LULL, HOWARD BURDETTE, JR.
|Name: Howard Burdette Lull, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army
Unit: Advisor, Advisory Team 70, MACV
Date of Birth: 16 May 1930 (Dallas TX)
Home City of Record: (in 1989) Kansas City MO
Date of Loss: 07 April 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 114338N 1063502E (XU731081)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Richard S. Schott (missing); Mark A. Smith; Kenneth Wallingford; Albert E. Carlson (all POWs held in Cambodia and released in 1973)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 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.
REMARKS: EVADED TO XT7297 WHERE KILLED
SYNOPSIS: On April 5, 1972, the 5th North Vietnamese Division suddenly
smashed against the Loc Ninh district capitol before dawn, attacking as no
enemy had yet attacked in that war. The Communist troops had Russian T-54
and PT-76 tanks, artillery and a conventional battle plan.
American forces in the area battled for two days before being overrun. On
April 7, 1972, Maj. Albert E. Carlson; MSgt. Howard B. Lull; LtCol. Richard
Schott; Capt. Mark A. Smith; and SFC Kenneth Wallingford were five advisors
on Advisory Team 70, MACV, at Loc Ninh when the city was completely overrun.
Radio contact was maintained until approximately 0800 hours, when the
tactical operations center began burning. Later in the day, one of the
advisors radioed that they were going into hiding, taking their radios with
After the incident, South Vietnamese Army personnel reported intercepting an
enemy radio broadcast which stated that three United States advisors had
been captured. Subsequent information received through intelligence sources
reported that five Americans were taken prisoner. This report indicated that
four of the prisoners had been taken to a temporary PW camp and one to an
The Vietnamese captured Smith, Wallingford and Carlson whom they held in
Cambodia for the remaining 10 months. On June 28, 1972, the U.S. Casualty
division changed their status from missing to captured. The three were
released at Loc Ninh in the general POW release in 1973.
Although most details of this incident are still classified, Capt. Smith
indicated in his debriefing that he, Lull and Schott had been together in a
bunker shortly before he was captured. Lull left the bunker to evade
capture, while the severely wounded Schott knew he would not survive, and
lifted his own weapon to his head and shot himself to give the others a
chance to escape.
Lull's family has been given a number of reports that possibly relate to
Howard B. Lull. The one they find most credible was told them from a
military official. This scenario has Lull leaving the bunker, and evading
capture for about three days, while other soldiers reportedly kept radio
contact with him. The last word from Lull was that he was heading for An
Loc, the provencial capital to the south.
Two other tales are not as credible, Lull's family feels: One came from a
South Vietnamese doctor who was captured by the communists after escaping
with Lull. The doctor later told U.S. authorities that shortly after leaving
the compound, Lull went into a rubber plantation that was hit by U.S.
The other account, from a South Vietnamese POW, had Lull buried in a shallow
grave after being shot to death while crossing a stream with South
One of the Americans who was captured at Loc Ninh reported asking his
captors about Lull. The North Vietnamese officer replied that Lull was not
cooperating and thus would not be going to prison with them.
No one really knows what happened to Howard Lull. Lull, if captured, was not
taken to the same prison camps as were Smith, Carlson and Wallingford. Some
reports say that he was killed by the North Vietnamese, but the U.S.
continued his status as Missing In Action pending verification of death.
Schott was carried as Missing until Capt. Smith's debrief, at which time his
status was changed to Killed in Action.
Since his return, Mark Smith has had a growing concern about Americans left
behind in Southeast Asia. Smith remained in the Army Special Forces, and
ultimately was promoted to the rank of major. In 1985, Smith and SFC Melvin
McIntyre brought suit against the U.S. Government for failing to comply with
U.S. law in securing the freedom of American POWs in Southeast Asia. The two
had been on a special assignment in Thailand, and had gathered substantial
evidence that American POWs were still being held. Further, Smith and
McIntyre claimed that this information, passed on to higher authority, had
been "deep-sixed" and there had been no attempt or intent to act upon it.
Mark Smith, like many close to the POW/MIA issue, feels that his government
has let the men down who proudly served their country. A patriot still,
Smith has spent the years since filing the lawsuit in Thailand, in further
attempts to secure the freedom of men who were left behind.
THE INSIDER JULY 1994
EGRESS-RECAP (Part I-Army & USMC)
The term EGRESS-RECAP is one that refers to a review of returned POWs
debriefings, who were released in 1973. The document from which the
following report was generated was obtained from the SERE research library
at Ft. Belvor, Va.. The library consists of classified holdings not
releasable to the public. To request a copy of EGRESS-RECAPs write to:
Secretary of the Air Force
Attn: Carolyn Price,
Freedom of Information Manager
1620 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1620
22. Lull, Howard
C149 saw Lull depart with S189 at Loc Ninh Special Forces camp. S189 last
saw Lull on day of capture. The VC later told S189 that Lull was
uncooperative and not being moved with the main group. Lull was slightly
wounded in the leg & head. W102 and W105 also reported on Lull. S189 is Maj.
Photocopies or microfilm copies of these articles are available from the
Library of Congress, Photoduplication Service, Washington D.C. 20540.
VOICE: 202-707-5640 FAX 202-707-1771
These copies MUST BE PAID FOR by the researcher
Query is "MACV SOG"
Items ranked by relevance to query. Those items having the largest
concentration of relevant terms will appear first in the list. It is not
necessary for all terms to occur in a given item.
20 . South Vietnam, pre-1975: Lull, H./Interview with Former Commanding
Officer, 5th Division Combat Assistance Team, MACV
COMMENTS BY PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION SUPPORTERS:
EXCERPT FROM FINAL REPORT:
Committee review of debriefing reports
To examine inconsistencies in the record and the hearings, the Committee
requested Operation Homecoming records and information from DoD. 335] The
responses indicated that no final analysis had been completed of the
debriefings other than the Air Force computer listing. The Committee advised
DoD that records provided by DoD showed that the Army had been tasked to
provide an historical record and the committee requested a copy, but none
was received by publication of this report. 336] ...
Senator Smith's December 1, 1992, list of POW/MIAs WHO MAY HAVE SURVIVED IN
CAPTIVITY seems to many of us to be in conflict with DIA statements that all
MIAs mentioned by the POW returnees have been "accounted for." Although
Senator Smith was not able to view all of the debriefs (ten Senators and ALL
investigators on the committee were banned from viewing the debriefs), he
did find information which casts severe doubt on statements made by DIA
officials (which were made under oath). To mention a few cases, Senator
Smith stated that MIA Burriss Begley was mentioned in Stutz Debrief 123;
Jordan, Glasson and Harris were mentioned by returnee Phillip Smith; Tilden
Holley was mentioned by returning POWs Ellis, Fisher and Heiliger (debriefs
E028, F045, H085); Joseph McDonald was identified at Ha Lo prison by first
hand contact mentioned by returnee Rayford; Woodrow W. Parker's name was
passed by wall tap to POW returnee Overly (Debrief O025); John C. Ellison
was positively identified in a picture by POW returnee Robert Flynn; John H.
Long was identified by first hand observation by POW returnee Brande; Howard
B. Lull was captured according to POW returnees Mark Smith and A. Carlson;
and Roosevelt Hestle was seen alive in Heartbreak prison, possibly tortured,
and carried on stretcher (Bolstad Debrief B091). These men have NOT been
accounted for. Although some family members have expressed the opinion that
the statement by DIA about the content of returnee debriefs is one of the
statements that was a clear-cut case of prejury by DIA officials, it must be
remembered that Senator Smith's statement about the content of the debriefs
is legally uncorroborated, since Senate investigators were banned from
viewing any portion of the returnee debriefs. ...