the most extensive analysis possible of all of its casualty figures and of the ultimate disposition of every member of the armed forces who served in Korea. On the basis of this analysis the above statistics have been developed. However, several million men served in Korea during the period 1950-53 and it cannot be said to be impossible that some individuals (who have on the basis of varying evidence been determined to be dead) may still be held by the Communists.

11. The U.S. should not be surprised, particularly in light of Japanese and German experiences with the Soviets in World War II, if a number of completely unrecorded Americans are ultimately found to be alive or to have been alive and in Communist hands. Such individuals do not appear on the list of 450 nor on any other list which has ever been presented. Nor is there any significant evidence available at this time that such individuals exist. Neither do we suggest that any action can be taken with regard to this possibility.

12. Your attention is again invited to the undesirability of providing any information through any source which might lead the next of kin of these armed forces personnel discussed herein to assume or believe that these personnel might still be alive and held unless the Communists are prepared at some point to document such information.

Real Time - In real time evaluations, it sure sounds like U.S. officials believed there was creditable evidence of POW transfers to both China and the former Soviet Union.

Who Gets The Full Cooperation??? - From Reuters, Aug 27th, by Charles Aldinger -- "A team of researchers from Vietnam visited U.S. archives sites in the Washington area this week in an effort to gather information on North Vietnamese casualties from the Vietnam War, the Pentagon said on Friday."

"The four Vietnamese researchers were invited by the Defense Department after American military researchers discovered some U.S. Army burial records during their work in the National Archives facility at nearby College Park, Maryland."

"The records appeared to shed some light on the fate of North Vietnamese soldiers who were casualties during combat with U.S. forces," the Pentagon said in a statement."

"The Vietnamese, who arrived in Washington on Aug. 21 and plan to leave the United States on Sunday, have spent most of their time at the National Archives and were also escorted to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, Maryland, where they received a scientific briefing....."

"...The Vietnamese government cooperates with our teams in Hanoi in seeking the fullest possible account of America's MIA (missing in action)," Deputy Assistant Defence Secretary Robert Jones said in a statement released on Friday. "When we discovered these U.S. records, it was clear that they might be of great use to our Vietnamese counterparts."

"He said the Vietnamese researchers would take documents back home with them for further analysis...."

Let's Hope They Were Only Taking Copies Of The Documents Home!!!!!!!

Albright to Visit Hanoi - From Reuters - "Vietnam and the U.S. are expected to sign a deal on airline code-sharing, along with another agreement on science and technology when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visits Hanoi next week, an official said Tuesday...."

"...Albright will visit communist Vietnam from September 6-7 en route to a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in New Zealand."

Rumor Department - Is Bill Clinton thinking about a Vietnam Visit? Talk about too little too late!!!!

Servicemen Accounted For - While we were away the Pentagon announced the identification of the following personnel

Vietnam - Army Capt. Clyde D. Wilkinson of Mineral Wells, Tex., Army Warrant Officer Arthur E. McLeod of Bay Shore, N.Y., Navy Lt. Cmdr. V. King Cameron of McAllen, Tex., Maj. Charles F. Morley of Warrensburg, Mo., Capt. Thomas C. Daffron of Pinckneyville, Ill.

World War II - 2nd LT. George Philip Gaffney, Jr., 2d Lt. John McConnon and 1st Lt. Harold Wurtz.

World War II Red Cross - Harriet Gowen

To their families, we hold you in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time and hope you truly have the answers you have waited so long for.

Why Does Johnnie Webb Still Have A Job!

Lie And Deny - The FBI did not use tear gas at Waco. Lie and Deny...

Remember - The National Alliance of Families is an all volunteer organization. Our survival depends on your donations and support. Donations may be mailed to:

National Alliance of Families

P.O. Box 40327

Bellevue, Wa. 98015

Remember all contributions are tax deductible.

Our next Bits N Pieces will be September 11th, have plenty of paper in your fax machines. We're going to give you all something to talk about on POW/MIA Recognition Day.

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