GOSTAS, THEODORE W.
Name: Theodore W. Gostas Rank/Branch: 03 United States Army Unit: 135th Military Intelligence Battalion Provisional, 525th MI GP Date of Birth: 13 December 1938 (Butte MT) Home City of Record: Cheyenne, WY Date of Loss: 01 February 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 162734N 1073551E Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: Daves, Gary CIV (released); Henderson, Alexander CIV (released); Meyer, Lewis CIV (released); Olsen, Robert CIV (Released); Page, Russell CIV (Released); Rander, Donald USA (Released); Rushton, Thomas CIV (Released); Spalding, Richard CIV (Released); Stark, Lawrence CIV attached to USN (Released); Willis, Charles CIV (Released).
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK 14 February 1997 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources and information provided by Ret. Major Gostas. Updated 2010.
REMARKS: 730316 Released by PRG
SYNOPSIS: Theodore Gostas attended Kemper Military Academy before serving in Vietnam.
Gostas was working with the 135th Military Intelligence Battalion Provisional, in the northern part of South Vietnam during TET '68 when Hue came under seige. Ted recalls being trapped without his radio, and being unable to warn hundreds of 5th Marines as they walked into an ambush. Many lost their lives that day. Government records indicate he and 11 others were captured soon afterward. Ten of those were civilians working with the Vietnamese.
While in captivity, he was severely beaten several times and kicked in the head and stomach. He was stuck in the head with an AK 47 and hung from a rope for extended periods and was denied water. He spent 4 1/2 years in solitary confinment. He had severe intestinal problems, and numerous absessed teeth throughout his ordeal. Gostas says it was solitary that did the worst damage.
With Gostas in the Hanoi Hilton's "New Guy Village" were Capt. Jim Thompson, Staff Sgt. Don Rander and CIV Chuck Willis.
Reflecting on his release, Ted Gostas says he "couldn't believe after all that torture that I was really home." He retired from the Army with the rank of Major, being awarded the Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts and the POW medal.
Although he suffers from many health related problems as a result of his torture and captivity, he continues his work as a "war artist" and has raised several thousand dollars in college scholarships for the children of indigent veterans. He donates 100% of the proceeds of his art work and book sales to the scholarship fund. "Prisoner" was written and illustrated by Ted in 1974 and is still available.
Ted and his wife Joanne enjoy his retirement in Wyoming. They have 2 surviving children, Laura and Demetrius. Their son Jason was killed in a traffic accident at 19. They also have a stepson, Jason, and 4 grandsons.
Associated Press Newswires Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Cowboy Enterprise: POW recalls horror of captivity By ILENE OLSON
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Ted Gostas knows better than most what it is like to feel fear, pain and uncertainty. As a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five years, he suffered physical and mental pain and torture beyond the limits many endure and survive....
Bracelet links duo
By MARGARET LAYBOURN Star-Tribune correspondent
CHEYENNE -- In 1970, three college students began making metal bracelets engraved with the names of Vietnam war prisoners to remind Americans of the sacrifices these men were making.....