RIP 03/15/2001

Name: John Joseph Fritz, Jr.
Rank/Branch: U.S. Civilian
Date of Birth: circa 1936
Home City of Record: Williamstown NJ
Date of Loss: 08 February 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 104936N 1065628E (YS126965)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Auto/Volkswagon
Refno: 1375

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.

Other Personnel In Incident: James A. Newingham (released); Tanos E. Kalil


SYNOPSIS: Tanos E. Kalil, John J. Fritz and James A. Newingham were three
U.S. civilians captured by Viet Cong forces on February 8, 1969 in Bien Hoa
Province, South Vietnam. The three were held together as captives.

In 1973 Operation Homecoming occurred and 591 Americans were released by the
Vietnamese. Two of those lucky Americans were John Fritz and James
Newingham. John Fritz told of having been tortured and repeatedly thrown in
a pit with snakes and scorpions. Being held in South Vietnam and Cambodia
had its own horrors. Fritz and Newingham were lucky to be alive.

The two also told of Tanos Kalil's fate. In April 1969, they reported, Kalil
fell ill with kidney problems. Because of poor medical attention and even
poorer diet, the illness grew more serious and he ultimately died in June
1969 and was buried near camp.

The Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) listed Tanos Kalil as a
prisoner who had died while in captivity. They did not return his remains to
U.S. control. For over 20 years, the U.S. has been unable to bargain for
even those Americans known to have been held captive and now are deceased.
Many consider this an outrage.

Even more outrageous, certainly, is the mounting evidence that hundreds of
Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. While Vietnam and the U.S. hold
talks which focus on the only remaining barrier to normalized relations
being Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia, families of the nearly 2500 missing
men stand by in helpless horror.


John Fritz resided in Delaware until his death in 2001.