RIP 9 Nov 2012

Name: Artice W. Elliott
Rank/Branch:O4/United States Army
Unit: MACV Adv Team S.V.N. Special Tactical Zone
Date of Birth: 05 August 1929
Home City of Record: Terrell TX
Date of Loss: 26 April 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 145036 North  1074132 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground

Other Personnel in Incident: none

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK  from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. 2020


SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO

Lieutenant Colonel - United States Army
Captured: April 26, 1970
Released: March 27, 1973
Colonel Elliott was last seen April 26 1970 as he directed the fight against
a tightening ring of Viet Cong troops in central South Vietnam. Three years
later he was released from prison camp.

Our battalion had been airlifted in an attempt to relieve the siege of Dak
Seange Special Forces Camp. Our mission was later changed because a sister
battalion was surrounded by the enemy. For six days we were under intense
mortar and ground attack. We took heavy casualties and our supplies were
exhausted. We then attempted to break out. We successfully got outside the
perimeter but then the communist forces counterattacked. I became separated
from the rest of our element and tried to move south. The South Vietnamese
soldiers all around me gave themselves up to the enemy but I tried to

Having  suffered shrapnel wounds in the legs I managed to move about 200
meters from the location and was in a sort of crawling position maneuvering
around an embankment when suddenly I encountered two camoflaged North
Vietnamese soldiers. They had their weapons aimed at me and ordered me to
put my hands up.

I was then marched up a small hill and cast in a hole in the ground prison
cage in Laos for thirty days. My  feet were    kept in wooden stocks one
foot in during the day and two at night. The cage was 8 feet by 8 feet and
the floor was covered with water most of the time. Despite the hardships of
the "living" quarters the interrogations were like inquisitions. From there
we marched to Hanoi - 55 days away. The country was mountainous and the
terrain difficult. One of the Americans was in poor physical condition and
had to be helped. I carried him across streams to keep his wounds from
getting wet. i went from a weight of 205 down as low as 145 while a
prisoner. The march was a bad experience. The guards struck prisoners with
sticks to make us move faster. Leeches got on our skin and sucked the blood
out. It was raining and we were always tired and hungry. When we arrived at
a field camp near Hanoi I was placed in solitary confinement for four
months. Later we were taken to a place ironically named Plantation Gardens.

The Communists tried hard to make us think the United States had forgotten
us but they were unsuccessful. We had a strong underground communications
organization that helped our morale. We used all kinds of secret signals to
pass information especially that gained from new prisoners. We  wanted to
know what was happening on the outside. The guards were sometimes successful
in breaking the underground but it was always re-established.

Colonel Elliott is a native of Bowie, Texas and was in the last days of his
second tour in Vietnam when he was captured. He is a former Texas highway
patrolman who joined the National Guard when he was 17. He entered the
Regular Army and was commissioned in 1961. He served one tour in the
Republic of Vietnam from 1966 to 1967 and returned in 1969. "I'm still an
Army man " he said after his release. "I'll always be an Army man."

After months and years of peeping through small holes it's a luxury to
merely sit in the living room and look out the window and gain an
unobstructed view of sunshine trees and flowers.

How is he ultimately affected by his imprisonment under the Communists? He
answers that "For one thing it makes you really appreciate the good old
United States of America. Until you have lived under a Communist regime you
cannot begin to know how lucky you are to be an American. I feel sure that
all the former prisoners will prove to be stronger Americans than they were
before because they know what the other side is like. I think that most of
us who have had this experience will be more politically minded than we were
before. We will want to participate more faithfully in our country."

Colonel Elliott sends this message to all the American people: "Thank God I
am free and thank you for helping to make it possible. I will always be
grateful for your love and concern."

Artice Elliot retired from the United States Army as a Colonel. He and his
wife Wanda resided in Colorado until his death in 2012.


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