HRDLICKA, DAVID LOUIS
Name: David Louis Hrdlicka Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force Unit: 563rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Takhli AB, Thailand Date of Birth: 30 December 1931 Home City of Record: Littleton CO Date of Loss: 18 May 1965 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 202240N 1041250E (VH160480) Status (In 1973): Prisoner of War Category: 1 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2015.
SYNOPSIS: On May 18, 1965, Captain David L. Hrdlicka was the pilot of the lead F105 aircraft in a four-aircraft flight over Houa Phan Province, Laos when his aircraft was hit by ground fire. Capt. Hrdlicka radioed that he had a fire light, and other members of the flight confirmed his aricraft was on fire.
Capt. Hrdlicka successfully ejected and parachuted to the ground, landing in a small valley beside a village in the Sam Neua area. His parachute was seen opening and he was seen on the ground being led away by natives. Natives were observed rolling up Hrdlicka's parachute. A helicopter pilot landed at a nearby village and was told that the Pathet Lao picked him up.
On July 22, 1966, the Vietnamese newspaper, Quan Nhan Dan featured a story on his capture. On July 26, 1966, a tape recorded broadcast was made by Capt. Hrdlicka in which he read from a personal letter to Prince Souphanouvang. In this broadcast, a letter which attributed to Hrdlicka was read expressing his eagerness to see his wife and children. Radio Peking also broadcast a statement quoting Lao sources that Hrdlicka was their prisoner.
In August, 1966, the Russian news service, PRAVDA, ran a photograph of Hrdlicka, still in his flight suit, head bowed, and an armed guard behind him. Photos of Capt. Hrdlicka were received from several sources.
U.S. Intelligence reported that he was held in a cave near Sam Neua, Laos, and reports were monitored for several years believed to pertain to him. David Hrdlicka was photographed in captivity as late as 1968 or 1969.
The caves at Sam Neua have been said to be extensive and house a compound, including facilities for prisoners, rivaling a small city. The number of Americans held in these caves, hidden from surveillance, has been estimated by some to be in the hundreds.
When 591 Americans were released in 1973, David Hrdlicka was not among them. The Vietnamese claimed that the Pathet Lao had no facilities for holding prisoners, although there is ample intelligence to indicate otherwise. And, although the Lao publicly stated they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, the U.S. has never negotiated for these prisoners. Consequently, not one of the nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos has ever been released.
According to the official Air Force account of the loss of David Hrdlicka, "no information was ever received regarding his fate". He remains on the rolls of the missing because "his remains have not been recovered and returned."
Hrdlicka is among nearly 2500 Americans still missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Perhaps Vietnam and her puppet state, Laos, hoped that the photographs and tapes would be forgotten. David Hrdlicka is not forgotten, and will not be forgotten until the communist governments of Southeast Asia release all Prisoners of War and account for the missing.
Subj: New evidence that some POW's STILL SURVIVE! Date: 5/17/2007 10:02:19 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time From: Digu@cs.com
MAY 18, 1965 - MAY 18, 2007, 42 YEARS AS A POW IN LAOS. IS HE ALIVE?
It has been 42 years since my school mate; Col. David L. Hrdlicka was captured, in good health, in Laos. For 42 years Carol Hrdlicka, David's wife, and her three children have searched for the truthful status of husband and father.
David was a high profile POW immediately after his capture. Pravda took a capture picture which was printed around the world. David made a tape recording in which he stated he wanted to come home to his wife and children. A Russian reporter interviewed David on numerous occasions.
It is unlikely that the Laotian officials would have sent a high profile POW out into the jungle. It is more likely that he was kept in some urban area in Laos. As such, someone most know the truth about the status of Col. David Hrdlicka. Carol has never been officially notified of his death, nor has she been given any official documents that would indicate he is dead. Consequently, Carol believes David is still alive. Whether he wants to come home, is able to come home, or is actually dead; that has been her quest for the truth during these forty-two years.
The possibility that David is still alive is very real. Read the following information about the soon to be released book on the POW issue. Buy the book. Come to your own conclusion on whether or not SOME STILL SURVIVE! Become informed, get involved. We now have POW's in Iraq! There will always be wars and there will always be service personnel that will be captured. They could be your own family members. We must learn from our mistakes. Make sure the mistakes that occurred in 1973 never happen again.
New book documents live POWs in Southeast Asia E-mail blast to alert thousands of coming publication By C.J. Raven U.S. Veteran Dispatch April 12, 2007
A scathing indictment of U.S. government officials who first denied and then covered up facts about 600 American POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War is set to hit book stores on Memorial Day weekend, and a former New York congressman is heralding its appearance.
John LeBoutillier hopes his e-mail announcing "An Enormous Crime - The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia " will reach hundreds of thousands of people and awaken them to facts that point clearly to the existence of American POWs still being held in Vietnam, Laos and Russia.
"Maybe this book will have some jarring effect in some way," the former U.S. congressman from New York said." This is not just a book about history; it's also a current affairs book. The people responsible for the cover-up are still in government today.
Former President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Senator John McCain and Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry "helped cover it up in the Senate Select Committee several years ago," LeBoutillier said.
Former N.C. Congressman Bill Hendon and Elizabeth Stewart wrote "An Enormous Crime ." Hendon and LeBoutillier became friends while they were members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and it was there that they learned about America's missing and imprisoned military members.
On a day in February 1981, LeBoutillier overheard two fellow congressmen talking about a Pentagon briefing they had attended. The men learned that the military believed prisoners of war were alive in Laos. LeBoutillier's curiosity was pricked, and he told the men he and Hendon would like to get the briefing. No problem, they told him, since they were members of Congress.
"We got the briefing for a couple of hours," LeBoutillier said. "If you, or anybody else, had had the same briefing we had, not only would you be convinced that a lot of POWs are still being held over there, but that it is our duty to do whatever we can to get them back."
The Hendon-Stewart book is a project 11 years in the making. The pair dug through Washington archives, used the Freedom of Information requests and interviewed countless sources in their search for information. They provide meticulous documentation of every fact contained within the book's almost 500 pages of text and 74 pages of notes and citations. The authors are building a Web site to give readers access to each of 66,000 pages of information they uncovered.
"There is a thirst for this book," LeBoutillier said. "I think people will be ordering it and buying it, for sure. This book is a lot of work to read. It is so comprehensive. It's not the opinion of Hendon or Stewart. Everything stated in there comes from U.S. documents. Every document will be made public when the book comes out. Everyone can read it for themselves."
"Enormous Crime" can be ordered at Amazon.com before it becomes available on local bookshelves.
Although some readers may shrink at the idea of reading history and current events, Hendon and Stewart have created a highly readable and compelling story that will be difficult to put down. It reads like a political spy novel and will continually prompt readers to say, "Oh no, they didn't," all the time knowing, "Oh yes, they did."
"Enormous Crime" is already gathering favorable reviews. Publishers Weekly declares: "Controversial former North Carolina Congressman Hendon and attorney Stewart make the case that the U.S. knowingly left hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and Laos in 1973, and that every presidential administration since then has covered it up." Kirkus Reviews says it's a "convincing and compelling argument" for the fact that American POWs are still being held against their will.
Hendon took the name of his book from a 1993 television interview with Henry Kissinger, whom LeBoutillier says is the "first and most guilty American official." Kissinger at that time said it appeared that new evidence had surfaced proving that the North Vietnamese government kept more prisoners than it originally admitted. Kissinger, after acknowledging that the report (the Russian 1205 document) appeared to be true, said "I think an enormous crime has been committed."
LeBoutillier also has been active in trying to uncover the location of missing American servicemen. He attempts to induce government or military officials in Laos, Vietnam and Russia, by paying, hiring or convincing, to release prisoner information or turn over the prisoners themselves.
"It hasn't happened yet, but that doesn't mean it's not the way to do it," he said." We've got to have some live men recovered because that's the only way the American people will really believe a terrible crime has occurred. They have to see some living victims recovered. Then the government would have to admit there was a cover-up."
The Pentagon continues to receive reports, as recently as this year, of live American POWs, and the U.S. government continues to keep those reports from the public, LeBoutillier says.
He scoffs at reports from government officials such as McCain, Kerry and others who claim the Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camps are empty, and that is proof that all POWs have been returned.
LeBoutillier believes American servicemen are being held primarily in the mountainous region of North Vietnam, near the Laos border, in small camps of 10, 12 or 15 men, and guarded by their heavily armed captors.
"So we owe it to those brave American heroes to make one more concerted effort to get them home," he writes in his e-mail message. His e-mail recommends these actions to help uncover the truth:
" "Some people will call for War Crimes Trials for former and current U.S. government officials who abandoned our men and covered up their fate;
" "Others will call for the impeachment and removal from the U.S. Senate of John McCain and John Kerry;
" "Some will agree with Hendon/Stewart's suggestion to urge a presidential-level delegation of all former presidents and high-level officials to go to Hanoi and Vientiane and "stay there and negotiate until they get the POWs released."
" "Some will join the current effort to create a new U.S. House Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. (Having served in the 1980s on the earlier version of that committee -- and seeing two more since then -- I can assure you nothing any good will ever come from a congressional committee; the CIA/DIA infiltrates the staff and 'rig' the investigations. So we'd be better off channeling our energies elsewhere.)
" "Some will want to return to the in-the-streets activism of the 1980s and 1990s -- staging demonstrations aimed at making the media and the government pay attention to the Live POW issue.
" "Others will get on their computers and spread the word through the blogosphere in an effort to -- finally -- get the truth about our living POWs out there with thousands of supporting documents to back us up.
" "Some might write supportive letters-to-the-editors to their newspapers and magazines and urge them to cover the live POW issue -- truthfully and fairly.
" "Others will come up with other ideas and ways to get the Live POW issue back into our national consciousness.
" "Whatever you do, DO SOMETHING!
" "The POWs need our help, so it is up to us to do whatever we can do to help get this issue back on the front pages and back in the news. Please help our brothers!"
The live-POW issue needs to go back on the front pages of American newspapers, lead the evening news and return to the consciousness of every American citizen, LeBoutillier believes.
"It's not fair to abandon them," he said, "and it's not the American way."
Is Vietnam-era POW/MIA warrior alive? Clues tantalize
San Francisco Luxury News
Is Vietnam-era POW/MIA warrior alive? Clues tantalize Graphic/Photo Slug:SH12I143POWMIACASE MARK BRUNSWICK Minneapolis Star Tribune 09-19-12 MINNEAPOLIS His remains have never been found, but David Hrdlicka, an Air Force pilot who ...
August 15, 2015 Bits N Pieces Page 1 of 11
The National Alliance of Families Mourns the Passing of – Damian Hrdlicka son of POW Col. David
Hrdlicka. Damian lost his life in a tragic accident. To his mom Carol and the entire Hrdlicka family we offer our deepest sympathy. A memorial service was held the weekend of August 1st.
Viętnow Rockford Charter Chapter Condolences
Our sympathy to Rockford Chapter ViętNow member and POW/MIA Wife Carol Hrdlicka and her family on the death of her son Damian on July 10, 2015 while wing suiting, a form of sky-diving. An experienced skydiver who competed internationally, Damian died while doing what he loved. Damian’s father, Col. David Hrdlicka, was captured in 1965 by the Pathet Lao after his F-105 was shot down over Laos. Although there were photos and many live sightings of David in captivity, he was never returned, in spite of many years of effort by Carol. A celebration of life was held for Damian on August 1st at the Wichita State University Campus. Rest in peace, Brother.