[130802Z.OH 08/04/96]

NARRATIVE MESSAGE               ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE

ROUTINE

R 130802Z OCT 94 ZYB

FM CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI//J2//

TO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP:ISA/DPMO//

INFO WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASH DC
SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//CA/OCS/CCS/EAP/VLC//
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J5//
DIA WASHINGTON DC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J2/J3/J30-M//
USCINCPAC LO WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC//DEA/SEA/IB/DDO/EA/ICOG//
USDAO BANGKOK TH//PW-MIA//
CDRUSACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//TAPC-PED-H//

BT
UNCLAS //N03460//

MSGID/GENADMIN/CDR JTF-FA//

SUBJ/ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM REPORT OF INTERVIEW - HOANG THE TRACH//

REF/A/DOC/JTFFA DET TWO/03DEC93//
REF/B/DOC/JTFFA DET TWO/28MAY94//
REF/C/FAX/CJTFFA/llAUG94//
REF/D/DOC/JTFFA DET TWO/16DEC93//

NARR/REF A IS AN ORAL HISTORY REPORT OF INTERVIEW - HOANG THE
TRACH. REF B IS THE LIST OF 76 INTERVIEW REQUESTS PRESENTED TO
THE VNOSMP. REF C IS AN OHP INTERVIEW BACKGROUND (PCIT). REF D
IS AN ORAL HISTORY REPORT INTERVIEW - DO CONG CHAN.//

RMKS/1. SUMMARY OF INTERVIEW. ON 14 SEP 94, A JOINT U.S./VIETNAM
ORAL HISTORY TEAM RE-INTERVIEWED RETIRED PAVN COLONEL HOANG THE
TRACH AT THE NHAT LE HOTEL IN DONG HOI TOWN, QUANG BINH PROVINCE.
HE PROVIDED INFORMATION THAT FURTHER CLARIFIED SOME ITEMS ON THE
QUANG BINH GRAVES REGISTRIES, WHICH HE HELPED COMPILE. HE GAVE
HIS OPINION ON WHY INDIVIDUALS IN SEVERAL CASES WERE NOT INCLUDED
ON ANY MILITARY REGION (MR) 4 GRAVES REGISTRY.

2. BACKGROUND. ON 5 NOV 93, A JOINT ORAL HISTORY TEAM INTERVIEWED
MR. HOANG THE TRACH IN HUE CITY. A FORMER QUANG BINH PROVINCIAL
UNIT PROSELYTIZING CADRE, MR. TUONG CONTRIBUTED TO THE QUANG BINH
PROVINCE GRAVES REGISTRIES COMPILATION.
    A. REF A DETAILS THE CONTENTS OF THAT ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW.

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    B. REF B IS A 76-ITEM ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW REQUEST LIST,
WHICH INCLUDES A REQUIREMENT (LINE ITEM 10) TO RE-INTERVIEW
MR. TRACH.
    C. REF C OUTLINES A SPECIFIC LINE OF QUESTIONING FOR
THE RE-INTERVIEW.

3. DETAILS OF INTERVIEW.
    A. PARTICIPANTS.
       (1) U.S. CONTINGENT.
            (A) TSGT [XXXX][XXXX][XXXX],JTF-FA, DETACHMENT 2,
ORAL HISTORY COORDINATOR.
            (B) SGT [XXXX][XXXX][XXXX], JTF-FA ANALYST/LINGUIST.
       (2)  VIETNAMESE CONTINGENT.
            (A) COLONEL LE KY, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE
REPRESENTATIVE.
            (B) MR. NGUYEN HOANG LONG, MINISTRY OF INTERIOR
REPRESENTATIVE.
   B. PURPOSE OF INTERVIEW. IN REF C, JTF-FA/32
SPECIFIED INFORMATION TO OBTAIN, INCLUDING:
       (1) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE REFNO
0904-1-02 BURIAL SITE AND REMAINS DISPOSITION.
       (2) DETERMINE WHO PROVIDED THE INFORMATION THAT THE
UNACCOUNTED FOR INDIVIDUAL IN CASE 0904 WAS AT CU NAM VILLAGE,
QUANG BINH PROVINCE.
       (3) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING REFNO 1273-0-02
REMAINS DISPOSITION.
       (4) WERE THERE MAPS DEPICTING WHERE THE
VIETNAMESE RE-INTERRED THE UNACCOUNTED FOR INDIVIDUAL
IN CASE 1273?
       (5) WHERE DID MR4 FILE DOCUMENTS CONCERNING U.S.
REMAINS?
   C. WITNESS INTERVIEW.
       (1) WITNESS.
             (A) BIOGRAPHICAL DATA. RETIRED COLONEL HOANG THE TRACH
JOINED THE QUANG BINH PROVINCIAL UNIT ENEMY PROSELYTIZING SECTION
(EPS) IN 1966. HE SERVED WITH THE EPS UNTIL 1972. MR. TRACH,
NOW RETIRED FROM THE MILITARY, IS A FARMER IN DONG HOI TOWN.
             (B) WITNESS RELIABILITY. THOUGH THE QUANG BINH PROVINCE
TASK TEAM MADE AN ADVANCE APPOINTMENT WITH MR. TRACH, HE WAS NOT
AVAILABLE AT THE APPOINTED TIME. HE ARRIVED SEVERAL HOURS LATE,
CLAIMING TO HAVE HAD PRESSING BUSINESS. GIVEN HIS APPARENT
INDIFFERENCES TO INTERVIEW PROCEEDINGS IN THE PAST (SEE REF A),
THE INTERVIEWER THOUGHT HIS ATTITUDE MIGHT NOT BE CONDUCIVE TO A
PRODUCTIVE INTERVIEW SESSION. WHEN THE JOINT TEAM EXPLAINED THAT
HIS PREVIOUS STATEMENTS HAD PROVED VALUABLE IN UNDERSTANDING THE
QUANG BINH GRAVES REGISTRIES, AND THAT THIS INTERVIEW WOULD ONLY
ADDRESS CERTAIN SPECIFIC ISSUES, HE PARTICIPATED WITH INTEREST.
HIS RESPONSES WERE SPONTANEOUS, APPARENTLY SINCERE, AND LOGICAL.
AFTER THE SESSION, WE DISCUSSED CURRENT U.S. VETERANS GROUPS'
EFFORTS TO HELP RECOVER VIETNAMESE MIA REMAINS. AS A MEMBER OF HIS
LOCAL VETERANS CHAPTER, HE WAS VERY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THIS
SUBJECT, AND PLEDGED TO PARTICIPATE IN FUTURE INTERVIEWS IF
NECESSARY. THE INTERVIEWER

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DETECTED NO DISCREPANCIES IN MR. TRACH'S STATEMENTS. WE ASSESS
THIS WITNESS'S RELIABILITY AS HIGH.
             (C) STATEMENT.
                 1. QUESTION: OF THE AMERICANS LISTED ON THE
15-ITEM QUANG BINH GRAVES REGISTRY, THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT
REPATRIATED 14 INDIVIDUALS. ONLY C [E PERSON ON THIS LIST, THE
UNACCOUNTED FOR INDIVIDUAL IN CASE 1973, REMAINS UNACCOUNTED FOR.
SINCE AT ONE TIME THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT OBVIOUSLY KNEW WHERE
THIS INDIVIDUAL'S GRAVE WAS, WHY HAVEN'T THEY REPATRIATED THE
REMAINS?
                 2. ANSWER: AS I TOLD YOU DURING OUR PREVIOUS
DISCUSSION (SEE REF A), THERE WERE INSTANCES WHEN WE LOST GRAVES
AND COULD NOT REPATRIATE THE REMAINS. REASONS FOR LOSING GRAVES
INCLUDED BOMBING, WILD ANIMALS, AND LOSING TRACK OF GRAVE
LOCATIONS AFTER MOVING GRAVES OR BECAUSE OF TERRAIN CHANGES.
                 3. QUESTION: SO, GENERALLY SPEAKING, YOU COULD
HAVE LOST THE 15TH GRAVE ON THIS REGISTRY AFTER YOU COMPILED THE
REGISTRY.
                 4. ANSWER: THAT IS CORRECT. IN 1972 (AFTER WE
BEGAN COMPILING THE LIST), THE WAR IN QUANG BINH WAS STILL
VERY FIERCE.
                 5. QUESTION: WAS THERE A SKETCH MAP INDICATING
THE LOCATION WHERE THE 15TH INDIVIDUAL ON THE LIST WAS
RE-INTERRED?
                 6. ANSWER: WHEN WE MOVED THE GRAVES TO CENTRAL
LOCATIONS TO FACILITATE REPATRIATION, THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT TO
SKETCH THE SITE. THE RE-INTERMENT LOCATION WAS IN THANH THUY
(THANH THUYR) VILLAGE, LE THUY (LEE THUYR) DISTRICT, BUT THERE
WAS NO MAP OF THE SITE. IT'S POSSIBLE THAT WE LOST THE GRAVE TO
U.S. BOMBING.
                 7. QUESTION: LINE NUMBER 24 FROM THE 45-ITEM QUANG
BINH BRAVES REGISTRY INDICATES AN AMERICAN DIED AT THE CU NAM
(CWJ NAAMX - VICINITY 48Q XE 51/51) DISPENSARY AND WAS BURIED AT
THE VIET TRUNG STATE FARM (NOONG TRWONGF VIEETJ TRUNG - VICINITY
48Q XE 54/31). AFTER INVESTIGATING THIS CASE, HOWEVER, WE
DETERMINED THIS INDIVIDUAL DIED AND WAS BURIED NEAR VAN LA (VAWN
LA) HAMLET (VICINITY 48Q XE 73/26). CAN YOU COMMENT ON THIS?
                 8. ANSWER: THE VIET TRUNG STATE FARM IS EIGHT OR
NINE KILOMETERS SOUTH OF CU NAM AS THE CROW FLIES, AND OVER TEN
KILOMETERS ON LAND OVER BAD ROADS. IF SOMEONE DIED AT CU NAM,
WHETHER HE WAS A U.S. PILOT OR SOMEONE FROM OUR SIDE, WE WOULD
NOT HAVE CARRIED THE BODY TO THE STATE FARM FOR BURIAL. THERE
COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A CIRCUMSTANCE LIKE THIS.
                 9. QUESTION: IF THAT IS SO, HOW CAN YOU
EXPLAIN LINE NUMBER 24 FROM THE 45-ITEM LIST?
                 10. ANSWER: EITHER THE PERSON ORIGINALLY
COPYING THE INFORMATION HEARD WRONG, OR SOMEONE MADE A MISTAKE
WHEN RE-COPYING THE INFORMATION FROM THE ORIGINAL NOTES TO THE
45-ITEM LIST. MR4 PERSONNEL TYPED THIS LIST, NOT LOCAL QUANG
BINH PERSONNEL. SINCE THE COMPILER MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FAMILIAR
WITH THE LOCAL TERRAIN, IT'S POSSIBLE HE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THAT
THERE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A CIRCUMSTANCE LIKE THIS.
                  11. QUESTION: IN SEPTEMBER 1967, THERE WAS A
BATTLE AT CON TIEN (COONF TIEEN) IN QUANG TRI PROVINCE BETWEEN
THE PAVN 90TH

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MAIN FORCE (CHUR LWCJ) REGIMENT AND A U.S. MARINE FORCE. BOTH SIDES
SUSTAINED HEAVY CASUALTIES AND THE AMERICAN SIDE LEFT 14 DEAD AND ONE
WOUNDED INDIVIDUAL ON THE BATTLE FIELD. THE 90TH REGIMENT CARRIED THE
WOUNDED AMERICAN NORTH TO HOSPITAL 48C IN VINH LINH, IN QUANG BINH
PROVINCE, WHERE HE DIED AND WAS BURIED. IN 1986, THE VIETNAMESE
GOVERNMENT REPATRIATED THIS INDIVIDUAL'S REMAINS. HIS NAME IS NOT ON ANY
QUANG BINH GRAVES REGISTRY. SINCE HE DIED ON QUANG BINH SOIL, HOW CAN YOU
EXPLAIN THIS?

                   12. ANSWER: ALTHOUGH VINH LINH WAS IN QUANG BINH, THAT
AREA HAD MANY HOSPITALS SUBORDINATE TO MANY DIFFERENT DIVISIONS. THERE
WERE DIVISIONS SUBORDINATE TO THE MILITARY REGION, TO THE FRONT, AND
INDEPENDENT DIVISIONS SUBORDINATE TO THE MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE. IF
THIS INDIVIDUAL'S NAME IS NOT ON ANY MR4 GRAVES REGISTRY, THE 9OTH
REGIMENT WAS PROBABLY SUBORDINATE TO AN ORGANIZATION OTHER THAT MR4.
                    13. QUESTION: IN NOVEMBER 1967, A U.S. AIRCRAFT WENT
DOWN OFF THE COAST OF QUANG BINH PROVINCE. THE NEXT DAY, A DEAD AMERICAN
PILOT WASHED UP ON THE SHORE AT VINH LINH. THE LOCALS BURIED THE BODY ON
THE BEACH. MORE RECENTLY, A JOINT U.S./VIETNAM INVESTIGATION TEAM TALKED
TO A MAN WHO DISCOVERED AND RE-BURIED THESE REMAINS. HE LED A TEAM TO THE
SITE WHERE WE RECOVERED THE REMAINS. SINCE MANY LOCAL PEOPLE EVIDENTLY
KNEW ABOUT THIS, WHY WASN'T THIS INDIVIDUAL'S NAME ON ANY GRAVES
REGISTRY?
                   14. ANSWER: THE LOCAL PEOPLE AT VINH LINH ARE MOSTLY
FISHERMAN. ACCORDING TO THEIR CUSTOM, WHEN A CORPSE WASHES ONTO SHORE,
WHETHER IT IS A WHALE, A DOLPHIN, OR A HUMAN, THEY BURY THE BODY FOR LUCK
AND LIGHT INCENSE. THESE PEOPLE ARE SUPERSTITIOUS AND WOULD BE PRIMARILY
CONCERNED WITH AVOIDING BAD LUCK CAUSED BY NOT BURYING THE BODY WITH THE
PROPER RITUAL AND CEREMONY. THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CONCERNED WITH
REPORTING THE INCIDENT THROUGH OFFICIAL CHANNELS. THEREFORE, IT'S LIKELY
MR4 NEVER KNEW ABOUT THE GRAVE.
                    15. QUESTION: IN YOUR OPINION, WHERE WOULD ARCHIVAL
DOCUMENTS CONCERNING U.S. REMAINS BE TODAY?
                    16. ANSWER: I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING. YOU MIGHT TRY
RESEARCHING ARCHIVES FOR THE SPECIFIC PAVN UNITS INVOLVED IN LOSS
INCIDENTS.

4. MATERIAL EVIDENCE. NONE.

5. INTERVIEWER'S REMARKS.
   A. CORRELATIONS. NONE.
   B. POTENTIAL LEADS. NONE.
   C. COMMENTS. NONE.//
BT

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