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SECTION 01 OF 02 
DIA PASS TO DOD POW-MIA CENTRAL DOCUMENTATION OFFICE//
MSGID/GENADMIN/CDR JTF-FA/J223//
SUBJ/  INTERVIEW OF REQUESTED SOURCE,  NGUYEN VAN THU//
REF/A/FAX/DET  2/16MAY93//
AMPN/SUBJ:  LIST OF PERSONS FOR INTERVIEW, ENTRY 8 OF 83//

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RMKS/1.  ON 21 JULY 1993, A JOINT U. S. /VIETNAM ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
INTERVIEW TEAM INTERVIEWED MR. NGUYEN VAN THU, A 64 YEAR OLD THUAN
HOA AREA, HUE CITY RESIDENT.  MR. THU WAS FORMERLY A MAJOR GENERAL
AND COMMANDER OF MILITARY REGION TRI THIEN-HUE.  THE TEAM MET AT
THE PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE GUEST HOUSE,  2 LE LOI STREET, HUE CITY, TO
INTERVIEW MR. THU, LISTED IN REFERENCE AS A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF
INFORMATION CONCERNING U. S. PERSONNEL MISSING IN ACTION IN VIETNAM. 
THE U. S. CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF MR. KIETH GARY FLANAGAN, DET 2,
JOINT TASK FORSE-FULL ACCOUNTING (JTF-FA) ANALYST/LINGUIST.  THE
VIETNAMESE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF LTC LE KY,
MINISTRY OF DEFENSE; AND MR. TRINH QUOC KHNH, MINISTRY OF INTERIOR. 
MR. THU HAD OT BEEN INTERVIEWED BY A JOINT TEAM BEFORE.

2.  SUMMARY.  THE SOURCE, NUGYENVAN THU, PROVIDED INFORMATION
RELATING TO VIETNAMESE POLICY CONCERING MANAGING U. S. PRISONERS ON
MILITARY REGION TRI THIEN-HUE (MR-TTH) BATTLEFIELDS.  HE ALSO
SUMMARIZED SEVERAL OF HIS WARTIME EXPERIENCES, MOST OF WHICH DID
NOT INVOLVE U. S. PRISONERS.  THE SOURCE CLAIMED NO KNOWLEDGE OF U. S.
PERSONNEL, LIVING FREELY OR AGAINST THEIR WILL IN VIETNAM

PAGE 03  RUHQSGG8537  UNCLAS
SINCE 1973.
3.    DETAILS.

A.  AFTER FORMAL INTRODUCTIONS, LTC LE KY EXPLAINED THE JOINT TEAM'S
MISSION AND MR. FLANAGAN BEGAN THE INTERVIEW WITH THE FOLLOWING
TWO KEY QUESTIONS:

(1)  SINCE 1973, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN OR HAD KNOWLEDGE OF U. S. PRISONERS
OF WAR (PW) CAPTIVE IN VIETNAM?   MR. THU SAID HE HAD NOT.

(2)  SINCE 1973, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN OR HAD KNOWLEDGE OF AMERICANS
"STAY-BEHINDS" IN VIETNAM?    MR. THU SAID HE HAD NOT.

B.    MR. THU THEN SAID THAT HE JOINED THE MILITARY IN 1946 AND HAD
PARTICIPATED IN THREE WARS (NFI).  FROM THE END OF 1964 UNTIL 1975 HE
SAID THAT HE WAS STATIONED IN MR-TTH, ALSO KNOWN AS B4 FRONT. 
DURING THIS TIME HE SERVED AS A BATTALION, REGIMENT, DIVISION, AND
FINALLY MR-TTH COMMANDER.  THE FIGHTING IN HIS REGION WAS
EXTREMELY FIERCE, HE SAID, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO DEFINED FRONT.  HE
SAID IT WAS CLEAR THAT HIS TROOPS COULD NOT HOLD THE BATTLE FIELD
AND THE NECESSITY TO MOVE QUICKLY MADE TAKING PRISONERS ON THE
BATTLEFIELD DIFFICULT.  ACCORDING TO THU, BOTH REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
(RVN) AND AMERICAN PRISONERS WERE 

PAGE 04 RUHQSGG8537  UNCLAS

TREATED ACCORDING TO POLICY.  HE DID NOT DIRECTLY STATE WHAT THIS
POLICY ENTAILED, BUT SAID THAT IN SOME CASES HIS MEN HAD TO ENTER AND
EXIT A BATTLE AREA THROUGH BARBED WIRE AND UNDER THESE
CIRCUMSTANCES THERE WAS NO WAY TO GET A PW OUT.

C.  IN CASES WHERE HIS TROOPS DID TAKE PRISONERS, HE SAID, STANDARD
PROCEDURE WAS TO TAKE THE CAPTIVE DIRECTLY TO COMMO-LIAISON
ELMENTS OF GROUP 559 FOR TRANSPORT TO THE NORTH.  HE SAID THAT THERE
WERE NO PW HOLDING CAMPS OR FIELD HOSPITALS IN MR-TTH, THEREFORE
THE PW'S COULD NOT RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT PRIOR TO BEING
TRANSPORTED OUT OF THE REGION.  NORMALLY A THREE MAN GROUP OF
MAIN FORCE PERSONNEL WOULD ESCORT PRISONERS TO GROUP 559.  AS GROUP
559 ACCEPTED THE PRISONERS, THU SAID, THE ESCORT PERSONNEL RETURNED
TO THEIR UNITS.  THIS ESCORT DUTY INVOLVED MANY OF HIS MEN,
SOMETIMES FOR A FEW HOURS, SOMETIMES A FEW DAYS.  MR. THU EXPLAINED
THAT AMERICAN PW'S WERE GUARDED VERY CAREFULLY WHILE BEING
TRANSPORTED TO GROUP559, EVEN DURING U. S. BOMBING ATTACKS.

D.  REPORTS TO HIGHER HEADQUARTERS CONCERING PRISONERS WERE
COURIERED BY PRISONER ESCORT GROUPS TO GROUP 559 FOR DELIVERY TO
HEADQUARTERS, MR THU SAID.  THESE REPORTS WOULD HAVE CONTAINED
ONLY THE NUMBER OF PRISONERS BEING ESCORTED.  UNITS KNOWING OF

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THE DEATH OF AN AMERICAN PW WOULD ALSO HAVE REPORTED THE MATTER
UP THE CHAIN OF COMMAND.  HE CLAIMED TO BE UNAWARE OF ANY
CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH A U. S. PW DIED WHILE EN ROUTE GROUP 559 AND
SAID, THEREFORE, THERE ARE NO SKETCHES OR MAPS TO SHOW BURIAL
LOCATIONS.  HE SAID THAT BECAUSE HIS UNITS DID NOT HAVE TRANSLATORS,
THEY COULD NOT GET ANY INFORMATION FROM PW'S.  HE COULD NOT RECALL
IF ANY OF THE UNITS IN HIS REGION TOOK PRISONERS TO THE NORTH DURING
1972.

E.  MR. THU RECALLED PARTICIPATING IN THE FOLLOWING BATTLES:

(1)  A BATTLE IN MAY OF 1966 AGAINST MORE THAN 150 AMERICAN MARINES AT
MY PHU  (PROBABLY AT8655),  SONG CHUONG VILLAGE, CHINH AN DISTRICT.  HE
SAID THAT DURING THIS BATTLE, AMERICAN ARTILLERY AND BOMBS NOT
ONLY KILLED MANY OF HIS MEN BUT ALSO AMERICANS.

(2)  ON 29 JUNE 69, MR THU SAID, HE PERSONALLY COMMANDED AN AMBUSH
ON THE 2ND MARINE BATTALION AT PHO TRACH (YD5234).  THE JOINT RVN -
AMERICAN HEADQUARTERS WAS DESTROYED, HE SAID, AND HIS TROOPS TOOK
20 PRISONERS, 17 ARVN AND THREE AMERICANS.  FIVE OF HIS MEN WERE TO
ESCORT THE PW'S WHEN AN AMERICAN HELICOPTER CAME AND KILLED ALL OF
THE PRISONERS AND THE ESCORTS.  DURING THIS

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BATTLE, HE SAID, HE LOST 12 OF HIS MEN.

(3)  HE SAID THAT HE PERSONALLY COMMANDED A 26 DAY LONG ATTACK ON
HUE IN OCTOBER OF 1968.  THE AMERICAN 7TH ARMORED REGIMENT, HE SAID,
WAS ATTACKED NEAR DONG TOA AT THIS TIME.  HE ONLY SAID THAT THE
AMERICANS LOST 129 MEN IN THE BATTLE, WHILE HE ONLY LOST ONE.  HE SAID
THAT HIS TROOPS WERE UNABLE TO RECOVER THE BODY OF THEIR LOST
COMARDE.  HE ALSO SAID THAT HIS IN 1972, HIS HIS TROOPS ATTACKED A
BRIDGE IN HUE, KILLING A NUMBER OF AMERICANS.  LTC KY ASKED MR. THU IF
HE HAD ANY KNOWLEDGE OF FEMALES CAPTURED OR A GROUP OF SIX OR
SEVEN AMERICAN SOLIDERS CAPTURED IN THE AREA.  MR. THU SAID THAT HE
WAS THE AERA COMMANDER AND HE HAD NEVER HEARD OF EITHER
CIRCUMSTANCE.

(4)  ON 18 MAY 1969, HE SAID A BATTALION COMMANDED BY NGUYEN ANH
TUNG  (NGUYEENX ANH TUNGF) DESTROYED 15 AMERICAN TANKS AND
ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIERS AT HILL 156IN CO NHI  (UNLOCATED), 
PHUONG DIEN DISTRICT.  HE SAID THAT THIS BATTLE WAS FOUGHT ENTIRELY
WITH MISSLES AND HIS TROOPS COULD NOT HOLD THE BATTLEFIELD.

(5)  HE RECALLED A BATTLE AT AP BIA (YD328981),  IN A LUOI // 

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RCV17169                                     00:41  08/18/93

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CONGRESS, HE SAID, PAID MUCH ATTENTION TO THIS BATTLE BECAUSE PART
OF THE 324TH DIVISION AND THE 6TH REGIMENT, 101ST AIRBORNE WAS
SEVERALY DEFEATED.  HE SAID THAT U. S.  BOMBING CAUSED MANY DEATHS IN
THE AREA.

(6)   ON 21 JULY 1971, MR. THU SAID, THERE WAS A BATTLE AT TAY LUAT HIGH
POINT (EXACT LOCATION UNKNOWN)  IN A LUOI DISTRICT.  THE PAVN 6TH
REGIMENT ATTACKED AN ELEMENT OF THE 101ST AIRBORNE ON THE
SOUTHWEST SIDE OF HIGHWAY12.  HE RECALLED THAT HIS TROOPS CAPTURED
ONE BLACK AMERICAN DURING THE BATTLE.  THREE ESCORTS WERE ASSIGNED
TO TAKE HIM TO GROUP 559.  HE SAID THAT WAS THE LAST TIME HE HEARD
ABOUT THIS PW.

F.  MR. THU SAID THAT IN GENERAL MANY AMERICAN PRISONERS AS WELL AS
VIETNAMESE WERE KILLED WHIL BEING EVACUATED TO HANOI.  HE SAID THAT
ALTHOUGH THE FEELING OF LOSS IS GREAT, THE VIETNAMESE ACCEPT IT AS A
FACT OF WAR AND UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR LOST COMPATRIOTS WILL NEVER
BE FOUND.

G.  WITH NO FUTHER QUESTIONS FOR MR. THU, THE JOINT TEAM AGREED TO
CONCLUDE THE INTERVIEW.

4.   CORRELATIONS TO EXISTING POW/MIA CASES.    NONE

5.   POTENTIAL LEADS.     NONE

PAGE  03 RUHQSGG8538  UNCLAS

6.  MATERIAL EVIDENCE:  NONE.  THIS SOURCE BROUGHT NO RECORDS,
NOTEBOOKS, DIARIES, OR ANY MATERIAL ASSOCIATED WITH UNACCOUNTED
FOR U. S. PERSONNEL.

7.  COMMENTS.
A.  THOUGHOUT THIS INTERVIEW MR. THU'S STATEMENTS WERE LENGTHY AND
OFTEN AMBIGUOUS.  SEVERAL TIMES HE REATATED OR ADDED NEW
INFORMATION TO A PREVIOUSLY ADDRESSED SUBJECT WHILE ADDRESSING
ADIFFERENT SUBJECT.  THE INTERVIEWERS HAD TO ASK FOR CLARIFICATION AT
SEVERAL POINTS DURING THE INTERVIEW, BUT THE SUBJECT'S REPLIES WERE
NOT ALWAYS CLEAR.  ALTHOUGH MR. THU SAID THAT HE WAS PREPARED TO
HELP THE JOINT TEAM IN ANY WAY HE COULD, HE APPEARED TO MAKE HIS
REPONSES AS LEGTHY AS POSSIBLE AND APPEARED IRRITATED WITH REQUESTS
FOR CLEARIFICATION.

B.  THE MEMBERS OF THE JOINT TEAM CONFERRED ON THE QUESTIONS TO BE
ASKED DURING THIS INTERVIEW.  TEAM MEMBERS AGREED THAT THE NEED TO
RE-INTERVIEW THIS SUBJECT WOULD DEPEND ON WHETHER FURTHER
QUESTIONS FOR MR. THU ARISE DURING THE COURSE OF THE ORAL HISTORY
INTERVIEW TEAM'S FUTURE WORK.

C.  REQUEST THE VNOSMP MAKE NGUYEN VAN THU AVAILABLE FOR RE-
INTERVIEW IF NECESSARY.//

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