[0226-71.CM 03/03/96]

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REPRODUCED AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

DECLASSIFIED PER EXECUTIVE ORDER 12356, SECTION 3.3, NND PROJECT
NUMBER NIVD96F002, BY  RB/VSW, DATE 2/16/96

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE REPORT
Note: This Document contains information affecting the national defense of the
United States within the meaning of the espionage laws. Title 18, U.S.C., Sec
793 and 794. The transmission or revelation of its contents in any manner to an
unauthorized person is prohibited by law.

CONFIDENTIAL

This report contains unprocessed information. Plans and/or policies should not
be evolved or modified solely on the basis of this report.
    
1.  COUNTRY: VS, RVN MR-1, QUANG NGAI Province

                                        8. REPORT NUMBER: 6 029 0226 71

2.  SUBJECT: (U) American Deserter in   9. DATE OF REPORT: 8 Mar 71
             QUANG NGAI Province                     (handwritten-W28533)

                                       10.NO. OF PAGES: 4

3. ISC NUMBER: 723.600                 11.REFERENCES: DIRM: 6G3, 1S3,
               720.250                                SICR: D-7CX-49018
                                                      BRIGHT LIGHT

4. DATE OF INFORMATION: May or Jun 69  12. ORIGINATOR: US Element, CMIC, USMACV
    
5. PLACE AND DATE OF ACQ: NCHC, SAIGON, VS
                          3 mar 71
                                       13. PREPARED BY: LARRY E. FITCHHORN
                                                         SP5, USA
6. EVALUATION: SOURCE F   INFORMATION  6
    
7. SOURCE: Returnee Interrogation        14. APPROVING AUTHORITY:  (SIGNED
                                                Rodney Dickson, MAJ USA for)
                                                      W.H. BEARDSLEY
                                                      LTC, USA
                                                      Dir, US Elm, CMIC


15. SUMMARY:
    
    (C) This report contains lmited information concerning the sighting of
one US deserter in an unidentifed jungle area of QUANG NGAI Province, RVN,
in May or Jun 69, to include circumstances of sighting and limited
description.  THIS IS A BRIGHT LIGHT REPORT MACV FOR JPRC.
    
    1. (C) Background Information:

        a. Name: NGUYEN DANG THINH (NGUYEENX, DEANG THINHV), CMIC No C-3652

        b. Rank: PFC

        c. Position and Unit of Assignment: Porter; 1st Sqd, Trans Plat,
13th Arty Bn, 2d Regt, MR-2

        d. DPOB: 1941; LIEN QUAN Village, THACH THAT District, HA TAY
Province, NVN
    

16. DISTRIBUTION BY ORIGINATOR:
    DIA                    1 cy
    DIRNSA                 1 cy
    SAC                    1 cy
    CINPAC                 1 cy
    CINPAC AF              2 cys
    CINCUSARPAC            2 cys
    COMUSMACTHAI           1 cy
    MACJ212-2              2 cys
    MACJ213-1              1 cy
    MACJ23                 1 cy
    MACJ231                1 cy

17. DOWNGRADING DATA: GROUP 3
    DOWNGRADED AT 12 YEAR INTERVALS NOT AUTOMATICALLY DECLASSIFIED
    THIS DOCUMENT IS RELEASEABLE TO REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM AND FREE WORLD
    MILITARY ASSISTANCE FORCES

18: ATTACHMENT DATA: None

Page 2 of 4
    
    e. Parents' Names: Father, NGUYEN DANG QUE (NGUYEENX, DEANG QEES),
deceased; Mother, NGO THI MAN (NGOO, THIV MANNS) living
    
    f. Circumstances of Return. While on a rice-carrying mission, Source
deserted his squad and rallied to a Regional Forces unit in MY HIEP Village,
PHU MY District, BINH DINH Province, RVN, on 7 Jan 71.
    
    g. Significant Activities:
    
    (1) DOB to Apr 69. Source attended the village school at his POB from 1949
to 1953. He worked there as a barber from 1954 until Jun 68, at which time he
was drafted into the NVA and assigned to the 517th Bn, 320-B Div, at NHO QUAN
District, NINH BINH Province, NVN, for basic training. In Jan 69, the 517th
En completed its training and began infiltrating to the EVE, with no change in
its designation. The 517th En traveled by train from NHO QUAN District, NINH
BINH Province, to VINH City, NGHE AN Province, NVN, and from VINH City to HA
TINH Province, NVN, by sampan. The group traveled from HA TINH Province to
QUANG BINH Province, NVN, by truck. From there the battalion walked across the
TRUONG SON Mountains through the NGUYEN THI TRANH Pass into LAOS, then into
the RVN, finally ending the infiltration at a commo-liaison station (NFI) of
MR-2 in QUANG NAM Province, RVN, in Apr 69.
    
    (2) Apr 69 to 7 Jan 71. Upon completion of the infiltration, the entire
517th Bn, with the exception of the cadre, who returned to NVN, was assigned
to Agricultural Site 3 located in QUANG NGAI Province, RVN. Source and 19
other men from the 517th En were assigned to the 50th Trans Bn, Agricultural
Site 3. Source was assigned as a porter to the 1st Sqd, 1st Plat, 1st Co, 50th
Trans Bn. The unit transported food supplies, weapons, ammunitions, and wounded
personnel for unidentified units of Agricultural Site 3. Source remained with
this battalion until Nov 70, at which time it was disbanded. All personnel
from the unit were reassigned to the 2d Regt, MR-2. Ten men from the 50th
Trans Bn, including Source, were assigned to the 13th Arty Bn, 2d Regt, MR-2.
Source worked as a rice porter in the 1st Sqd, Trans Plat, 13th Arty Bn, and
remained in this position until he rallied on 7 Jan 71. Source rallied because
he was tired of the war, the hardships of VC/NVA life, and the dangers of
fighting. His unit suffered serious shortages of food supplies, weapons, and
ammunition.
    
    h. Additional References: CMIC PW/Rallier Exploitation Guide
    
2. (C) American Deserter in QUANG NGAI Province:
    
    a. Places of Confinement. Source knew nothing concerning places of
confinement of US PWs.
    
    b. Description of the Deserter:
    
            (1) Identification:
    
               (a) Number and Nationality of Deserters. In May or Jun 69,
Source sighted one US deserter working on a rice-carrying mission

    
Page 3 of 4
    
with approximately 15 VC soldiers near an unidentified commo-liaison station
in the Jungles of QUANG NGAI Province, RVN.
    
    (b) Information about the Deserter:
    
            1 Name: Unknown
    
            2 Rank/Branch of Service: Unknown
    
            3 Type of Aircraft: None
    
            4 Nationality: American (assumed)
    
            5 Physical Description. Source was able to give the following
limited description of the US deserter:
    
                Height: 1. 80m
    
                Weight: 70 to 80kg

                Color of Hair and Eyes: Black; dark

                Race: Negro

                Complexion: Dark, clear

                Hair: Short

                Nose: Short, flat

                Scars: None visible

                Tattoos: None visible

                Birthmarks: None visible

                Build: Heavy

                Age: 25 to 30 years

                Glasses Worn: None

                Rings/Watches: None
    
    (c) Clothing. At the time Source saw the deserter, he was wearing dark
blue VC fatigues similar in style to the NVA uniforms. The deserter was also
wearing HO CHI MINH sandals but did not have a hat.
    
    (d) Insignia. As the deserter was not wearing a US uniform, Source did not
see any rank or unit insignia.
    
    (e) Photographs. Source could not identify the deserter from photographs
as it had been too long since he had seen him and because of the fact that all
Americana looked very much alike to him.
    
Page 4 of 4
    
    (f) Health of the Deserter. The deserter appeared to be in good health,
and Source saw no evidence of his  having been wounded.
    
    (g) Background of the Deserter. Source was not able to provide any
information concerning the background of the deserter.
    
    (h) Separation of PWs. Source knew nothing concerning the policy of
keeping US PWs separated. The deserter that Source sighted was not separated
from the VC soldiers; rather he appeared to be a willing co-worker.
    
    (i) PW Deaths. Source knew nothing at all concerning the deaths of US PWs.
    
(2) Capture Data. When Source sighted the deserter he was moving along a
 jungle trail with approximately 15 other VC soldiers on a rice-carrying
 mission. Shortly afterwards Source and the soldiers in his unit rested
 alongside the trail. Another group of VC came along and rested near Source.
 These VC were from the same unit (NFI) that the deserter was with, and one of
 the soldiers told Source that the US soldier had voluntarily surrendered
 himself to the VC and willingly agreed to work for them. The soldier did not
 give information concerning the details of the date and place of the
 American's defection. When Source saw the deserter, the American was
 unguarded and was working harder than any of the VC soldiers with him. A few
 of the rice bearers had weapons, but Source believed that the weapons were to
 be used to protect the mission rather than to guard the American.
    
    (3) Movement of PWs to a Detention Camp. Source knew nothing concerning
the movement of PWs to a detention camp. When Source sighted the deserter, the
American was moving on foot and was neither guarded nor bound.
    
    (4) In Camp. Source knew nothing at all concerning PW camps.
    
    (5) Interrogation of PWs. Source not able to provide  any information
 concerning the interrogation of US PWs.
    
    (6) Prisoner Mail Privileges. Source could not provide any information
 concerning prisoner mail privileges.
    
    (7) Indoctrination. Source knew nothing concerning indoctrination of US
 PWs.
    
    (8) Medical Care and Health. Source knew nothing at all concerning the
 medical care and health of US PWs.
    
    (9) NVA/VC/PATHET LAO Policy Concerning the Capture or Execution of US
 Personnel. Source could not provide any information concerning this policy.
    
 (C) COMMENTS: Source was extremely cooperative throughout the interrogation
 and appeared to be eager to assist this interrogator. He seemed to be of
 average intelligence, and answered all control questions accurately and
 without hesitation. This report partially satisfies the requirements of SICR
 D-7CX-49018. Collection action continues.
    
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