MEHRER, GUSTAV ALOIS

Name: Gustav Alois Mehrer
Rank/Branch: United States Army/E2
Unit:
Date of Birth: 03 April 1949 Austria
Home City of Record: Omaha NE
Date of Loss: 25 December 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154700 North  1081900 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno:

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. Updated in 2015 with material and articles
provided by Gustav Mehrer.

REMARKS: 730316 RELEASED BY PRG
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

GUSTAV A. MEHRER
PFC - United States Army
Captured: December 25, 1968
Released: March 17, 1973
                        
Parents: Erhardt and Hermine born in Romania
Brothers: Charles, Ludwig and Berthald
Sisters: Narcisse, Maria

Gustav A. Mehrer was born 3 April 1949 in Leoben, Austria. After coming to
the United States, the family settled in Nebraska, where his father was
employed as a carpenter.

When Mehrer, who is known as "Gus", was serving as an Army Signal Corps
specialist, and was captured on Christmas Day in 1968, memories of World War
II flooded the minds of his parents. Mr. Mehrer had been arrested by the
Nazis and held prisoner in a German concentration camp. His mother well knew
how imprisonment could break a man. She knew the deep emotional and physical
tortures that were endured. Many times the scars were still there long after
the release came. Now Gus was missing. He had volunteered for the draft and
been sent to Vietnam with the 156th Signal Platoon. When captured by the
Viet Cong, he was  dragged and beaten through the jungle. During the
interrogation he was bound with twine. He was tied to the top of the hut,
with  his elbows tied together and then hoisted and left hanging for hours.
Later, at one point, an American helicopter endeavored to rescue some of the
prisoners, but the jungle growth was too thick to permit it to land.

"The food smelled musty, like mildew. The weevils would crawl in the husk of
the rice and eat the inside. They'd die in there, but you wouldn't know the
difference, we had so little to eat."

He dreamed of the many hobbies he enjoyed - music, dancing, model cars,
ceramics, lapidary, and reading while living the reality of starvation,
death and dehumanization. Two and a half years were spent in the jungle the
rest in the infamous Hanoi Hilton.

Now home,  "It's like a million Christmasses and birthdays all wrapped into
one. I'll do everything I can for  this country for  the rest of my life.
The United States must know that other nations envy its power and  wealth
and we must be aware of the Communist threat."

Gustav lives in Colorado. He lost his wife in 2008.
 
2015 Update
Original DD214 and 1991 DD215

Mehrer was assigned to numerous covert ops before, during and after captivity.