[220112Z.OH 07/21/96]
    
ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE     ROUTINE

R 220112Z SEP 93 ZYB PSN 707693P32
FM CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI//J2//
TO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP:RSA//
INFO WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASH DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//CA/EAP/VLC/CCS/OCS//
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//OCJCS/J5/PW-MIA/J3-JOD//
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J3/J30-M//
USCINCPAC LO WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC//DEA/SEA/IB/DDO/EA/IOOG//
CDRUSACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//TAPC-PED-H//
RUEHBT/USDAO BANGKOK TH//PW-MIA//
RUEHBT/CJTFFA DET ONE BANGKOK TH
UNCLAS //N03460//
MSGID/GENADMIN/CDR-JTF-FA/J223//
SUBJ/INTERVIEW OF REQUESTED SOURCE, TU CUONG//
REF/A/FAX/DET TWO/26JUN93//
AMPN/ENTRY NUMBER 61, LIST OF 83 INTERVIEW REQUESTS//

RMKS/1. BACKGROUND. ON 18 JUNE 1993 A JOINT
U.S./VIETNAM PRIORITY CASE INVESTIGATION TEAM (PCIT)
INTERVIEWED MR. PHO BIEN CUONG (AKA TU CUONG), A 75
YEAR OLD SONG BE PROVINCE RESIDENT. MR. PHO BIEN CUONG
IS CURRENTLY RETIRED. THE TEAM MET AT THE SONG BE
PROVINCE PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS TO INTERVIEW
MR. CUONG, 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 MSGT
[XXXX][XXXX][XXXX],PCIT TEAM LEADER AND MSGT
[XXXX][XXXX][XXXX]JOINT TASK FORCE-FULL ACCOUNTING
(JTF-FA) ANALYST/LINGUIST. THE VIETNAMESE CENTRAL
GOVERNMENT CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF PHAM TEO, MINISTRY
OF DEFENSE; AND NGUYEN DUY THANH, MINISTRY OF INTERIOR.
MR. CUONG HAD NOT BEEN INTERVIEWED BY A JOINT TEAM BEFORE.

2. SUMMARY. THE SOURCE MR. CUONG, PROVIDED INFORMATION
CONCERNING THE DAK NHAO PRISON CAMP LOCATED NEAR DAK
NHAO STREAM  IN BU DANG DISTRICT, PHUOC LONG (CURRENTLY
SONG BE) PROVINCE INCLUDING INFORMATION CONCERNING AN
AMERICAN WHO ALLEGEDLY DIED

                                 Page 1


IN CAPTIVITY DURING 1966. THIS INFORMATION PROBABLY CORRELATES
TO CASE 0054-1-01, AN UNRESOLVED CASE. MR. CUONG
PROVIDED NOTHING THAT WILL, IN ITSELF. LEAD TO THE
IMMEDIATE RESOLUTION OF ANY EXISTING U.S. PRISONER,OF
WAR (PW)/MIA CASE. THE SUBJECT HAD NEVER SINCE 1973 SEEN
OR KNOWN OF AMERICANS, LIVING FREELY OR AGAINST THEIR WILL IN
VIETNAM.

3. DETAILS.

A. MR PHO BIEN CUONG (PHOS BIEENF CWONG), AKA TU
CUONG (TW CWONG) DESCRIBED HIMSELF AS THE LEGAL OFFICE
IN CHARGE OF PRISONER EXPLOITATION BETWEEN 1965 AND
1969 AT DAK NHAO CAMP, A  MAIN DETENTION CAMP
IN FORMER PHUOC LONG PROVINCE. THE
CAMP WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1964 NEAR DAK NHAO STREAM
(YU3412) IN BU DANG DISTRICT, BETWEEN BU GIA MAP
(YU3437) AND BU DANG (YU4813) TOWNS. FOLLOWING HIS TOUR
IN THIS DETENTION CAMP, MR. CUONG WAS PROMOTED TO
DIRECTOR OF THE PROVINCE'S DETENTION CAMPS.

B. DURING EARLY 1965 MR. CUONG SAID AN UNIDENTIFIED
PEOPLE'S ARMY OF VIETNAM (PAVN) UNIT CAPTURED AN
AMERICAN MEDIC AND SENT HIM TO THE DAK NHAO CAMP. THE
CAMP HAD A POPULATION OF APPROXIMATELY 45 PEOPLE
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, INCLUDING INCLUDING NEARLY
30 REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM ARMED FORCES (RVNAF)
PRISONERS AND APPROXIMATELY 11 CAMP CADRE;
HOWEVER,THE RVNAF PRISONERS WERE
TURNED OVER TO REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM AUTHORITIES AFTER
ONLY ONE OR TWO MONTHS OF CAPTIVITY DUE TO AN INADEQUATE
LOGISTICAL CAPABILITY TO KEEP LARGE NUMBERS OF
PRISONERS. HE DESCRIBED THE U.S. MEDIC AS BEING BETWEEN
20 AND 25 YEARS OLD. TALL AND THIN
WITH-WHITE SKIN AND LIGHT COLORED HAIR. MR. CUONG ALSO
SAID THE MEDIC WAS CALLED "[XXXX]" (XXXX) AND HAD BECOME
FLUENT IN THE VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE WHILE IN CAPTIVITY.
MR. CUONG RECALLED THAT THE MEDIC REMAINED IN GOOD
HEALTH AND BECAME ILL ONLY ONCE DURING HIS CAPTIVITY
FROM A HEAD COLD, BUT QUICKLY RECOVERED AFTER
RECEIVING MEDICATION

C. THE MEDIC WAS HELD IN THE CAMP UNTIL MAY OR JUNE
OF 1966, MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER HIS CAPTURE WHEN DUE TO
A BOMBING RAID ON THE CAMP AND A U.S. TROOP ASSAULT
TOWARD BU GIA MAP HE WAS RELOCATED INTO THE JUNGLE,
ALONG WITH THREE OR FOUR RVNAF PRISONERS ALSO BEING
HELD AT THAT TIME. THE GROUP SET OFF IN THE DIRECTION
OF QUANG DUC C00558 . HE RECALLED THAT ON THE SECOND
NIGHT TRI THUONG (TRIS TRWONGF) THE DEPUTY COMMANDER,
WAS KILLED BY A TIGER. ON THE FOLLOWING NIGHT THE
AMERICAN WAS ALSO KILLED BY A TIGER, WHICH CARRIED THE
MEDIC'S BODY AWAY. MR. CUONG SAID HE WITNESSED BOTH
DEATHS. FOLLOWING THE DEATHS THE VIETNAMESE
ATTEMPTED TO FIND THE BODIES BUT FOUND NO REMAINS ONLY
BLOOD.

AFTER THE U.S. FORCES WITHDREW FROM THE DAK NHAO AREA,
APPROXIMATELY FIVE DAYS FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF THE
AMERICAN MEDIC, THE GROUP RETURNED TO DAK NHAO CAMP.

D. MR. CUONG COULD NOT RECALL ANY SPECIFICS
REGARDING A
                     Page 2

REPORT WHICH WAS FILED CONCERNING THE AMERICANS DEATH.
HE ALSO INDICATED THAT ALL DOCUMENTATION CONCERNING THE
AMERICAN PRISONER'S EXPLOITATION WAS DESTROYED IN THE
BOMBING RAID.

E. MR. CUONG SAID THAT DURING THE WAR AFTER THE
INCIDENT OTHER CAMP CADRE WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF
THIS INCIDENT WERE KILLED. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF DIEU
SET (DIEEUF SETS), AN ETHNIC S'TIENG. HE COULD NOT
RECALL THE NAMES OF THE RVNAF PRISONERS PRESENT DURING
THE AMERICAN'S DEATH, CITING THE SHORT PERIOD OF RVNAF
PERSONNEL CAPTIVITY AS REASON FOR THIS.

F. AFTER HIS PROMOTION TO THE PROVINCE LEVEL, MR. CUONG
NEVER HEARD ANY REPORTS OF OTHER AMERICAN PRISONERS IN
PHUOC LONG PRISON SYSTEM. ACCORDING TO MR. CUONG IT WAS NOT
UNTIL AFTER 1970 THAT THE DAK NHAO PRISON CAMP WAS CALLED
CAMP T52. MR. CUONG ALSO DESCRIBED THE K6 DISTRICT AS A
FRONT LINE AREA LOCATED NEAR BU DOP (YT1886), WITHOUT
PRISON CAMPS. ADDITIONALLY, HE RECALLED THAT DURING 1965,
A SMALL TEMPORARY HOLDING CAMP WHICH HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED
NEAR DONG XOAI (BS4377) WAS BOMBED KILLING THE CAMP
COMMANDER. MR. CUONG WENT ON TO SAY THAT THERE WERE NO
PW'S HELD IN THIS CAMP AT THE TIME OF THE BOMBING

G. MR. CUONG WAS AWARE OF EFFORTS TO FIND THE
REMAINS OF U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING SINCE THE WAR AND
HAD HEARD Of LOCAL PEOPLE ATTEMPTING TO HELP. HOWEVER,
HE HAS NEVER ACTUALLY MET ANYONE INVOLVED IN THIS
ENDEAVOR.

H. IN RESPONSE TO  MSGT [XXXX] QUERIES MR. CUONG
STATED THAT HE HAD NEVER SINCE 1973 SEEN OR HAD KNOWLEDGE
OF U S. PW'S IN VIETNAM. NEITHER HE CLAIMED HAD HE SEEN OR
BEEN AWARE OF U.S. "STAY-BEHINDS" IN VIETNAM SINCE 1973.

I.  WITH NO FURTHER QUESTIONS FOR MR. CUONG, THE
JOINT TEAM AGREED  TO CONCLUDE THE INTERVIEW.

4. CORRELATIONS TO EXISTING POW/MIA CASES.

A. MR. CUONG'S STATEMENTS PROBABLY CORRELATE
TO CASE 0054-1-01 AN UNRESOLVED CASE BASED ON THE TIME
FRAME OF CAPTURE LOCATION, AND PHYSICAL
DESCRIPTION OF THE MISSING INDIVIDUAL.

B. ELEMENTS OF MR. CUONG'S STATEMENTS THAT DO NOT MATCH
THE  ACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN CASE 0054 ARE:

(1) "[XXXX]", THE NAME THE CAPTORS IN CUONG'S STATEMENT
//

MSGI D/GENADMIN/CDR JTF-FA/J223//
SUBJ/INTERVIEW OF REQUESTED SOURCE, TU CUONG//
RMKS/

USED FOR THE U.S. MEDIC IS NOT PHONETICALLY SIMILAR TO THE
NAME OF THE MISSING INDIVIDUAL IN CASE 0054. THERE IS THE
POSSIBILITY THAT "[XXXX]" MAY HAVE BEEN SOME SORT OF
NICKNAME.

(2) THE SOURCE DESCRIBED THE INDIVIDUAL AS TALL, WITH

                            PAGE  3

LIGHT COLORED HAIR. THE MISSING INDIVIDUAL IN CASE 0054 WAS 66
INCHES TALL AND HAD BROWN HAIR.

5. POTENTIAL LEADS.

A. MR. KHOAT ALSO ENTRY NUMBER 61 IN REFERENCE AND LISTED AS A POTENTIAL
WITNESS FOR CASE 0054. ACCORDING TO MR. CUONG IS CURRENTLY LIVING IN
HANOI WORKING FOR A BRANCH OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR.

B. DIEU SET (DIEEUF SETS) AN ETHNIC S'TIENG, MR. CUONG RECALLED WAS A
CAMP CADRE AND MAY BE STILL ALIVE TODAY. HE SAID
THAT DIEU SET WOULD PROBABLY BE IN HIS LATE  FORTIES TO EARLY
FIFTIES, AND HE KNOWS DIEU SET WAS ALIVE AS LATE AS 1973 OR 1974.

BT
DLVR: CDR JTF-FA  HONOLULU HI(1)...ORIG
J3(1)...INF0 FOR USCINCPAC HONOLULU H(14) J30-M(1) 00-01-04 1
MDT 1 LRN061PCMT(1) J52(I) J51(1) J2(1) J1(1) J032(3) J03 1 CDO 1

*** MDU office codes that have received this message: ***

MDUOPR

Page 4