[310410Z.OH 05/22/96]
    
ORIGIN CJTF2 INFO DCM POL SA DAO PY/MIA EXA DALO INHB (9)

VZCZC
RR RUHOHQE RUMTFS RUEHPF RUEKJCS RUEKJCS RUHQHQB
RUEKJCS RUESJCS RUEAIIA RUHVAAA RUEADWW RUEHC
DF RUEHBK #2797/01 090 **
ZNR UUUUU                                          CLASS: UNCLASSIFIED
R 310410Z MAR 93                                   CHRGE: CTTF 03/31/93
FM CJTF-FA DET ONE BANGKOK TH                      APPRV: CJTF:GFB
TO RUHQHQE / CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI                DRFTD: CJTF:GEB
INFO RUMTFS / AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE//CJTF-FA DET THREE//  :NONE
BUENPP / USMISSION PHNOM PENH//CJTEFA 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/lCOG//
RUHVAAA / CDRUSACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//
RUEADWW / NSC WASHDC
RUEHC / SECSTATE WASHDC//CA/OCS/CCS/EAP//
BT
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04  BANGKOK TR 12797
UNCLASSIFIED 0130 MAR 93
DIA PASS TO DOD POW-MIA CENTRAL DOCUMENTATION OFFICE
SUBJ: SRV ORAL HISTORY  SR CPT NGUYEN CHI CONG
REF: DET 1, JTF-FA MSG 230355Z MAR 93
1. REF WAS THE SUMMARY REPORT OF ACTIVITIES
CONDUCTED IN VIETNAM BY JTFFA SPECIAL ASSISTANT, MR
G.E. BELL, DURING THE  PERIOD 3 TO 19 MARCH 1993. PARA
2.A OF REF PERTAINS T0 SR CPT NGUYEN CHI CONG.  THE
FOLLOWING REPORT PROVIDES THE DETAILS OF THE
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED WITH SR CPT CONG.
    
2. SR CPT NGUYEN CHI CONG WAS INTERVIEWED IN RACH GIA
CITY, KIEN GIANG PROVINCE ON 5 MARCH 1993. THE
INTERVIEW WAS MONITORED BY ASSIGNED COUNTERPART AND
MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE (MND) REP, LTC PHAM TEO,
AND MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR (MOI) REP, MR NGUYEN  THE
CONG. REPRESENTING THE KIEN GIANG PROVINCE
PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE WERE VICE-CHAIRMAN MR TRAN LAM
CHIEF OF STAFF, MR THAI DANG THANG, AND MIA
SPECIALISTS, MR BUR QUANG LEN AND MR THAN MINH CHIEN.

5. SOURCE, A 70 TEAR OLD NATIVE OF PHONG DINH,
JOINED THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION  TO FIGHT AGAINST
THE FRENCH WHEN JAPANESE FORCES WITHDREW FROM
VIETNAM AFTER WORLD WAR 11. ACCORDING TO SOURCE,
AFTER THE GENEVA AGREEMENTS WERE SIGNED IN 1954, HE
REMAINED  AT HOME IN PHONG DINH  AND EARNED  HIS
LIVING AS A FARMER. SOMETIME DURING 1963, SOURCE  WAS
CONTACTED BY MEMBERS OF THE REGION COMMITTEE FOR
MILITARY REGION NINE AND TASKED TO CONSTRUCT AND
MANAGE A PRISON CAMP FOR FOREIGN  POW'S.  AT THAT
TIME SOURCE WAS INFORMED THAT HIS POSITION WOULD BE
THAT OF
    
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CAMP COMMANDER.

4. SOURCE CONSTRUCTED THE CAMP IN A MANGROVE FOREST
LOCATED IN THE U MINH HA (I.E. LOWER U MINH) IN THE
AREA OF BIEN BACH VILLAGE (NOTE: WARTIME US MAPS DO
NOT DEPICT BIEN BACH VILLAGE, BUT DO SHOW A TAN BANK
VILLAGE  AT THE SAME LOCATION REFERRED TO BY SOURCE
VIC VR 997539), KIEN  AN DISTRICT, KIEN GIANG
PROVINCE. (NOTE: AFTER REUNIFICATION IN 1976 THE
ADMINISTRATIVE  BOUNDARY FOR THIS AREA WAS CHANGED
AND THE PRESENT DESIGNATION FOR THE FORMER CAMP
LOCATION IS U MINH DISTRICT, MINH HAI PROVINCE
SOURCE RECALLED THAT THE INITIAL CAMP LOCATION WAS
NEAR  THE JUNCTION OF CANAL NUMBER 21 AND TRI SONG
CAI LON RIVER (VR 999534). SOURCE SAID THE CAMP WAS
DESIGNATED TG36 (I.E. TRAI GIAM 36), AND WAS
SUBORDINATE TO THE ENEMY PROSELYTING SECTION,
POLITICAL DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY  REGION NINE (CUC
CHINH TRI QUAN KHU CHIN). SOURCE HEARD THAT  ANOTHER
CAMP LOCATED IN THE SAME GENERAL AREA WAS DESIGNATED
TG35 AND SUBORDINATE TO  THE MILITARY  PROSELYTING  SECTION,
POLITICAL DEPARTMENT, MR9. SOURCE HEARD CAMP TG35
HELD ONLY ARVN/GVN POW'S.

5. SOURCE RECALLED THAT THE FIRST TWO AMERICAN POW'S
WERE MOVED INTO THE CAMP SOMETIME DURING 1964. HE
RECALLED THEIR NAMES AS ROWE AND PITZER (REFNOS
0022-0-01 AND 0022-0-01). ROWE AND PITZER WERE BOTH
CAUCASIANS WHO WERE CAPTURED IN THE AREA OF CA MAU.
SOURCE RECALLED THAT ROWE WAS AN ENGINEER,  BUT COULD
NOT RECALL THE BRANCH OFOF SERVICE FOR PITZER.
SHORTLY! AFTER ROWE  AND PITZER  ARRIVED IN THE CAMP,
ANOTHER CAUCASIAN AMERICAN POW CALLED VERSACE (REFNO
0021-0-01) WAS MOVED THERE. OTHER AMERICANS WHO
ARRIVED LATER INCLUDED JOHNSON  (REFNO 0033), TADIOS
(REFNO 0047), PARKS (REFNO 0042), WALKER (REFNO 0086),
JACKSON (REFNO 0384), AND A BLACK AMERICAN POW CALLED
"ROBAT" (SOURCE'S PRONUNCIATION WAS SOMEWHERE  BETWEEN
ROBERT AND ROBART).  SOURCE WAS NOT ABLE TO RECALL
ANY DETAILS  CONCERNING  THE PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF
THE MAN CALLED  "ROBAT", BUT DID VAGUELY RECALL
THAT HE WAS INITIALLY TAKEN INTO CUSTODY IN TRI VINH
AND LATER MOVED TO THE MR9 CAMP.

6. THE FIRST AMERICAN TO BECOME SERIOUSLY ILL WAS CPT
VERSACE. SOURCE RECEIVED INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE MILITARY
REGION COMMITTEE (KHU UY) TO TRANSFER CPT VERSACE TO
THEIR CUSTODY. SOURCE LAST SAW CPT VERSACE WHEN HE WAS
TAKEN FROM THE CAMP BT MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY PROSELYTING

1/4     UNCLASSIFIED     CJTF-FADETONEBA   012797/01

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02  BANGKOK 12797

SECTION. ALTHOUGH SOURCE DID NOT SEE CPT VERSACE
AGAIN, HE LATER HEARD THAT HE DIED DUE TO ILLNESS.
SOURCE DID NOT HEAR ABOUT THE BURIAL LOCATION.
SOURCE SPECULATED THAT CPT VERSACE WAS BURIED IN THE
AREA OF BIEN BACH VILLAGE, BECAUSE IT CONTAINED THE
ONLY SOLID GROUND IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA. THE NEXT
TWO AMERICANS TO DIE DUE TO ILLNESS WERE  CPT WALKER
AND THE  BLACK MAN CALLED "ROBAT".  BOTH MEN WERE
BURRED IN AN EARTHEN FISH TRAP, WHICH WAS CONSTRUCTED
BY FORMING  A CIRCULAR EARTHEN DAM WITH A LOW SPOT IN
THE CENTER FOR TRAPPING, FISH AT LOW TIDE. SOURCE
RECALLED THAT CPT WALKER WAS BURIED IN THE DAM AT
THE FRONT OF THE FISH TRAP, AND "ROBAT" WAS  BURIED IN
THE DAM AT THE REAR OF THE TRAP. SOURCE SAID HE
PERSONNALY  BURIED BOTH BODIES. SOURCE RECALLED THAT
THE GRAVES DUG AT THE TIME WERE APPROXIMATELY  ONE
AND ONE-HALF METERS DEEP. SOURCE DID NOT RECALL ANY
MARKERS  PLACED ON THE  GRAVES. SOURCE DID NOT RECALL
ANT PERSONAL EFFECTS OR METAL OBJECTS (I.E. ANYTHING
METAL TO BE DETECTED BY GROUND PROBE OR METAL
DETECTOR). SOURCE WAS ASSISTED BY A STAFF MEMBER
NAMED THAI VAN  QUAN (QUAAN), WHO  LATER DIED.

7. WE TO ENEMY ACTIVITY IN THE AREA OF TG36 CAMP, THE
CAMP WAS MOVED FROM CANAL 21 TO CANAL 26 (VR 957567) .
AFTER ARRIVAL IN THE NEW  CAMP, ANOTHER BLACK  AMERICAN
POW (NOTE: POSSIBLY  SGT PARKS,  REFNO 0048) ALSO DIED.
SOURCE COULD NOT RECALL ANY  DETAILS CONCERNING THE BURIAL.
SOURCE ALSO RECALLED THAT  DURING THE TIME THE CAMP WAS
LOCATED ON CANAL 26, SEVERAL PRISONERS  INCLUDING LLT ROWE
AND AN ARVN POW NAMED "RAO", MANAGED TO ESCAPE FROM THE CAMP.
AIRCRAFT  CAME TO THA AREA AND A JOINT US/ARVN FORCE LED BY
MAJ SMITH AND MAJ RUNG ATTACKED ON THE GROUND,
SEARCHING FOR THE POW CAMP. DUE TO ENEMY ACTIVITY THE
CAMP WAS MOVED TO CANAL NUMBER 11 IN THE AREA  BETWEEN
BIEN  BACH VILLAGE AND AN BIEN  VILLAGE  (VR 0077) IN AN
MINH DISTRICT. (NOTE: CANAL NUMBER 11 IS NOT DEPICTED
ON AVAILABLE SHEET 5928 SERIES L607, BUT BASED ON THE
LOCATIONS OF CANALS 9 AND 10, A POSSIBLE LOCATION
FOR THE AREA REFERRED TO BY SOURCE IS VR 9275). SOURCE
RECALLED THAT SOMETIME DURING 1970 OR 1971, A US NAVY
SHIP FIRED INTO THE CAMP KILLING  SEVERAL GUARDS.
ALSO DURING, THIS SAME TIME FRAME, SGT TADIOS  (REFNO
0047) ALSO DIED AND WAS BURIED NEAR THE  CAMP. SOURCE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE BURIAL OF SGT  TADIOS, AND
THEREFORE, WAS NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION
CONCERNING THE GRAVE. SOURCE RECALLED THAT A CADRE,
AND SOURCE'S OWN SON, WHO SERVED AS THE LEADER OF THE
PLATOON SIZED GUARD FORCE, CONDUCTED THE ACTUAL
BURIAL. SOURCE'S SON, HAI (2) THANH, WAS SUPERVISED BY
MUOI (10 ) THANH, THE DEPUTY CAMP COMMANDER. SOURCE
ONLY HEARD FROM HIS SON THAT SGT TADIOS WAS  BURIED
ON SOLID GROUND, ALONG SIDE A TRAIL NEAR THE CAMP.
SOURCE RECALLED THAT SGT TADIOS ALMOST MANAGED TO REACH
SAFETY ON ONE OCCASION WHEN HE ESCAPED FROM THE CAMP,
BUT HE  WAS RECAPTURED BY GUARDS ONLY  A FEW HOURS
AFTER HIS ESCAPE.

E. CONCERNING US PERSONNEL WHO WERE RELEASED FROM THE
CAMP,  SOURCE COULD ONLY RECALL THAT SFC  JOHNSON
(0033) WAS MOVED FROM THE CAMP TO CAMBODIA. SOURCE
LATER  HEARD HE WAS RELEASED TO THE US. SOURCE VAGUELY
RECALLED THAT SSG

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JACKSON (REFNO 0384) WAS ALSO MOVED TO CAMBODIA
WHERE HE TOO WAS RELEASED. SOURCE ALSO RECALLED
THAT MSG PITZER (REFNO 0022) WAS RELEASED BUT COULD
NOT RECALL ANY DETAILS.

9. CONCERNING THE BURIAL LOCATIONS OF US PERSONNEL WHO
DIED IN CAPTIVITY, SOURCE SAID HE BELIEVES HE CAN STILL
LOCATE THE GENERAL AREA OF THE GRAVES OF THE MAN CALLED
"ROBAT" AND CPT WALKER. SOURCE SAID THAT SINCE TRAVEL
WOULD BE PRIMARILY BY BOAT, AND HIS HEALTH PERMITTING HE
CAN GUIDE  A US TEAM TO THE SITE. SOURCE SAID HIS SON
HAI THANH IS IN EXCELLENT HEALTH  AND WILL BE READY TO
ACCOMPANY THE TEAM. SOURCE  SAID BE HAS NOT HAD RECENT
CONTACT WITH THE FORMER DEPUTY CAMP COMMANDER MUOI THINH,
BUT PROVINCE COMMITTEE OFFICIALS PRESENT SAID THEY HAVE
MET WITH HIM IN CAN THO, AND THEY BELIEVE HE CAN ALSO BE
LOCATED TO ACCOMPANY JOINT TEAM TO THE SITES. SOURCE
SAID THE PRESENCE OF BOTH HAI THANR AND MUOI THANH WILL BE
CRUCIAL TO LOCATING THE GRAVES OF SGT PARKS AND SSG TADIOS
AT THE  FORMER CAMP SITES AT CANALS 26 AND 11. SHORTLY
AFTER VISITING THE BIEN BACH AREA ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO,

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SOURCE HEARD THAT THE OFFICIALS OF MINN HAI PROVINCE RECOVERED
THE REMAINS OF ONE BLACK US POW, AFTER A SECOND ATTEMPT AT
EXCAVATION.  SOURCE  DID NOT HEAR ANY  SPECIFIC DETAILS
CONCERNING THE CAMP LOCATION OR IDENTITY OF THE US POW WHOSE
REMAINS WERE REPORTEDLY RECOVERED. KIEN GIANG  PROVINCE
OFFICIALS SAID THEY ARE WILLING TO SUPPORT AN EFFORT TO
RECOVER THE REMAINS OF THE AMERICANS WHO  DIED IN CAPTIVITY,
BUT IF THE US SIDE PREFERS, THEY  CAN COORDINATE THE
RECOVERY EFFORT WITH THE MINH HAI PROVINCE PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE,
SINCE THE FORMER CAMP SITES ARE CURRENTLY LOCATED WITHIN THEIR
ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARY. SA INFORMED THE LOCAL OFFICIALS THAT HE
WILL REPORT THE INFORMATION TO HIS SUPERIORS TO ENABLE THEM TO
DISCUSS THE SITUATION  WITH  THE VIETNAMESE OFFICE. FOR SEEKING
MISSING PERSONNEL  (VNOSMP) AND  DETERMINE THE BEST COURSE OF
FUTURE ACTION CONCERNING THE REMAINS OF CPT VERSACE, SOURCE
SAID HE HAS NOT ABLE TO RECALL THE NAME OF A POTENTIAL WITNESS TO
ASSIST IN LOCATING THE BURIAL SITE. ASSIGNED COUNTERPART, LTC
PHAM TEO, INDICATED  HE WILL ATTEMPT TO LOCATE FORMER
MEMBERS OF THE REGION 9 COMMITTEE TO OBTAIN THE IDENTITY  AND
CURRENT  WHEREABOUTS OF A WITNESS.

10.  WHEN ASKED CONCERNING  HIS KNOWLEDGE  OF ADDITIONAL
INCIDENTS INVOLVING US PERSONNEL, SOURCE SAID HE RECALLED
THAT SOMETIME DURING THE WAR YEARS IN KlEN GIANG PROVINCE,
LOCAL RESIDENTS DISCOVERED THE  REMAINS OF AN AMERICAN
SOLDIER. SOURCE SAID HE COULD NOT RECALL ANY  DETAILS, BUT
RECALLED RECALLED THAT THE VILLAGERS TURNED THE REMAINS IN
TO US FORCES AND WERE REWARDED WITH AN ELECTRIC POWER
GENERATOR FOR THEIR VILLAGE.  SOURCE SAID HE RECALLED ONE
OTHER INCIDENT WHERE LOCAL RESIDENTS  DISCOVERED  THE
REMAINS OF AN AMERICAN PILOT WHOSE AIRCRAFT CRASHED IN BEN
THE  DURING 1967.  HE SAID LOCALS FOUND THE REMAINS WHILE
EXCAVATING THE FOUNDATION FOR A NEW HOUSE. SOURCE SAID THE
VILLAGERS WERE CONTACTED BY OFFICIALS FROM THE  PROVINCE
WHO CAME TO TAKE CUSTODY OF THE REMAINS.  (NOTE: SA
CONFERRED WITH COUNTERPART, LTC TEO, REGARDING THESE
REMAINS AND DETERMINED THAT THE REMAINS REFERRED TO BY
SOURCE HAVE ALREADY BEEN REPATRIATED T0 THE  US; REFNO
0545, HYDE, MICHAEL L.). SOURCE IS NOT AWARE OF ANY  OTHER
INCIDENTS INVOLVING  US PERSONNEL. SOURCE HAS NO KNOWLEDGE
OF ANY  US PERSONNEL REMAINING  IN VIETNAM.
                        
I. COMMENTS:

A. SOURCE  WAS  COOPERATIVE AND GENERALLY PROVIDED  HIS
INFORMATION IN A STRAIGHT FORWARD  MANNER. SOURCE DID
HOWEVER,  POLITELY DEFLECT QUESTIONS CONCERNING  THE
IDENTITIES OF CADRE PREVIOUSLY ASSIGNED TO THE REGION  3
COMMITTEE  AND THE GENERAL COMPOSITION OF MILITARY  REGION
9, SA GAINED THE IMPRESSION THAT SOURCE HAD BEEN GIVEN THE
AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE ONLY THE IDENTITIES OF THE CADRE
REPORTED ABOVE. SA WAS CAUTIONED BY THE PROVINCE  VICE-
CHAIRMAN IN ADVANCE THAT SOURCE WAS IN POOR HEALTH  AND
COULD NOT UNDERGO LONG INTERVIEW  SESSIONS. SOURCE ADVISED
THAT HE SUFFERS PROM HYPERTENSION  AND SOURCE CONSUMED A
VARIETY OF MEDICATIONS THROUGHOUT THE  DAY.  DURING A MID-
DAY BREAK SA INVITED EVERYONE PRESENT TO  LUNCH, BUT  THE

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VICE-CHAIRMAN ADVISED SOURCE BE SHOULD NOT ATTEND DUE TO HIS
HEALTH CONDITION.

B. OFFICIALS OF THE PROVINCE COMMITTEE WERE  VERY
COOPERATIVE AND INDICATED THEY  WOULD LIKE TO SEE A RAPID
RESOLUTION OF THE MIA ISSUE. THE VICE-CFAIRMAN SAID THAT
IN HIS OPINION, THE  US SIDE SHOULD CONSIDER THE MATTER
RESOLVED IN THE CONTEXT OF REMAINING  BILATERAL ISSUES
CURRENTLY BLOCKING A NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS BETWEEN
THE TWO COUNTRIES. THE VICE-CHAIRMAN SAID THE TWO  SIDES
CAN CONTINUE T0 RESOLVE THE CASES  OF AMERICANS STILL NOT
ACCOUNTED FOR ON A ROUTINE BASIS. LTC TEO  ADDED  HIS
OBSERVATION MADE DURING A SIGHT-SEEING TRIP TO PEARL
HARBOR THAT OVER 2000 US PERSONNEL ARE STILL UNACCOUNTED
FOR IN PEARL HARBOR,  WHICH IS  LOCATED ONLY A FEW
KILOMETERS FROM THE HQ OF THE JTF-FA. THE VICE-CHAIRMAN
ASKED SA TO PASS ON THE APPRECIATION OF THE PEOPLE OF
KIEN GIANG TO THE USG FOR A USG SPONSORED HEALTH PROJECT
RECENTLY INITIATED IN THEIR PROVINCE. HE SAID SUCH
PROJECTS WILL  PLAY A LARGE PART IN HEALING THE WOUNDS
OF WAR. LOCAL OFFICIALS INDICATED THEY  WERE PLEASED TO
HAVE

UNCLAS SECTION 04 OF 04 BANGKOK TH 12797

A US OFFICIAL VISIT THEIR PROVINCE AND OFFERED
THEIR ASSISTANCE FOB ANY  FUTURE EFFORTS IN
THEIR  PROVINCE.

BT
#2797
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