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ORIGIN    CJTF2    INFO  DCM  POL  SA  DAO  PW/MIA  EXA  DALO  INHB  (9)

VZCZC
RR  RUHQHQE  RUMTFS  RUEHPF  RUEKJCS  RUEKJCS  RUHQHQB
RUEKJCS  RUEKJCS  RUEAIIA  RUHVAAA  RUEADWW  RUEHC
DE  RUEHBK  #5990/01  042  **
ZNR    UUUUU                                      CLASS: UNCLASSIFIED
R    110827Z  FEB  93                             CHRGE: CJTF  02/11/93
EM  CJTF-FA DET ONE BANGKOK TH                    APPRV: CJTF:GEB
TO  RUHQHQB / CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI              DRFTD: CJTF:GEB
INFO RUMTFS / AMBASSY VIENTIANE//CJTF-FA DET THREE     : NONE
RUEHPF / USMISSON PHOM PHEN//CJTFFA DET FOUR//    DISTR: CJTF
RUEKJCS / JOINT STAFF WASHDC//OCJCS-PW-MIA/J5//   ORGIN: OCR
RUEKJCS / SECDEF WASHDC//OASD-ISA/PW-MIA//
RUHQHQB / USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J3//
RUEKJCS / USCINCPAC LO WASHDC//
RUEKJCS / DIA WASHDC//POW-MIA//
RUEAIIA / CIA WASHDC//DEA/SEA/IB/DDO/ICOG//
RUHVAAA / CDRUACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//
RUEADWW / NSC WASHDC
RUEHC / SECSTATE WASHDC//CA/OCS/CCS/EAP//
BT
UNCLAS    SECTION 01 OF 03 BANGKOK TH 05990

UNCLASSIFIED    0051  FEB  93

DIA PASS TO DDO POW-MIA CENTRAL DOCUMENTATION OFFICE

SUBJ:   SRV ORAL HISTORY, INTERVIEW WITH FORMER ENEMY PROSELYTING
CADRE VO NIEM

REF:    DET 1, JTFFA  MSG  200341Z  JAM  93

1.  REF WAS THE SUMMARY REPORT OF ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED BY JTFFA
SPECIAL ASSISTANT, MR G.E.BELL, IN VIETNAM DURING THE PERIOD 6 TO 18 JAN
93.  PARA C OF REF REFERS TO FORMER ENEMY PROSELYTING CADRE MR VO
NIEM, WHO WAS INTERVIEWED IN HUE CITY, THUA THEIN PROVINCE ON 11 JAN
93.  THE INTERVIEW WAS MONITORED BY ASSIGNEDCOUNTERPART AND
MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENCE (MND) REP, LTC PHAM TEO, AND MINISTRY
OF THE INTERIOR (MOI) REP, MR HA MINH THAN.  THE FOLLOWING REPORT
PROVIDES THE RESULTS OF THE INTERVIEW.

2.  MR VC NIEM (NIEEMJ), A 68 YEAR OLD NATIVE OF PHU LOC DISTRICT, THUA
THEIN PROVINCE, IS CURRENTLY RETIREDAND RESIDES ON PHAN CHAU TRINH
STREET IN HUE CITY.  SOURCE JOINED THE REVOLUTION DURING THE PERIOD
1945 TO 1948 SOURCE SERVED AS A MEMBER OF THE LOCAL FORCES AGAINST
THE FRENCH ANF THE JAPANESE.  SOURCE REMAINED A SECRET MEMBER OF
THE NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT AT HOME UNTIL 1967 WHEN CALLED TO
DUTY WITH THE POLICY OFFICE (PRONG CHINH SACH) OF THE MILITARY/ENEMY
PROSELYTING OFFICE (MEPO).  SUBORDINATE TO THE POLITICAL DEPARTMENT
(CUC CHINH TRI) OF TRI THEIN MILITARY REGION (QUAN KHU TRI THEIN). 
SOURCE'S DUTIES INCLUDED EDUCATING THE MASSES, EDUCATING THE
FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (RUN) AND THEIR FAMILIES, AND
EDUCATING ANY AMERICAN SOLIDERS WHO WERE CAPTURED CONCERNING
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE REVOLUTION.  AFTER BEING EDUCATED, RUN
POW'S WERE RELEASED TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES.  US POW'S WERE
EDUCATED TO THE HO CHI MINE TRAIL WHERE THEY WERE PLACED IN THE
CUSTODY OF THE 559TH LOGISTICS GROUP (DOAN 559).  FOR FURTHER
EVACUATION NORTH.  WHEN THE WAR ENDED IN 1975, SOURCE HAD ATTAINED
A CIVILIAN GRADE CONSIDERED AS A REGIMENTAL LEVEL CADRE AND
EQUIVALENT TO THE MILITARY RANK OF LTC.

3.    SOURCE RECALLED THAT DURING THE WAR YEARS GUIDANCE FROM THE
TRI THEIN MR POLITICAL DEPARTMENT CALLED FOR ANY US POW'S WHO WERE
CAPTURED NORTH OF THE PERFUME RIVER (SONG HUONG) TO BE EVACUATED
THROUGH HUONG DIEN DISTRICT TO QUANG TRI PROVINCE.  AFTER ENTERING
QUANG TRI, THE US POW'S WERE FURTHER EVACUATED TO THE AREA OF KITE
SANE WHERE THEY WERE PLACED ON TRUCKS FOE MOVEMENT UP THE HO CHI
MINE TRAIL TO HANOI.  SOURCE SAID THAT ANY US POW'S CAPTURED SOUTH
OF PERFUME RIVER WERE EVACUATED THROUGH THE COMMUNIST
CONTROLLED VILLAGES OF THUONG LO AND THUONG NEAT IN HAM DONG
DISTRICT OF THUA THEIN PROVINCE TO THE AREA OF A LUOI ON THE VIETNAM-
LAO BORDER.  IF CIRCUMSTANCES PERMITTED, US POW'S COULD BE
EVACUATED FROM THUA THEIN THROUGH CAM LO IN QUNAG TRI, AND FROM
CAM LO ACROSS THE VINE LINE SPECIAL ZONE TO QUANG BINH.  SOURCE
RECALLED THAT THE EVACUATION ROUTE THROUGH CAM LO HAS THE MOST
EXPEDITIOUS ROUTE AVAILABLE, ALTHOUGH SECURITY HAS A PROBLEM DUE
TO THE PRESCENCE OF US/ARVN FORCES.

4.    SOURCE CLAIMED TO HAVE HAD PREVIOUS CONTACT WITH ONLY TWO
GROUPS OF US POW'S.  SOURCE SAID BOTH OF THESE CONTACTS OCCURED
DURING 1968.  SHORTLY AFTER THE "TET" GENERAL OFFENSIVE.  SIX DAYS
AFTER THE "TET" OFFENSIVE, SOURCE OBSERVED TWO MALE CAUCASIAN POW'S
AT A COMMO-LIAISON STATION ON ROUTE 12.  (NOTE: WARTIME US MAPS
INDICATE ROUTE 547 WHILE PAVN MAPS INDICATE ROUTE 589 FOR THIS SAME
ROUTE).  SOURCE SAID THAT AT THE TIME OF HIS OBSERVATION, HE WAS
RETURNING FROM THE TRI THEIN MR HQ, WHICH WAS LOCATED IN LAOS WEST
OF LUOI.  THE CAPTURING UNIT ESCORTING THE TWO MEN WERE REGULAR
PAVN FORCES FROM ROUTE 9 AREA OF QUANG TRI, THEREFORE, SOURCE WAS
NOT INFORMED CONCERNING THE PLACE OR CIRCUMSTANCES OF CAPTURE. 
SOURCE HEARD FROM THE CAPTURING UNIT THAT A THIRD POW, WHO WAS A
BLACK MAN, 

UNCLAS    SECTION 02 OF 03  BANGKOK  TH  05990

WAS ALSO CAPTURED AT THE SAME TIME AS THE TWO CAUCASIANS. 
ALTHOUGH SOURCE DID NOT OBSERVE THE REPORTED BLACK POW, SOURCE
BELIEVES HE WAS BEING HELDIN CLOSE PROXIMINTY TO THE TWO
CAUCASIANS.  SOURCE RECALLED THAT ALTHOUGH THE CAUCASIANS WERE
BEING EVACUATED WITH WOUNDED PAVN PERSONNEL, THE TWO CAUCASIANS
WERE IN APPARENT HEALTH WITH NO OBVIOUS WOUNDS OR INJURIES.  BOTH
OF THE CAUCASIANS WERE WEARING NORMAL CIVILIAN ATTIRE, AND NO
EQUIPMENT WAS OBSERVED IN THEIR POSSESION.  SOURCE HEARD THAT THE
TWO CAUCASIANS WERE "SPECIALISTS" (NFI).  SOURCE SPECULATED THAT THE
US POW'S HE OBSERVED WERE EVACUATED ALONG ROUTE 12 TO THE A LUOI
AREA.  SOURCE ADDED THAT IT IS POSSIBLE THE MEN WERE EVACUATED
ALONG ANOTHER COMMO-LIAISON ROUTE WHICH PARRALLED ROUTE 12
DESIGNATED ROUTE 73.  SOURCE DESCRIBED ROUTE 73 AS A 1.5 METER WIDE
TRAIL HAND-CUT BY PAVN ENGINEERS.  SOURCE SAID ROUTE 73 IS NOW
COMPLETELY OVERGROWN BY VEGETATION.  (NOTE:  DURING PREVIOUS JFA'S
IN SOUTHWESTERN THUA THEIN, SA HAS TRAVELED ROUTE 12 BY VEHICLE.  AS
OF MAY 1992 THIS ROUTE WAS BEING WIDENED AND SURFACED WITH
QUARRIED ROCK.  US INVESTIGATORS SHOULD HAVE NO DIFFICULTY IN
REACHING FORMER COMMO-LIAISON STATIONS IF SUBSEQUENT REPORTING
INDICATES ANY US PERSONNEL DIED AND WERE BURIED ALONG THE REPORTED
EVACUATION ROUTE).  SOURCE SAID HE ONLY OBSERVED THE TWO
CAUCASIANS BRIEFLY ON THAT ONE OCCASION, AND AFTER HE PASSED
THROUGH THE COMMO-LIAISON STATION HE DID NOT SEE OR HEAR ABOUT
THEM AGAIN.

4.    SOURCE SAID THAT SOMETIME APPROXIMATELY 10 DAYS AFTER HE SAW
THE TWO CAUCASIANS ON ROUTE 12, HE ALSO OBSERVED TWO CAUCASIAN
FEMALES.  SOURCE SAAW THE TWO FEMALES AT A VEHICLE PARK ON THE HO
CHI MINH TRAIL WEST OF A LUOI AND INSIDE LAOS.  SOURCE RECALLED THE
TWO FEMALES WERE WEARING NORMAL CIVILIN ATTIRE.  SOURCE SAID THE
TWO WERE IN APPERENT GOOD HEALTH WITH NO OBVIOUS INJURIES.  SOURCE
HEARD FROM PVAN PERSONNEL OF TRI THEIN MR THAT THE TWO WERE
"AMERICAN TEACHERS"  WHO WERE CAPTURED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HUE. 
SOURCE RECALLED THAT THE ENGLISH SPEAKING CADRE OF THE MEPO
ASSIGNED TO ESCORT THE TWO FEMALES WAS CALLED "CHIEN" (CHIEENS) (NFI). 
SOURCE SAID HE ONLY OBSERVED THE TWO FEMALES BRIEFLY ON THAT ONE
OCCASSION, AND AFTER HE DEPARTED THE AREA TO RETURN TO HUE HE DID
NOT SEE OR HEAR ABOUT THEM AGAIN.  SOURCE SPECULATES THAT THE TWO
WERE PLACED IN THE CUSTODY OF LOGISTICS GROUP 559 AND FURTHER
EVACUATED TO HANOI.

5.    WHEN ASKED CONCERNING HIS KNOWLEDGE OF OTHER WARTIME CADRE
WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING INCIDENTS
INVOLVING US PERSONNEL SOURCE RELATED THE FOLLOWING:

A.    LTC LE BA MINH, A CADRE FROM THE ENEMY PROSELYTING DEPARTMENT
(EPD), GENERAL POLITICAL DIRECTORATE (GPD)IN HANOI WHO WAS DETACHED
TO WORK IN THE MEPO OF TRI THEIN MR. MINH WAS IN CHARGE OF ALL US
PERSONNEL CAPTURED IN THE MR. LTC MINH NORMALLY WORKED IN THE MR
HQ LOCATED NEAR "A NGO" VILLAGE WEST OF A LUOI AND INSIDE LAOS.  LTC
MINH WAS A PROFICIENT ENGLISH SPEAKER.  LTC MINH'S CURRENT
EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND WHEREABOUTS IS UNKNOWN TO SOURCE, BUT
SOURCE SPECULATES HE IS RETIRED AND RESIDES IN HANOI.

B.    LTC THAN VAN TRUNG, A NATIVE OF HUONG DIEN DISTRICT, THUA THEIN
PROVINCE, WAS A CADRE OF THE NORTHERN EPD DETACHED TO WORK FOR
THE TRI THEIN MR MEPO.  LTC TRUNG'S CURRENT EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND
WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN TO SOURCE, BUT SOURCE SPECULATES HE IS
RETIRED AND RESIDES IN HUE CITY.

C.    SR CPT GIAI, A NATIVE OF PHU VANG, WAS INITIALLY ASSIGNED TO THE TRI
THEIN MR RECCCONNAISSANCE UNIT, BUT LATER TRANSFERRED TO THE MEPO. 
SOURCE BELIEVES SR CPT GIAI IS CURRENTLY RETIRED AND RESIDES IN HO CHI
MINH CITY.

D.    SR CPT HIEU (HIEEUS), A NATIVE OF BAC NINH, WAS A CADRE FROM THE
NORTHERN EPD DETACHED TO WORK WITH THE TRI THEIN MR MEPO.  SOURCE
BELIEVES SR CPT HIEU IS NOW

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UNCLAS    SECTION    03  OF   03   BANGKOK  TH  05990

RETIRED AND RESIDES IN HANOI.

6.    WHEN ASKED IF HE RECALLED A CADRE NAMED VU VAN HOI IN THE MEPO,
SOURCE SAID HE COULD ONLY RECALL A CADRE NAMED VO VAN HO (HOO). 
SOURCE SAID THE MAN HE KNEW AS "HO" WAS ACTUALLY A SR COL AND THE
POLITICAL COMMISSAR OF THE 4TH REGIMENT.  (NOTE:  THE 4TH REGT AKA
GROUP 4/DOAN 4 NORMALLY OPERATED ALONG THE BOARDER BETWEEN
QUANG NAM AND THUA THEIN PROVINCES FROM THE BACH MA MOUNTAIN
RANGE TO A LUCI).  SR COL HO IS CURRENTLY ASSIGNED TO MILITARY REGION
4 IN THANH HOA PROVINCE.  WHEN ASKED IF HE COULD A CADRE CALLED PHAN
HUAN (HUAANS), SOURCE SAID SR CPT PHAN HUAN WAS ASSIGNED TO THE TRI
THEIN MR MEPO DURING THE WAR, BUT SOURCE WAS NOT ABLE TO RECALL HIS
SPECIFIC DUTIES.  SOURCE BELIEVES SR CPT HUAN IS NOW RETIRED AND
RESIDES IN HO CHI MINH CITY.  CONCERING A WARTIME CADRE NAMED BUI
CHINH OR BUI CHINH, SOURCE SAID HE DID RECALL A CADRE NAMED BUI CHINH
(CHINHS).  SOURCE SAID BUI CHINH WAS ASSIGNED TO FOOD PRODUCTION
CAMP HOLDING ONLY ARVN POW'S.  THE CAMP WAS LOCATED IN THE AREA OF
A NGO VILLAGE, NEAR THE TRI THEIN MR HQ.  SOURCE SAID HE DID NOT
RECALL BUI CHINH EVER BEING ASSIGNED TO A CAMP IN NAM DONG OR THE
KHE L BOI AREA.  SOURCE DID NOT KNOW IF BUI CHINH WAS A NATIVE OF
HUONG DIEN.  SOURCE DID NOT RECALL ANY CADRE NAMED LE MUON OR ANY
SIMILAR NAME.  SOURCE SAID HE WENT TO A PAVN BASE OF GROUP 559 IN THE
LANG TA AREA OF LAOS AT LEAST ONCE DURING THE WAR, BUT HE DID NOT
RECALL ANY CAMP FOR US POW'S LOCATED THERE.

7.    COMMENT:

A.    SOURCE WAS HEARING IMPAIRED WHICH MADE IT EXTREMELY DIFFICULT
TO CONDUCT THE INTERVIEW.  SOURCE WAS VERY NERVOUS THROUGHOUT
THE INTERVIEW AND CONSTANTLY LOOKED TO THE VNOSMP CADRE FOR A
NOD OF THE HEAD PRIOR TO ANSWERING QUESTIONS.  SOURCE WAS NOT
CONDUCTIVE TO MAP TRACKING AND CLAIMED POOR RECALL DUE TO THE
TIME LAPSE.

B.    SOURCE GAVE THE IMPRESSION HE HAD LITTLE DIRECT INVOLVEMENT AS
A COURIER/GUIDE DUE TO THE FACT HE IS A LOCAL NATIVE AND RESIDED AS A
"LEGAL" DURING THE WAR YEARS.  SOME OF THE WARTIME CADRE IDENTIFIED
BY SOURCE SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION CONCERING PRIORITY
DISCREPANCY CASES INVOLVING US PERSONNEL LAST KNOWN TO BE IN THE
CUSTODY OF PAVN FORCES IN BOTH THE TRI THEIN MR AND LOGISTICS GROUP
559 IN LAOS.

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