Former POW Steve E. Kiba
Steve E. Kiba
November 4, 1978 TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
While a prisoner of the Red Chinese during the Korean War, I saw over fifteen Caucasian prisoners. I saw these men from June of 1953 through the summer (June - July) of 1955. (My internment lasted from January 13, 1953 to August 4, 1955.) Most of the sightings were during the months of May through September 1953, with sporadic sightings at other times prior and after this period of time. These fifteen men are in addition to John T. Downey and Richard Fecteau with who our B-29 crew spent three weeks (December 7-28, 1954). One of the fifteen who I saw was a Lt. Paul Van Voohris. Lt. Van Voohris was on our B-29 as an instructor radar operator. I saw him on about 8 - 10 occasions over a 2-3 week period in late July and early August of 1953 -- seven months after we were shot down. During our "trial" in October of 1954, the Chinks claimed that Lt. Van Voohris and Lt. Henry Weese were killed in the crash. In my early interrogations the Chinks told me that they had captured two of our crew as they hit the ground on the night we were shot down (January 12, 1953). they also boasted that they had captured thirteen of us. Of the eleven of us who were freed, none of us were captured on the night of January 12, 1953.
I reported these sightings to our Air Force Intelligence, the CIA and the State Department upon my return to Freedom. Their reaction was one of indifference and I was admonished to forget not only the fifteen but also Downey and Fecteau. It was suggested the perhaps I had imagined that I had seen these men. Some time during my debriefings I was ordered to forget what I had seen and to forget the three weeks we spent with Downey and Fecteau and to never discuss this matter with anyone. Of course, there was no way I could ever forget these men; after all I had just been released from that indescribable hell that these abandoned men were suffering and enduring.
To my knowledge only one of these fifteen men has been released.
This statement regarding my sightings of Caucasian prisoner left behind in Red China is true, and I would be willing to swear to it.
Steve E. Kiba
ex-MIA/POW of the Red Chinese
Note: John T. Downey and Richard Fecteau were released by the Communist Chinese in the 1970's. Both were rumored to be employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.