FORS, GARY HENRY
Name: Gary Henry Fors
Rank/Branch: O3/US Marine Corps
Unit: VMFA 122, MAG 11
Date of Birth: 29 April 1941
Home City of Record: Puyallup WA
Date of Loss: 22 December 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 161433N 1065607E (YC080970)
Status (In 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B
Refno: 0947
Other Personnel in Incident: Lt. Gary Lashlee (rescued)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 01
January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2000.
REMARKS:
SYNOPSIS: The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served
a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art
electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing
capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest"
planes around.
Capt. Gary H. Fors was the pilot, and Lt. Gary Lashlee his weapons systems
operator when the two led an attack mission over Laos in their F4B Phantom.
At a point about 5 miles inside Laos in northern Saravane Province, Fors'
aircraft was hit and he and Lashlee ejected. Lashlee, the first to eject and
still drifting towards the ground, observed Fors as he parachuted safely to
the ground near the crash site of the aircraft. As Fors was landing on the
ground, communist troops were approaching. Lashlee drifted farther away, and
could not determine what happened next. The Marine Corps concluded that Fors
had probably been captured. Lt. Gary Lashlee drifted was rescued within half
an hour.
In 1969, Fors' family identified him in pictures of captured servicemen. The
military first ruled the photo unrecognizable, then agreed with an Air Force
POW who, after he was released in 1973, said it was a picture of himself.
In 1972, a Pathet Lao defector reported that he had seen someone who looked
like Gary Fors chained near a limestone cave in Laos. A photograph of a POW
in captivity was correlated to Fors by CIA in 1973.
In 1980, a Seattle refugee resident named Boukeva Phavavont said that in
1976, after his own capture by communist soldiers the year before, he saw
five Americans imprisoned in a cave near the site where Fors was shot down.
Fors is one of nearly 600 Americans who were left behind in Laos. Even
though the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of
American prisoners, these men were not negotiated for in the Paris Peace
Accords which resulted in the release of 591 Americans from North Vietnam.
Nearly 10,000 reports such as those on Gary Fors have been received by the
U.S. Government since American involvement in Indochina ended in 1975, yet
U.S. policy continues to be that there is not actionable evidence that any
Americans are still alive.
Many authorities disagree, believing that there are hundreds of Americans
still alive and being held unjustly and against their will in Southeast
Asia. Gary Fors could be one of those thought to still be alive. If so, what
must he be thinking of us?
==============================
From - Mon Jan 10 10:43:46 2000
Ladys & Gentlemen: Never in my life would I have thought it would be so hard 
in trying to contact a Author of a book, Mr. Nigel Cawthorne....
you may remember the case no.0947.         Thank You.
                                          Jim Jacka
From: James M.Jacka <jimjacka@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Friday, January 07, 2000 4:00 PM
Subject: Fw: The men in the cave!
A very good Book!!!                      Thanks.          Jim
-----Original Message-----
Date: Thursday, December 23, 1999 4:06 PM
Subject: The men in the cave!
Dear Mr.Cawthorne,
A friend of mind happen to be looking for some books at Amazon.com and came
across your name, the fact of the matter is a month ago he had finished your
book, 1st Addison of The Bamboo cage which I had loaned him to read, amazing
book, now I have been researching your book for many years trying to locate
you in reference to the chapter that you state three men were spotted in the
caves of Laos, living the life of riley, quote Radio, cots, good food (etc)
these men were identified by you, full names and good descriptions as being
in good health, these three men were mentioned another time in your book, in
order to acquirer this information your sources must have been incredibly
secretive for the mere fact that if so, someone had to be almost in the
caves themselves further more in the book Bright Lights author George J.
Veith states on page 328 that ten Americans died in an attempt to escape, if
I may quote the paragraph---In his book" Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives,
Malcolm McConnell reveals that the North Vietnamese deliberately hid the
fact that "many" Americans died as a result of a widespread torture,
although the Vietnamese also seemed to deny that they purposely killed
Americans. One illuminating story in McConnell's book, however discloses
possibly corroborating details about the "10 Americans executed" message. An
important Vietnamese officer working closely with Ted Schweitzer, a DIA
researcher at the NVA Central Military Museum in Hanoi, told Schweitzer that
a "colleague" of the Vietnamese officer admitted that late in the war ten
American POWs held in a cave prison in southern Laos had escaped and were
later recaptured by the Pathet Lao, who returned them to the control of the
NVA at the cave prison. Afterward,the North Vietnamese guards threw grenades
into the cave and killed the Americans. While the story does not precisely
match the NSA intercept, the broad elements of ten Americans executed late
in the war certainly does. The location of the NSA intercept was extremely
close to southern Laos. Now to be on with research the three men that you
have mentioned on pages 18 and 57 were Capt. Gary H. Fors, Capt. Thomas B.
Mitchell and (rank unknown) Mervin L. Morrill the later two names are not
familiar, but I do have them in my listing as POW/MIAs, my son now listed as
LT. COL. Gary H. Fors still listed as POW?MIA, my research has brought me to
a stand still with the Government and the issue. Our son in 1972,a report
that a Pathet Lao defector reported that he had seen someone who looked like
Gary Fors chained near a limestone cave in Laos. A photograph of a POW in
captivity was correlated to Fors by CIA in 1973 and in 1980 a Seattle
refugee resident named Boukeva Phavavont said that in 1976, after his own
capture by communist soldiers the year before, he saw five Americans
imprisoned in a cave near the site where Fors was shot down. In early June
of 1997 Gary's aircraft was found on a hillside about 5 miles inside Laos in
the location of the Saravane Province, which they found around 20 pieces of
artifacts pertaining to Gary and the airplane and no sign of human life,
until to my good fortune when I read your book "THE BAMBOO CAGE". Yesterday
was a sad day at the Fors household 12-22-67 the day Gary was shot down, 32
Years ago, I will continue to search for Lt.Col. Gary H. Fors, like his
Father did before me and died looking and getting no answer from our
Government until I run out of breath, my health is good so I'll be around
for a while, every year Gary's Mother and I travel to Washington D.C. for
the annual meeting in June. I would like to thank you for your good work on
the book, if it wasn't for men like you to put this information into the
main stream half of this country wouldn't know what was going on, especially
in our class rooms today, History has almost been forgotten in schools.
Thank you very much for listening to me but if you didn't know Gary H. Fors
somehow I always thought you would.
Respectfully JAMES M. JACKA    STEPFATHER. 
---------
Dear FRIENDS: Today marking the calander is the 34th year that Lt.Col.Gary
H. Fors has been missing in action,and for those who remember and for those
of us that do remember our hearts go out to Gary. This letter which I wrote
a number of years back inquiring about the author MR. Cawthorne which never
did reach him and I still keep trying, somewhere, somehow somebody knows
this man and I would like to talk to him.

Dear Mr.Cawthorne, a friend of mind happen to be looking for some books at
Amazon .com and came across your name, the fact of the matter is a month ago
he had finished your book, 1st Addison of The Bamboo cage which I had loaned
him to read, amazing book, now I have been researching your book for many
years trying to locate you in reference to the chapter that you state three
men were spotted in the caves of Laos, living the life of riley, quote
Radio, cots, good food (etc) these men were identified by you,full names and
good descriptions as being in good health,these three men were mentioned
another time in your book,in order to acquirer this information your sources
must have been incredibly secretive for the mere fact that if so, someone
had to be almost in the caves themselves.
Further more in the book Bright Lights author George J.Veith states on page
328 that ten Americans died in an attempt to escape, if I may quote the
paragraph---In his book" Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives, Malcolm McConnell
reveals that the North Vietnamese deliberately hid the fact that"many"
Americans died as a result of a widespread torture, although the Vietnamese
also seemed to deny that they purposely killed Americans.One illuminating
story in McConnell's book, however discloses possibly corroborating details
about the "10 Americans executed" message.An important Vietnamese officer
working closely with Ted Schweitzer,a DIA researcher at the NVA Central
Military Museum in Hanoi,told Schweitzer that a "colleague" of the
Vietnamese officer admitted that late in the war ten American POWs held in a
cave prison in southern Laos had escaped and were later recaptured by the
Pathet Lao,who returned them to the control of the NVA at the cave
prison.Afterward,the North Vietnamese guards threw grenades into the cave
and killed the Americans.While the story does not precisely match the NSA
intercept,the broad elements of ten Americans executed late in the war
certainly does.
The location of the NSA intercept was extremely close to southern Laos.Now
to be on with research the three men that you have mentioned on pages 18 and
57 were Capt.Gary H. Fors, Capt.Thomas B. Mitchell and (rank unknown) Mervin
L.Morrill the later two names are not familiar, but I do have them in my
listing as POW/MIAs, my son now listed as LT.COL.Gary H. Fors still listed
as POW/MIA, my research has brought me to a stand still with the Government
and the issue.
Our son in 1972,a report that a Pathet Lao defector reported that he had
seen someone who looked like Gary Fors chained near a limestone cave in
Laos.A photograph of a POW in captivity was correlated to Fors by CIA in
1973 and in 1980 a Seattle refugee resident named Boukeva Phavavont said
that in 1976,after his own capture by communist soldiers the year before, he
saw five Americans imprisoned in a cave near the site where Fors was shot
down. In early June of 1997Gary's aircraft was found on a hillside about 5
miles inside Laos in the location of the Saravane Province, which they found
around 20 pieces of artifacts pertaining to Gary and the airplane and no
sign of human life, until to my good fortune when I read your book "THE
BAMBOO CAGE". Yesterday was a sad day at the Fors household 12-22-67 the day
Gary was shot down,34 Years ago,I will continue to search for Lt.Col.Gary
H.Fors, like his Father did before me and passed away looking and getting no
answer from our  Government.
Until I run out of breath,my health is good so I'll be around for a
while,every year Gary's Mother and I travel to Washington D.C. for the
annual meeting in June.I would like to thank you for your good work on the
book,if it wasn't for men like you to put this information into the main
stream half of this country wouldn't know what was going on, especially in
our class room today,History has almost been forgotten in schools. Thank you
very much, but if you didn't no Gary H.Fors somehow I always thought you
would.
Respectfully
JAMES M. JACKA (STEPFATHER  of Lt.Col.Gary H. Fors U.S.M.C Laos 12-22-67)
G.B.U. S.U.L. meaning   GOD BLESS YOU, SEE YOU LATER,A MESSAGE THAT COL. TED
GUY WOULD TAP ON THE WALL FROM HIS CELL AT THE HANOI HILTON TO HIS MEN.