[060292.OH 04/27/96]

KEY JUDGEMENTS:

-The General Political Directorate might have retained control of
some central records concerning U.S. POWs and MIAs when it
ostensibly passed responsibility for U.S. POW/MIA matters to the
newly formed Group 875 in late 1972.

-The subjects interviewed during this project have only hearsay
knowledge that PAVN destroyed its central files on U.S. POWs and
MIAs in 1979.
    
SUMMARY:  Specialists from the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting
    
I. MAJOR PHAM VAN HOAN:

1. The joint team interviewed retired PAVN Major Pham Van Hoan [Phamj] Vawn
Hoanf], aka Pham Van Huan [Phamj yawn Husans], at the government's Le Thach
Guest House from 1400 to 1730, 2 June 1992. Major Hoan has been retired from
PAVN and living in Cao Bang Province since 1975. VNOSMP member LTC Pham Teo
traveled to Cao Bang Province, located Major Hoan, and escorted him to Hanoi
on/about 28 May 1992 for interview by the joint team. The interview had three
objectives: one, to learn about PAVN's war time records concerning U.S.  POWs
and MIAs; two, to learn about PAVN's unilateral efforts to collect and
preserve remains of Americans who died in Southeast Asia; and, three, to
learn about convicted collaborator [xxxx] [xxxx] [xxxx] claims to have seen
U.S. POWs in northern Vietnam after 1973. U.S. team members were Mr. [xxxx]
[xxxx].[xxxx], Dr. [xxxx] [xxxxx], CWO [xxxx] [xxxx], Mr. [xxxx] [xxxx], and
Cpl [xxxx] [xxxx]. Vietnamese team members were SrCol Tran Van Bien (senior
MoD representative to VNOSMP), LTC Pham Teo (most experienced MoD expert on
the VNOSMP), Mr. Duong Van Ngoc (Ministry of Foreign Affairs officer seconded
to the VNOSMP). On 3 June 1992, Mr. [xxxx] held informal discussions with
Major Hoan, SrCol Bien, and LTC Teo during lunch (1200-1330) at the Cha Ca La
Vong restaraunt in Hanoi.

2. Major Hoan was born in Hoa An District, Cao Bang Province in 1928/27
((Lunar year Mau Thin/Maauj Thin)). He is a member of an ethnic minority group
called the Tay. He has three years of formal education. He does not speak any
foreign language. He was a forceful, animated, articulate, and amiable
interview subject. He joined the military at age 16 and retired in 1975.

a. He entered military service in 1944 when he joined a a Communist
Armed Propaganda Team in Cao Bang Province. From 1945 to 1950 he worked
as a  civilian proselyting cadre in Cao Bang and Lang Son Provinces.
From about  1950 to 1952 he was a member of the Lang Son Province
military unit. From  1952 to 1954 he served in the PAVN 316th Infantry
Division and participated  in many of the historic battles against the
French in northern Vietnam during  that era.

b. From 1955 until 1970 he served as a rear services officer at the Moc
Chau State Farm ((Nong Truong Moc Chau)) in Son La Province. Major Hoan
described the Moc Chau State Farm as an agricultural and livestock
production  site operated by southerners who had regrouped to northern
Vietnam when the  country was partitioned by the Geneva Conference in
1954. ((Field Comment:  This was one of several state farms established
in northern Vietnam after 1954  to produce food for PAVN units that had
regrouped to the North.))

c. Major Hoan said none of the former members of the French
Expeditionary Forces who remained in Vietnam after the Geneva Accords ever
lived or worked at the Moc Chau State Farm. He was aware that a number of
former French soldiers, mostly Algerians, Moroccans, and other North African
members of the French forces, lived and worked at a "Rallier Camp. located in
Ba Vi District ((Field Comment: about 35 km west of Hanoi City)). Many of
these men had taken Vietnamese wives and fathered children. Major Hoan said
he once visited this "Rallier Camp's" production site. He noted the residents
were excellent farmers who raised coffee, rice, cattle, etc. He said he did
not know whether any of these former French soldiers remained in Vietnam
today.

d. Major Hoan said he had no knowledge of any U.S. aircraft losses in
the vicinity of Moc Chau.

e. In 1970 Major Hoan was assigned duties as a rear services officer in
the PAVN POW camp system. He was the chief of a rear service support
section  located in the Central Film Studio near the Tu So Intersection
in southwestern  section of Hanoi. U.S. POWs called this camp "The
Zoo". Major Hoan's immediate  supervisor was Senior Colonel Nguyen Thuc
Dai ((Nguyeenx Thucs DDaij)), the  then Deputy Director of PAVN's Enemy
Proselyting Department. Major Hoan  remained in this position until
Operation Homecoming in 1973.

f. In 1973, shortly after PAVN released the U.S. POWs, Major Hoan
turned all of his records over to Senior Colonel Dai's  office. Major
Hoan was  then reassigned to a routine rear services position until he
retired in 1975.  Since 1975, Major Hoan has lived in his home province
of Cao Bang.

g. Major Hoan said he believed PAVN never sent any U.S. POWs to the
Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, or any other country. He
was  certain that PAVN released all U.S. POWs it was holding at the
time of  Operation Homecoming in 1973. He was certain that PAVN would
not have  withheld any U.S. POW in violation of the Paris Peace
Agreement.

h. Mr. [xxxx] described convicted collaborator [xxxx] [xxxx]. [xxxx]
and his claims to have seen U.S. POWs in Vietnam after 1973. Major Hoan said
he had not previously heard about [xxxx], either by his true name, any of his
adopted Vietnamese names, or any other information about him. Major Hoan also
said he had no knowledge of any other Americans who might have voluntarily
stayed in Vietnam after 1973.

3. MAJOR MOAN'S KNOWLEDGE OF THE POW CAMP SYSTEM.

a. Major Hoan noted that he was assigned to the POW camp system, in
1970, PAVN's Enemy Proselyting Department (CDV--Cuc Dich Van)), General
Political Directorate, was the agency of primary responsibility for
U.S.  POWs. He did not recall the identity of the then Director of the
CDV. Major  Hoan said he reported directly to the Deputy Director,
Senior Colonel Nguyen  Thuc Dai. Senior Colonel Tran Van Bien, of the
VNOSMP, noted for the record  that Senior Colonel Dai died in 1991.

b. Major Hoan recalled that in about 1971-72 PAVN formed Group 875,
also subordinate to the General Political Directorate, and passed many
of the  CDV's responsibilities to Group 875. Major Hoan recalled the
Commander of  Group 875 was Senior Colonel Pham Thai ((Phamj Thais)),
who is now deceased.  Major Hoan described Senior Colonel Thai as the
General Commander of Prison  Camps. He recalled that LTC Doan Hanh
((DDoanf Hanhj)) was one of the  officers assigned to Group 875;
however, he did not know what position LTC  Hanh held.

c. Although Group 875 ostensibly was the agency of primary
responsibility for POW/MIA matters when Major Hoan was transferred out
of the  camp system in 1973, Major Hoan turned all of his records over
to the office  of the Deputy Director of the CDV. Major Hoan was unable
to explain this  apparent anomoly. He said he felt relieved and happy
to have no further  contact with the CDV or matters pertaining to the
U.S. POW/MIA issue.

d. When pressed for details about the organization of the CDV and Group
875 and the indentlty of key personnel for these organizations, the POW
camps, and his own section, Major Hoan suggested that the U.S. team members
obtain this information from the VNOSMP. Major Hoan claimed he never had more
than a little knowledge of these topics, and what little he did know has
faded from memory during the 19 years since he was last associated with these
organizations. He explained that during the war PAVN enforced a strict
need-to-know policy on all military matters. As a result, he explained, he
learned to take care not to appear too inquisitive or too talkative.

e. Major Hoan said that as a rear services officer he had no knowledge
of the policies and practices for evacuating and interrogating U.S.
POWs. He  had no knowledge of the policies and practices for recording,
reporting, and  preserving records concerning U.S. POWs or casualties.
As noted earlier, he  said he turned his records over to personnel in
the office of the Deputy  Director of the Enemy Proselyting Department
shortly after Operation  Homecoming.

f. Major Hoan described his position as the Chief of the Rear Service
Station ((Tram Hau Can)) located in the PAVN Film Institute's Central
Film  Supply Station and Film Studio ((Traij Phats Hangf Phim Trung
Uowng and  Vieenj Pha Phim)) near the Nga Tu So ((Ngax Tuw Sowr))
intersection in Dong  Da District in on the southwestern edge of Hanoi
City. Major Hoan explained  that this film studio was one of several
military installations the CDV  borrowed to use as makeshift POW camps.
((Field Comment: U.S. POWs named this  camp "The Zoo". ))

g. Major Hoan noted that when the war began, the CDV did not have any
formal POW camp. Initially, the PAVN high command did not anticipate it
would  have large numbers of U.S. POWs; therefore, it elected to borrow
space in the  Ministry of Public Security's (PSS) Hoa Lo Prison.
((Field Comment: U.S. POWs  named this prison "The  Hanoi Hilton".)) As
the number of POWs increased, the  PSS pressed PAVN to find alternate
facilities. Rather than build an expensive  prison, initially PAVN
opted to convert existing military facilities into  makeshift POW
camps. ((Field Comment: Some of the early U.S. POW camps in the  Hanoi
area belonged to elements of the CDV'S parent organization, the General
Political Directorate. In addition to the Film Institute's Studio noted
above, these included the PAVN Film Institute's office compound at 17
Ly Nam  De Street, which U.S. POWs named "The Citadel. and "The
Plantation"; and a  small compound at the rear of 4 Ly Nam De Street,
which U.S. POWs named  "Alcatraz".))

h. Major Hoan said he understood there was a period during the late
1960s when the CDV dispersed U.S. POWs at several sites outside of Hanoi.
However, following the U.S. raid on the camp at Son Tay ((Field Comment:
November 1970)), the CDV concentrated the POWs at Nga Tu So, Hoa Lo Prison,
17 Ly Nam De Street, and a prison camp in Cao Bang Province.

i. Major Hoan said his rear services station supplied food, medical
care and supplies, clothing, etc., to the following POW camps in
the Hanoi  area:

- The film supply station and studio near the Nga Tu So intersection.

- The film institute compound at 17 Ly Nam De Street.

j. Major Hoan was not aware that small numbers of U.S. POWs were held
at 4 Ly Nam De Street and the Yen Phu Thermal Power Plant a few blocks
north  of the head of Ly Nam De Street. He noted his station did not
issue items  directly to U.S. POWs. His station issued items to PAVN
personnel who came to  his station from the individual camps. He
speculated the rear service cell  for 17 Ly Nam De Street might have
serviced the two nearby camps.

k. Major Hoan said he had limited or no knowledge about the following
confirmed U.S. POW camps in northern Vietnam:

- Bat Bat ((Beats Bat;)). Hearsay, but never visited.

- Son Tay. Hearsay, but never visited.

- Ha Nam Ninh, aka Ba Sao. Never heard of it.

- Tam Dao ((Tam DDaor)), Dai Dlnh ((DDaij DDinhf)) village, Tam
Dao District, Vinh Phu Province. Never heard of it.

- Thanh Liet ((Thanh Lieetj)), Thanh Tri District, Hanoi. Hearsay
that this is a Ministry of Interior prison; however, never visited it.

1. Major Hoan said he worked in or visited five POW camps: The film
supply station and studio ((-The Zoo-)); Lai Xa ((Lad Xas)), located on north
side of Route 7, a few kilometers west of Hanoi ((Field Comment: U.S. POWs
named this " ")); Bo Giuong ((Bor Giuowngf)), located in Van Thinh ((Vaan
Thinhf)) village, Thach

An ((Thachj An)) District, aka Dong Khe District Town ((Thij Traanj DDoong
Khee)), Cao Bang Province; 17 Ly Nam De Street (("The Citadel-)); and Hoa Lo
((-The Hanoi Hilton-)).

4. MAJOR MOAN's KNOWLEDGE ABOUT U.S. POWs:

a. Major Hoan began the interview with a series of questions about
individual POWs and a presentation about PAVN's efforts to provide
humane conditions for the POWs. Although this presentation had no
direct bearing on the purpose of our interview, Major Hoan seemed to
feel it was necessary to make this presentation to establish his
credentials for the interview team.

b. Major Hoan was curious as to why we would ask to interview him. He
took obvious pleasure in pointing out that since none of the U.S. team
members were personnally acquainted with him we were compelled to take
his word and that of the VNOSMP specialists that he was the person we
had asked to interview.

c. Major Hoan he had direct contact with only a few U.S. POWs. He asked
about the current status of several POWs by name: [xxxx]. [xxxx],
[xxxx], [xxxx], LTC [xxxx], and USMC Major [xxxx]. He noted the U.S.
POWs had given him a very special nickname; however, he was unwilling
to reveal it to the interview team.

d. Major Hoan said he recalled a Black Major who suffered a dislocated or
broken shoulder during his parachute landing and later began to cough blood.
He also recalled a Captain who broke both arms when he fell through a roof
top in Thanh Hoa Province. He cited the fact that these two men survived as
a result of the medical care provided by PAVN as evidence of Vietnam's
humanitarian treatment of U.S. POWs.

e.

5. I have invited Major Hoan and SrCol Bien and members of his team to lunch
on 2 June 1992 (Major Hoan returns to his home in Cao Bang on the afternoon
of 2 June). We may learn a few additional points during lunch.

6. I believe this man was helpful and straightforward; however, he has very
little knowledge of the subjects we set out to explore. In my judgement, we
have received about as much information as this man is able to provide.