DUNN, JOHN GALBREATH

Name: John Galbreath Dunn
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Date of Birth: 22 February 1943
Home City of Record:
Date of Loss: 18 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 113409N 1080234E (AN775805)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Category:
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno:

Other Personnel in Incident: James M. Ray (captured - still missing)

Source: Compiled 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 in 2023.

REMARKS: 730212 RELEASED BY PRG

SYNOPSIS: On March 18, 1968, PFC James M. Ray and 1Lt. John G. Dunn were part
of a unit on a road clearing mission with Montagnard soldiers in Lam Dong
Province on Highway 20 in South Vietnam.

During the mission, both Ray and Dunn were captured by the Viet Cong and taken
to Cambodia for detention. Dunn was released in the general prisoner release
nearing the end of American involvement in Vietnam in 1973. Jimmy Ray did not
come home.

Ray, who had been wounded during his capture, was rotated within the "system"
of those POWs held in South Vietnam. He made escape attempts which infuriated
his captors and they beat him severely and confined him with chains. He was
awarded the Silver Star for gallantry for these escape attempts and resulting
torture.

In April 1969, an American POW who escaped from the camp where Ray was being
held with other POWs reported that Jimmy was alive and one of the healthiest of
the POWs both mentally and physically. Jimmy was held apart from the other
POWs, because of his attempts to escape.

In the summer of 1969, Jimmy became ill with malaria and reportedly died in
November 1969 at a detention camp in the northern Tay Ninh Province/Cambodia
area. Although there are "statements" attesting to Jimmy Ray's death, many
years would pass before Jimmy's father would be able to trace and personally
talk to POWs held with Jimmy. NOT ONE saw him dead - even those whose
"statements" were in Jimmy's files!

PFC Ray's records are a tangle of inconsistencies. His death was "reported"
when there was no witness, and this report was later retracted. A medal was
awarded for gallantry in an escape occurring after Jimmy was supposed to have
died. Stories have drifted in through unofficial sources that Jimmy became a
"good" prisoner and was held up as a role model for others - years AFTER he was
supposed to have died.

Jimmy's family feels there is a strong chance that he is alive today, but if
he is not, they know that the communist government of Vietnam certainly knows
the fate of PFC Jimmy Ray, who, in the words of one POW, "wanted more than
anything else to be free."

The Vietnamese state that Jimmy died on November 6, 1969, but have not produced
proof of his death or returned a body.

 
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John Dunn retired from the United States Army as Colonel.

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