HERTZ, GUSTAV CRANE
11/2005 Family states Middle Name is CRANE, not Grane as noted in records and news articles.
Remains Returned. I.D. announced 03/16/01
Name: Gustav Grane Hertz (name as in records) Rank/Branch: U.S. Civilian Unit: Date of Birth: 10 May 1918 Home City of Record: Date of Loss: 02 February 1965 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 105051N 1064631E (XS940996) Status (in 1973): Killed in Captivity Category: 1 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Honda
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 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. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK May 1997.
REMARKS: 670924 DIC - ON PRG LIST
SYNOPSIS: Gustav G. Hertz was a U.S. civilian working in Southeast Asia. On February 2, 1965, Hertz was riding a Honda motorbike about 5 miles northeast of Saigon near Thu Duc when he was captured by the Viet Cong. Hertz spent the next 2 1/2 years as a prisoner of war.
On June 15, 1967, the Viet Cong Liberation Radio, broadcasting from Hanoi, announced that Gustav Hertz had paid his "blood debt to the Vietnamese people." Hertz, according to the report, had been executed.
When 591 American prisoners were released by the Vietnamese in the spring of 1973, the Vietnamese supplied a list to the U.S. of those captives who had died in captivity. Gustav Hertz name was on the list, and the Viet Cong stated that he had died on September 24, 1967. (Note the unexplained date-of-death descrepancy.)
Through the years following the war, the U.S. has held tentative talks and meetings with the Vietnamese on many issues, including that of resolving the POW/MIA issue. In the face of nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia to date, it doubtless has been difficult to keep a politely diplomatic attitude in these dealings. The result of recent series of talks has yielded over 300 sets of American remains. Few of these have been identified thus far.
Critics of U.S. Government efforts complain that U.S. efforts are not adequate. They fear normalization with Vietnam before the POW/MIA issue is fully resolved. Most of all, they fear that hundreds of Americans are still alive in Southeast Asian prisons, and that these men will be abandoned in diplomatic expediency.
Gustav Hertz was not a soldier ordered to Southeast Asia by the military. Indeed, public records do not state his occupation or reason for being in Vietnam at all. Information on civilians is difficult to get. But Gustav Hertz is an American citizen, and his government has an obligation to him to see that he is returned -- dead or alive. It's time we brought our men home.
The book "Pacific Stars and Stripes, VIETNAM Front Pages" published in 1986 states:
Five-Star Edition Vol. 21, No. 98 Fraiday, April 9, 1965
U.S. Aide Faces Death, VC Warn
Toyko (AP) -- The communist Viet Cong warned Wednesday that a high-ranking American civilian captured in saigon two months ago will be shot if Republic of Vietnam authorities execute one of its men.....
================================== Last Friday, March 16, 2001, the Department of Defense informed the League that the remains of one American, listed as KIA/BNR in North Vietnam since August 30, 1967, had been identified and returned to his family. The remains were jointly recovered on August 4, 1993 and accepted by the NOK as identified on October 21st of last year. DOD has not yet announced the name of this Navy officer from Wisconsin. The remains of Warrant officer 2nd Class Howard B. Comer, missing since November 24th, 1969, were turned over to US officials on December 14, 1993, during joint field operations in South Vietnam. Remains of the third, also US Army, were jointly recovered and repatriated June 27, 2000, but his name was not publicly announced at the request of his family. The fourth American, Mr. Gustav G. Hertz, was a civilian employee of the US Government. Now identified, his remains were unilaterally repatriated by the government of Vietnam in 1989. The accounting for these four Americans brings the number still missing and unaccounted for in Vietnam to 1493; 418 in Laos, 67 in Cambodia and 8 in the territorial waters of the PRC. Over 90% of the 1,986 Americans still missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War were lost in areas under Vietnam's wartime control.