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INFO WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASH DC
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SUBJ/LIST OF PERSONS FOR INTERVIEW, ENTRY NUMBER 24 OF 83//

REF/A/FAX/DET 2/12AUG93//

RMKS/1. BACKGROUND. ON 10 AUGUST 1993,  A JOINT U.S./VIETNAM ORAL
HISTORY PROGRAM INTERVIEW TEAM INTERVIEWED RETIRED SENIOR COLONEL
(SRCOL) VU VAN HO, AN APPROXIMATELY 65 YOA TAM DIEP DISTRICT SEAT,
NIHN BINH PROVINCE RESIDENT. SRCOL HO IS A FORMER 41H REGIMENT
(REGT). PAVN MILITARY REGION TRI THIEN HUE (MR-TTH). POLITICAL
OFFICER. THE TEAM MET AT THE TAM DIEP DISTRICT PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE
HEADQUARTERS TO INTERVIEW SRCOL HO, LISTED IN REFERENCE AS A
POTENTIAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING
IN ACTION (MIA) IN VIETNAM. THE U.S. CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF: TSGT
[XXXX][XXXX][XXXX], JTF-FA ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM COORDINATOR; AND
P02 [XXXX][XXXX][XXXX], JTF-FA  ANALYST/LINGUIST. THE VIETNAMESE
CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF LTC LE KY, MINISTRY OF
DEFENSE; AND MR. NGUYEN VAN THANG LOI, MINISTRY OF INTERIOR.

2. SUMMARY. THE SOURCE, SRCOL VU VAN HO, PROVIDED INFORMATION
CONCERNING 4TH REGT, PAVN MR-TTH, ACTIVITIES WITH REGARD TO U.S.
PRISONERS OF WAR (PW). HE CLAIMED NO KNOWLEDGE OF PW CAMPS IN
MR-TTH-OR ELSEWHERE, EXPLAINING THAT HIS UNIT'S POLICY WAS TO
TRANSFER PW'S FROM THE FIELD TO REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS (HQ) AS
SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER CAPTURE. HE TOLD OF A 1969 INCIDENT IN

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WHICH A 4TH REGT ELEMENT CAPTURED A U.S. HELICOPTER PILOT IN PHU LOC
DISTRICT. NINH BINH PROVINCE. AFTER THE PILOT DIED OF WOUNDS
RECEIVED DURING A U.S. BOMBING/ARTILLERY ATTACK, THE SOURCE
WITNESSED HIS BURIAL ON A MOUNTAIN SLOPE IN NORTHERN PHU LOC
DISTRICT. HE PROVIDED A HAND DRAWN MAP DEPICTING THE ALLEGED BURIAL
LOCATION. THIS INFORMATION PROBABLY RELATES TO PRIORITY CASE 1402,
AN UNRESOLVED CASE. THE SOURCE PROVIDED EXTREMELY LIMITED
INFORMATION CONCERNING ANOTHER INCIDENT IN WHICH TWO U.S. PRISONERS
DIED IN A U.S. BOMBING ATTACK WHILE TRAVELING TO REGIMENTAL
HEADQUARTERS. SRCOL HO CLAIMED NO KNOWLEDGE OF U.S. PERSONNEL,
LIVING FREELY OR AGAINST THEIR WILL, IN VIETNAM SINCE 1973.

3. DETAILS. AFTER INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS FROM THE JOINT TEAM AND
LOCAL VIETNAMESE OFFICIALS, THE SOURCE PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING
INFORMATION:

A. SRCOL HO BEGAN HIS MILITARY CAREER AS AN ENLISTED SOLDIER
AND LATER A PAVN CADRE, SERVING WITH THE 4TH REGT, MR-TTH, IN 1969
AND 1970. AFTER THIS PERIOD, HE TRANSFERRED TO THE PAVN 6TH REGT. HE
RETIRED FROM THE MILITARY IN 1990.

B. PAVN 4TH REGT POLICY CONCERNING U.S. PRISONERS CAPTURED ON
THE BATTLEFIELD. ACCORDING TO SRCOL HO, WAS TO TRANSPORT THEM
TO REGIMENTAL HQ IN THE REAR AREA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER CAPTURE.
BEFORE MOVING PRISONERS FROM THE CAPTURING UNIT'S OPERATING AREA TO
THE REAR, UNIT PERSONNEL, WHEN POSSIBLE, CONDUCTED AN INITIAL
INTERROGATION TO EXTRACT BASIC INFORMATION SUCH AS THE PRISONER'S
NAME, RANK, AND UNIT. THE CAPTURING ELEMENT THEN REPORTED THIS
INFORMATION, ALONG WITH THE NUMBER OF PRISONERS CAPTURED, TO
REGIMENTAL HQ VIA RADIO. FOLLOWING A MORE THOROUGH INTERROGATION AT
REGIMENTAL HQ, THE PAVN ESCORTED PRISONERS TO TURN OVER POINTS (NFI)
FOR TRANSPORT TO DETENTION CENTERS. IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONING
CONCERNING WHY U.S. PW'S WERE NOT DETAINED IN MR-TTH FOR LONG
PERIODS BUT QUICKLY TRANSFERRED TO THE NORTH FOR INCARCERATION,
SRCOL HO OPINED THAT, DUE TO HARSH BATTLE CONDITIONS, THE PAVN COULD
NOT ENSURE PW SAFETY IN THE REGION.

C. SRCOL HO CLAIMED NOT TO BE FAMILIAR WITH THE STRATEGIC
ROUTE SYSTEM FOR TRANSPORTING PW'S OR THE LOCATION OR NATURE
OF REGIMENTAL OR ANY OTHER PW DETENTION FACILITIES. THE
DISTANCE FROM THE FORWARD BATTLE AREA TO THE REAR HQ AREA
PRECLUDED HIM FROM KNOWING DETAILS CONCERNING THE REAR AREA
AND UPPER ECHELON PW SYSTEM. REGIMENTAL FIELD ELEMENTS, SUCH
AS SRCOL HO'S MAINTAINED NO RECORDS ON PW'S.

D. THE SOURCE COULD PROVIDE NO INFORMATION ON PW CAMPS IN
LAOS, INCLUDING THE LANG TAO CAMP, OR PAVN RELATIONS WITH
THE PATHET LAO.

E. ON THE AFTERNOON OF AN UNRECALLED DAY IN AUG 69, ACCORDING
TO SRCOL HO, HE DIRECTLY PARTICIPATED WHEN HIS 4TH REGT

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ELEMENT CAPTURED A DOWNED U.S. HELICOPTER PILOT IN NORTHERN
PHU LOC DISTRICT. THE PRISONER WAS A CAUCASIAN OFFICER, OVER
SIX FEET TALL, HEAVY, HAD LIGHT COLORED SHORT HAIR, AND WORE
A GRAY UNIFORM WITH A PLASTIC BADGE OR TAG ON THE LEFT BREAST
PORTION OF THE UNIFORM. SRCOL HO SAID HIS UNIT DETERMINED THE
PILOT WAS AN OFFICER BY THE MARKINGS ON THE PLASTIC TAG. THE
PRISONER HAD A BULLET WOUND ON HIS RIGHT ARM AT THE TIME OF
CAPTURE. DUE TO THE LACK OF AN ENGLISH SPEAKING MEMBER, THE
PAVN ELEMENT DID NOT ATTEMPT TO INTERROGATE THE PRISONER.

F. THE FOLLOWING MORNING, AFTER REPORTING THE CAPTURE TO
THE 4TH REGT HQ VIA RADIO, SRCOL HO'S ELEMENT PREPARED THE
PRISONER FOR TRANSPORT TO THE REAR AREA. PREPARATIONS
INCLUDED COMPILING A PRISONER FILE CONTAINING HIS IDENTIFYING
DATA (NFI) FOR REGIMENTAL H.Q. BEFORE SETTING OUT, HOWEVER, A
U.S. ARTILLERY AND BOMBING ATTACK KILLED THE U.S. PRISONER
AND THREE PAVN ELEMENT MEMBERS. THE PAVN ELEMENT REPORTED THE
PRISONER'S DEATH TO HQ, WRAPPED HIM IN A CLOTH HAMMOCK AND
BURIED HIM IN HIS CLOTHES AND SHOES IN A ONE METER DEEP
GRAVE MARKED ONLY BY A MOUND OF PACKED SOIL.

G. THE BURIAL LOCATION, ACCORDING TO SRCOL HO, WAS IN
NORTHERN PHU LOC DISTRICT IN THE 4TH REGT'S AREA AT THE
TIME OF THE INCIDENT. THE UNIT AT THAT TIME OPERATED
GENERALLY BETWEEN THREE U.S. FIRE BASES: PHU GIA (PHUS GIA,
VIC 49Q AU 013 842) PHUOC TUONG (PHWOCS TWONGJ, VIC 48Q ZD
119 015), AND MUI NHE (MUIX NHES, UNLOCATED). THE GRAVE SITE
WAS SOUTH OF ROUTE 1 ON A SLOPE CALLED RANG CUA (RAWNG CWA,
UNLOCATED). NEAR A STREAM WITH A WATERFALL, 5 OR 6 KILOMETERS
FROM THUY CAM (THUYR CAM) SETTLEMENT (48Q ZC 152 982). SRCOL
HO PRODUCED A HAND DRAWN MAP OF THE BURIAL AREA, COMPLETE
WITH PLACE NAMES AND GENERAL CONTOUR LINES. HE INDICATED THE
BURIAL LOCATION WAS NEAR THE FOOT OF THE SLOPE, AT LESS THAN
200 METERS ELEVATION.

H. SRCOL HO'S UNIT OPERATED IN THE GENERAL GRAVE SITE
AREA THROUGHOUT l970 AND 1971. BUT HE NEVER RETURNED TO THE
SITE, NOR DID HE KNOW OF ANYONE ELSE WHO DID. HE BELIEVED HE
COULD LOCATE THE BURIAL LOCATION AGAIN, HOWEVER, AND OFFERED
TO DO SO IF REQUIRED.

I. THE SOURCE PROVIDED LIMITED SECOND HAND INFORMATION ON
ANOTHER INCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED ON AN UNRECALLED DAY IN
NOV 67. AFTER A BATTLE WITH THE U.S. 1ST COMPANY (NFI),
THE 4TH BATTALION, PAVN REGT, CAPTURED TWO U.S. ARMY
PERSONNEL. WHILE TRANSPORTING THE PRISONERS TO THE REAR
AREA, A U.S. BOMBING ATTACK KILLED THE ENTIRE TRANSPORT
GROUP, INCLUDING BOTH U.S. AND VIETNAMESE PERSONNEL. THE
BOMBING DECIMATED ALL PERSONNEL IN THE GROUP AND THE PAVN
WERE ABLE TO LOCATE NO REMAINS WHATSOEVER. SRCOL HO WAS
UNSURE OF THE EXACT INCIDENT LOCATION. ONLY THAT IT WAS
IN NORTHERN PHU LOC DISTRICT NEAR A BRIDGE.

J. FINALLY, IN RESPONSE TO DIRECT QUESTIONING, SRCOL HO
CLAIMED NO KNOWLEDGE OF U.S. PERSONNEL, LIVING FREELY OR
AGAINST

                                Page 3

THEIR WILL, IN VIETNAM SINCE 1973.

4. CORRELATIONS TO EXISTING POW/MIA CASES. SRCOL HO'S STATEMENTS
CONCERNING THE U.S. HELICOPTER PILOT PROBABLY CORRELATES TO CASE
1042, AN UNRESOLVED PRIORITY CASE, BASED ON YEAR, MISSION
PROVINCE AND DISTRICT, DUTY POSITION, AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS.

5. POTENTIAL LEADS. SRCOL HO BELIEVED HE COULD AGAIN LOCATE THE U.S.
PILOT'S BURIAL SITE, AND OFFERED TO DO SO IN THE FUTURE, IF
REQUIRED.

6. MATERIAL EVIDENCE: SOURCE PROVIDED A HAND DRAWN MAP TO THE
ALLEGED BURIAL LOCATION OF A U.S. HELICOPTER PILOT.

7. COMMENTS.

A. ASSOCIATED MAP SEGMENTS: L701465411, L701465412,
L701466413, L701466414.

B. HAND DRAWN MAP LOCATION COORDINATES: OTHER THAN THOSE LISTED
IN TEXT, ABOVE) THON AN BANG (THOON AN BAWNGF. 48Q ZD 144 005); CAU
NUOC NGOT (CAAUF NWOCS NGOTJ (FRESH WATER BRIDGE), 48Q ZD 148 011);
XOM DAP (XOMS DAAPJ, UNLOCATED); CAU THUA LUU (CAAUF THWAF LWU (THUA
LUU BRIDGE), 48Q ZD 198 011); LAP AN (LAAPJ AN, 49Q AU 855 002).

C. SRCOL VU VAN HO PRESENTED HIS STATEMENTS WITH NO EVIDENCE OF
COACHING OR SCRIPTING. THE MAJORITY OF THE INFORMATION HE
PROVIDED WAS EXTRACTED THROUGH QUESTIONING, AND IT DID NOT
APPEAR AS THOUGH THE SOURCE HAD ANY PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF U.S. RECORDS
CONCERNING CASE 1402. THE HAND DRAWN MAP HE PROVIDED WAS FINISHED
PRIOR TO THE INTERVIEW, INDICATING HE HAD DONE SOME PREPARATION
AFTER MEETING WITH LTC LE KY DURING THE ADVANCE VISIT FOR THIS
INTERVIEW. THOUGH THE MAP WAS CORRECT IN MANY ASPECTS, THERE ARE
ENOUGH DISCREPANCIES ON THE DRAWING TO INDICATE THAT SRCOL HO DREW
IT FROM MEMORY AND DID NOT COPY FROM A PRINTED MAP. ASSESS THIS
SOURCE'S RELIABILITY AS GOOD.

D. REQUEST THE VNOSMP MAKE SRCOL VU VAN HO AVAILABLE FOR
REINTERVIEW OR TO LEAD A JOINT TEAM TO THE ALLEGED GRAVE SITE IF
NECESSARY.//

BT

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