[280506Z.OH 06/16/96]

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OPICFN  CJTE2  INFO  DCM  POL  SA  DAO  PW/MIA  EXA  DALO  INHB (9)

VZCZC
RR  RUHQHQE RUMTFS RUEHPF RUEKJCS RUEKJCS RUHQHQB
RUEKJCS RUEKJCS RUALLA RUHVAAA RUEADWW RUEHC
DE  RUEHEK   #6001/01    042 **
ZNR   UUUUU                                        CLASS: UNCLASSIFIED
R  280506Z   JAN 93                                CHRGE: CJTF 02/11/93
FM CJTF-FA   DET  ONE BANGKOK TH                   APPRV: CJTF:GEB
TO RUHQHQE / CDR JTF-FA  HONOLULU                  DRFTD: CJTF:GEB
INFO RUMTFS / AMEMBASSY  VIENTIANE//CJTF-FA DET THREE// : NONE
RUEHPF / USMISSION PHNOM PENH//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 / CDRUSACILIHI HICKAM AFB HI//
RUEADWW / NSC WASHDC
RUEHC / SECSTATE WASHDC//CA/OCS/CCS/EAP//
BT
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BANGKOK TH 30821

UNCLASSIFIED 0041  JAN 93

DIA PASS TO DDO POW-MIA CENTRAL DOCUMENTATION OFFICE

SUBJ:  SRV ORAL HISTORY, INTERVIEW WITH PAVN LTC PHAN VAN KHUONG
AKA NGYEN VAN LY 

REF:DET 1, JTFFA MSG 200341Z JAN 93

1.  REF WAS THE SUMMARY REPORT OF ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED IN VIETNAM BY
JTFFA SPECIAL ASSISTANT, MR. G. E. BELL.  DURING THE PERIOD 6 TO 18 JAN 93. 
PARA LO OF REF REFERS TO LTC PHAN VAN KHONG, THE FORMER CHIEF OF THE
MILITARY-ENEMY PROSELYTING OFFICE (MEPO) OF MILITARY REGION (MR) TRI
THIEN. LTC KHUONG WAS INTERVIEWED IN HUE ON 12 JAN 93. THE FOLLOWING
REPORT PROVIDES THE RESULTS OF THE INTERVIEW. THE INTERVIEW WAS
MONITORED BY ASSIGNED COUNTERPART AND MINISTRY OF NATIONAL
DEFENCE (MNI) REP, MR BA NINH THAN.

2.  SOURCE, A 67 YOA NATIVE OF HUE, REGROUPED TO THE NORTH IN 1954 AND
RETURNED TO THE HUE AREA IN 1960 WHEN THE NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT 
(NLF) WAS ESTABLISHED.  SOURCE'S FIRST CONTACT WITH US POW'S WAS
SOMETIME DURING LATE 1963 OR EARLY1964 WHEN HE OBSERVED ONE
CAUCASIAN POW IN THE "A NGO" CAMP LOCATED IN THE VIETNAM-LAO
BORDER AREA WEST OF A LUOI.  SOURCE BEARD THE MAN WAS A MILITARY
OFFICER WITH THE RANK OF CAPTIN WHO WAS CAPTURED BY ETHNIC
MINORITIES IN WESTERN THUA THIEN PROVINCE.  SOURCE BEARD THE MAN
HAS HELD INITIALLY AT A PLACE CALLED "A VAO", WHICH WAS LOCATED NEAR
THE LAO BORDER AND INSIDE LAOS.  SOURCE OBSERVED THE AMERICAN TO BE
IN GOOD HEALTH AND GOOD SPIRITS.  SOURCE BEARD FROM GUARDS THAT
THE MAN AT FIRST REFUSED TO EAT VIETNAMESE FOOD DUE TO THE ODCR,
BUT AFTER HE BECAME FAMILIAR WITH IT HE LIKED IT. SOURCE ALSO BREAD
THAT THE AMERICAN ESCAPED FROM THE CAMP BUT HAS RECAPTURED A FEW
HOURS LATER.  SOURCE ONLY OBSERVED THE AMERICAN ON ONE OCCASSION
AND BEARD HE WAS ONLY HELD IN A NGO FOR ABOUT 10 DAYS BEFORE BEING
EVACUATED TO NORTH VIETNAM. SOURCE ASKED THE AMERICAN WHY HE
HAD TRIED TO ESCAPE AND THE MAN REPLIED "A BEGGAR MUST BEG AND A
POW MUST TRY TO ESCAPE". SOURCE SAID HE HAS IMPRESSED BY THE MAN'S
LOGIC. WHEN ASKED CONCERNING A CAMP IN THE AREA CALLED "LANG TA",
SOURCE SAID HE RECALLED THE NAME BUT DID NOT KNOW IF THERE WAS A
WARTIME CAMP LOCATED THERE.

3.  SOURCE'S SECOND ENCOUNTER WITH US POW'S OCCURRED SOMETIME
DURING THE LATE 1960'S OR EARLY 1970'S (SOURCE NOT SURE OF YEAR BUT
RECALLED THAT THE OBSERVATION TOOK PLACE AFTER THE 1968 "TET"
OFFENSIVE). SOURCE RECALLED THAT TWO US MILITARY PERSONNEL WERE
CAPTURED DURING FIGHTING IN PHU (FORMERLY PHU VANG) DISTRICT. THE
TWO MEN WERE BOTH CAUCASIAN AND ENLISTED MEN. SOURCE BELIVED
THEY WERE BOTH INFANTRYMEN. SOURCE HAS NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE A
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION, AND COULD ONLY RECALL THAT ONE OF THE MEN
WAS NOTICEABLY BIGGER THAN THE OTHER. SOURCE BEARD THE TWO
AMERICANS THREW DOWN THEIR WEAPONS AND ASKED TO SURRENDER AT
THE TIME OF THEIR CAPTURE. SOURCE ALSO BEARD THAT THE TWO MEN WERE
ON OPERATIONS WITH AN ARVN UNIT WHEN THE FIGHTING ERUPTED. SOURCE
ALSO BEARD THE TWO WERE HIDDEN IN A TUNNEL IN PHU DA VILLAGE FOR A
DAY THEN MOVED WEST. SOURCE FIRST OBSERVED THE TWO MEN WHEN THEY
ARRIVED AT SOURCE'S COMMO-LIAISON STATION LOCATED ON A HAND CUT,
ONE TO ONE AND ONE-HALF METER WIDE TRAIL THROUGH THE JUNGLE
SOUTHWEST OF HUE WHICH WAS DESIGNATED LOCALLY AS "ROUTE 31".  THIS
ROUTE CONTINUED FROMHUE TO THE A LUOI AREA ON THE LAC BORDER, AND
RAN GENERALLY PARAILEI TO CURRENT ROUTE 12 (NOTE: PRESENT ROUTE 12 IS
SHOWN AS ROUTE 547 ON US WARTIME MAPS). THE TWO AMERICANS SANG
REVOLUTIONARY SONGS IN THE VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE FOR SOURCE BEFORE
CONTINUING ON THE TRAIL IN THE DIRECTION OF A LUCI. SOURCE WAS NOT
ABLE TO RECALL FUTHER DETAILS CONCERNING THE TWO AMERICANS. 
SOURCE ASSUMES THE TWO MEN WERE EVACUATED TO NORTH VIETNAM AND
RELEASED DURING 1973.

4.  SOURCE'S THIRD ENCOUNTER WITH US POW'S OCCURRED

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UNCLAS    SECTION 02 OF 03  BANGKOK TH 03821

SHORTLY AFTER THE "TET" GENERAL OFFENSIVE  (I.E. CIRCA 31 JAN 68). 
SOURCE OBSERVED FOUR MALE CAUCASIAN AMERICANS AT THE SAME
COMMO-LIAISON STATION ON ROUTE 31 REPORTED ABOVE. SOURCE ONLY SAW
THE MEN BRIEFLY AND COULD NOT PROVIDE A PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OR
IDENTIFICATION DATA. SOURCE HEARD THE MEN WERE CAPTURED IN HUE CITY
SHORTY BEFORE HE OBSERVED THEM. SOURCE DID NOT HEAR ANYTHING
FUTHER CONCERNING THE FOUR MEN AND ASSUMES THEY WERE EVACUATED
TO NORTH VIETNAM AND RELEASED DURING 1973.

5.  SOURCE'S FOURTH AND FINAL ENCOUNTER ALSO OCCURED SHORTLY AFTER
THE BEGINNING OF THE "TET" GENERAL OFFENSIVE. AND ALSO AT THE SAME
COMMO-LIAISON STATION ON ROUTE 31. SOURCE SAID HE OBSERVED TWO
FEMALE CAUCASIANS WEARING NORMAL CIVILIAN ATTIRE. SOURCE SAID HE
HEARD THE TWO FEMALES WERE SCHOOL TEACHERS WHO HAD BEEN
TEACHING ENGLISH IN HUE PRIOR TO BEING CAPTURED.  SOURCE SAID THE
TWO WERE QUESTIONED BRIEFLY AND THEN ISSUED CONICAL HATS AND TWO
SETS OF NEW CIVILIAN CLOTHING BEFORE BEING TAKEN TO PHONG DIEN
WHERE THEY WERE RELEASED.

6.  SOURCE SAID MILITARY REGION TRI THIEN HAD ONE CONSOLIDATED
ORGANIZATION FOR BOTH US AND ARVN PERSONNEL. THIS ORGAN WAS THE
MILITARY-ENEMY PROSELYTING OFFICE (MEPO) (PHONG BINH-DICH VAN). THE
MEPO ALSO HAD AN ORGANIC AMERICAN PROSELYTING SECTION (BAN MY
VAN). AT THUA THIEN PROVINCE LEVEL THERE WAS A MILITARY-ENEMY
PROSELYTING SECTION, BUT NO SEPRATE AMERICAN PROSELYTING ELEMENT. 
AT DISTRICT LEVEL THERE WAS ONLY A PROSELYTING MILITARY SECTION,
WITH NO ENEMY OR AMERICAN PROSELYTING SUPELMENTS. SOURCE THAT NO
RECORDS PERTAINING TO US PERSONNEL WERE MAINTAINED AT THE
ADMINISTRATIVE LEVELS, AND SUCH RECORDS WERE ONLY MAINTAINED AT
THE MILITARY REGION LEVEL. SOURCE DID NOT KNOW THE CURRENT
WHEREABOUTS OF RECORDS OF THE FORMER MEPO FOR TRI THIEN MR. SOURCE
RECALLED THAT FRONT 7 (MAT THAN BAY) WAS A TACICAL ORGANIZATION
SUBORDINATE TO THE PAVN HIGH COMMAND IN HANOI. FRONT 7 OPERATED
INDEPENDTLY FROM TRI THIEN MR, BUT THE MR FREQUENTLY SUPPORTED
TACTICAL OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY FRONT 7 IN THE QUNAG TRI-THUA
AREA. FRONT 7 ONLY HAD A SMALL ENEMY PROSELYTING OFFICE, AND NO
MILITARY OR AMERICAN PROSELYTING ELEMENTS.

7.  WHEN ASKED CONCERNING HIS KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING CURRENT OR
FORMER CADRE CAPABLE OF PROVIDING INFORMATION OF POW/MIA INTEREST. 
SOURCE WAS ABLE TO RECALL THE FOLLOWING PERSONNEL: NGUYEN VAN
GIAI, A NATIVE OF THUA THIEN, WAS THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE TRI THEIN MR
MEPO.  SOURCE BELIVES GIAI IS CURRENTLY RESIDING IN PHU PAI DISTRICT
TOWN AND HIS WIFE IS TEACHING SCHOOL IN VINH HA VILLAGE, PHU VANG. 
LTC XUYEN TAM (TAMM), A NATIVE OF QUANG TRI, WAS THE DEPUTY OF THE
QUANG TRI PROVINCE MILITARY-ENEMY PROSELYTING SECTION (MEPO)
DURING THE WAR. HE IS NOW RETIRED AND RESIDING IN OLD QUANG TRI CITY
(THI XA QUANG TRI CU, I.E. THE FORMER PROVINCE SEAT BEFORE THE
COMMITTEE HEADQUARTERS WAS MOVED TO DONG HA CITY). LTC THAO
(LNU), A NATIVE OF THUA THIEN, WAS A CADRE ASSIGNED TO THE MEPO OF TRI
THIEN DURING THE WAR. HE IS NOW RETIRED AND RESIDING IN HUE.  SON
(SOWN), A NATIVE OF PHU YEN, WAS THE CHIEF OF THE AMERICAN
PROSELYTING OFFICE OF TRI THEIN MR SON WAS ABLE TO SPEAK ENGLISH
WELL. HE IS BELIEVED TO BE RETIRED AND RESIDING IN PHU YEN PROVINCE.
CAO NANG, A NATIVE OF THUA THEIN, WAS A CADRE IN THE QUANG TRI
PROVINCE MEPO. HE IS NOW RETIRED AND RESIDES ON HA TRIEU STREET IN
HUE CITY.  NGUYEN PA MINH, A NATIVE OF NORTHERN VIETNAM AND HEAD OF
THIEN MILITARY PROSELYTING ELEMENT OF THE MEPO FOR TRI THEIN MR,
RETURNED TO THE NORTH AFTER THE WAR ENDED. CURRENT EMPLOYMENT
STATUS AND WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN TO SOURCE. SR CPT NGUYEN THONG
(THOONG), A NATIVE OF PUONG THUY AND CADRE OF THE POLITICAL
DEPARTMENT (CUC CHINH TRI) OF TRI THEIN MR, WAS AN ENGLISH SPEAKER. 
HE REGROUPED TO NORTHERN VIETNAM IN 1954 AND RETURNED TO THE
SOUTH DURING THE EARLY 1960'S, CURRENT EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND
WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN TO SOURCE.

8.  CONCERNING THE THUA THEIN PROVINCE SECURITY COMMITTEE CAMP AKA
"T-1", SOURCE WAS ABLE TO RECALL THE FOLLOWING: DURING THE WAR CAMP
T-1 HAS LOCATED IN A DOT ETHNIC MINORITY VILLAGE ON THE LAO BORDER. 
THE INITIAL CAMP COMMANDER WAS HAU (HAAUJ). HAU WAS KIA WHILE ON A

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UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 BANGKOK TH 03821

MISSION IN NORTHERN VIETNAM, AND HIS RELACEMENT WAS MR XUAN
(XUAAN).  MR.  XUAN, A NATIVE OF THUA THIEN, IS NOW RETIRED AND
RESIDING IN NAM DONG, THUA THIEN. SOMETIME DURING THE LATE 1960'S,
XUAN WAS REPLACED BY AMAN CALLED MINH. MINH, A NATIVE OF PHONG
DIEN, WAS A REGROUPER AND HE RETURNED TO NORTH VIETNAM BEFORE THE
WAR ENDED. MINH WAS REPLACED BY MR VUONG MAU (MAAU), A NATIVE OF
THUA THEIN, WHO IS NOW RETIRED AND RESIDING IN HUE CITY. MAU WAS
REPLACED BY A MAN CALLED THAO (THAOR), A NATIVE OF PHU LUONG
VILLAGE. PHU VANG DISTRICT, WHO IS NOW RETIRED AND RESIDING IN HUE
CITY. SOURCE CLAIMED TO HAVE NO SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING
CAMP T-1, BECAUSE HE WAS MILITARY AND CAMP T-1 WAS UNDER THE
CONTROL OF THE PUBLIC SECURITY APPAPATUS. CONCERNING THE QUANG TRI
PROVINCE SECURITY COMMITTEE CAMP AKA T-2, SOURCE HEARD ABOUT THE
CAMP BUT CLAIMED TO HAVE NO FURTHER INFORMATION.

9.CONCERNING CADRE PREVIOSLY ASSOCIATED WITH US POW/MIA BUT NO
LONGER AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW. SOURCE PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING:
LTC NGUYEN THE HUNG (HUNGF), A CADRE OF THE MEPO OF TRI THEIN MR,
WAS KIA DURING THE WAR.  LTC PHAN HUAN (HUAANS), A NATIVE OF NAM HA
AND CADRE ASSIGNED TO THE MEPO OF TRI THEINMR, WAS KILLED IN A
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT AFTER THE WAR ENDED.  HO VAN BAN AKA HO VAN
BAN (BONS), A CADRE OF THE MEPO, WAS KIA DURING THE WAR.  LE QUANG
THANG (THAWNGS), A CADRE OF THE MEPO WAS ALSO KIA DURING THE WAR. 
LLT NGUYEN PHONG, A NATIVE OF PUONG THUY AND CADRE ASSIGNED TO THE
MEPO, WAS KIA DURING THE WAR. (NOTE: WHEN ASKED IF HE WAS ABLE TO
RECALL A CADRE NAMED "LH MUON", SOURCE SAID HE BELIEVED LLT PHUONG
MIGHT HAVE USED THIS NAME AS A COVER NAME DURING THE WAR). SR
CUONG (CWONG), A NATIVE OF NORTHERN VIETNAM AND HEAD OF THE
AMERICAN PROSELYTING ELEMENT OF THE MEPO FOR TRI THEIN MR, WAS KIA
IN AN AMBUSH DURING 1975 WHILE ON A PROSELYTING MISSION IN PHU LOC
DISTRICT. (NOTE: SOURCE HAS NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE ANY DETAILS
CONCERNING SR CPT CUONG'S 1975 PROSELYTING MISSION TO PHU LOC).

10.  COMMENTS:

A.  SOURCE CLAIMED TO HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF ANY US PERSONNEL
REMAINING IN INDOCHINA. SOURCE CLAIMED TO HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF
ANY US CRASH SITES, GRAVE SITES OR REMAINS. SOURCE CLAIMED TO NO
KNOWLEDGE OF ANY US PERSONNEL WHO WERE MOVED TO THIRD COUNTRIES.

B.  SOURCE APPEARED TO BE IN POOR HEALTH AND EXHIBITED POOR RECALL. 
SOURCE'S APPARENT POOR RECALL MAY RESULT FROM HIS PREVIOUS LACK OF
ASSOCIATION WITH FOREGIN OFFICIALS. SOURCE CONSTANTLY LOOKED TO
ACCOMPANYING SRV GOVERNMENT CADRE FOR GUIDANCE PRIOR TO
ANSWERING QUESTIONS. MND REP, MR PHAM TEO, ADVISED SOURCE TO
ANSWER FREELY BUT SOURCE STILL SEEMED TO HAVE SOME RESERVATIONS. 
SA BELIEVES THAT SINCE SOURCE IS NOW AWEAR OF USG INTEREST IN
OBTAINING INFORMATION CONCERNING US POW/MIA IN SOURCE'S FORMER
AREA OF OPERATIONS, SOURCE SHOULD BE RECONTACTED AFTER HE HAS HAD
AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER THE SUBJECT CAREFULLY.

BT

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