BELLENDORF, DIETER (sp Ballindorf?) Name: Dieter Bellendorf Rank/Branch: Civilian Unit: Cameraman, NBC Date of Birth: Home City of Record: Germany Date of Loss: 08 April 1970 Country of Loss: Cambodia Loss Coordinates: WT998205 Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War Category: Acft/Vehicle/Ground: auto Other Personnel in Incident: Georg Gensluckner; Unh Ling Yieng (both captured) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: German camerman Dieter Bellendorf and Austrian newsman Georg Gensluckner left Phnom Penh in an automobile on April 8, 1970. They were accompanied by Cambodian citizen, Ung Ling Yieng, serving as a translator for the group. The newsmen were heading for the front lines of fighting in Cambodia, looking for a story as military action in Cambodia had stepped up considerably at this time. Bellendorf was on assignment for NBC at the time. Traveling southeast on Route One in eastern Cambodia, the three men were captured 15 kilometers west of Chi Phu on Route 2 at grid coordinates WT998205. Various sources including Washington Post and TV Guide articles state that Bellendorf, at least, was seen twice in captivity, working as a laborer on a road gang in eastern Cambodia. He apparently was wounded when captured, and again by a B52 strike. Author Zalin Grant interviewed returned ARVN POWs in early 1973 and released the following data supporting other stories indicating journalists could still be alive. "Returned ARVN POWs sighted the (unnamed) journalists on Route #7, 17 miles south of Snoul in Eastern Cambodia 7-72 in ox-carts pulled by Hondas; another said a VC captain near Minot, eastern Cambodia (where military American POWs were released from in 1973) reported the (unnamed) journalists held in 7-72 had cameras; Cambodian national saw (unnamed) journalists in 6-72 at Prince Sihanouk's FUNK camp south of Route #13 in Kratie Province; returned ARVN POWs said a guard told them in 3073 that the journalists were still alive and held in their area." Walter Cronkite reported a sighting of (unnamed) journalists in January, 1974. Whether Grant's and Cronkite's information relates to Bellendorf, Gensluckner, and Yieng is not known. The three are among 22 international journalists still missing in Southeast Asia, most known to have been captured. For several years during the war, the correspondents community rallied and publicized the fates of fellow journalists. After a while, they tired of the effort, and today these men are forgotten by all but families and friends. Tragically, nearly the whole world turns its head while thousands of reports continue to flow in that prisoners are still held in Southeast Asia. Cambodia offered to return a substantial number of remains of men it says are Americans missing in Cambodia (in fact the number offered exceeded the number of those officially missing). But the U.S. has no formal diplomatic relations with the communist government of Cambodia, and refused to directly respond to this offer. Although several U.S. Congressmen offered to travel to Cambodia to receive the remains, they have not been permitted to do so by the U.S.