GOSTAS, THEODORE W.
|Name: Theodore W. Gostas
Rank/Branch: 03 United States Army
Unit: 135th Military Intelligence Battalion Provisional, 525th MI GP
Date of Birth: 13 December 1938 (Butte MT)
Home City of Record: Cheyenne, WY
Date of Loss: 01 February 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162734N 1073551E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Daves, Gary CIV (released); Henderson,
Alexander CIV (released); Meyer, Lewis CIV (released); Olsen, Robert CIV
(Released); Page, Russell CIV (Released); Rander, Donald USA (Released);
Rushton, Thomas CIV (Released); Spalding, Richard CIV (Released); Stark,
Lawrence CIV attached to USN (Released); Willis, Charles CIV (Released).
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK 14 February 1997 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources and information
provided by Ret. Major Gostas. Updated 2018.
REMARKS: 730316 Released by PRG
SYNOPSIS: Theodore Gostas attended Kemper Military Academy before serving in
Gostas was working with the 135th Military Intelligence Battalion
Provisional, in the northern part of South Vietnam during TET '68 when Hue
came under seige. Ted recalls being trapped without his radio, and being
unable to warn hundreds of 5th Marines as they walked into an ambush. Many
lost their lives that day. Government records indicate he and 11 others
were captured soon afterward. Ten of those were civilians working with the
While in captivity, he was severely beaten several times and kicked in the
head and stomach. He was stuck in the head with an AK 47 and hung from a
rope for extended periods and was denied water. He spent 4 1/2 years in
solitary confinment. He had severe intestinal problems, and numerous
absessed teeth throughout his ordeal. Gostas says it was solitary that
did the worst damage.
With Gostas in the Hanoi Hilton's "New Guy Village" were Capt. Jim Thompson,
Staff Sgt. Don Rander and CIV Chuck Willis.
Reflecting on his release, Ted Gostas says he "couldn't believe after all
that torture that I was really home." He retired from the Army with the rank
of Major, being awarded the Bronze Star and 2 Purple Hearts and the POW
Although he suffers from many health related problems as a result of his
torture and captivity, he continues his work as a "war artist" and has
raised several thousand dollars in college scholarships for the children of
indigent veterans. He donates 100% of the proceeds of his art work and book
sales to the scholarship fund. "Prisoner" was written and illustrated by Ted
in 1974 and is still available.
Ted and his wife Joanne enjoy his retirement in Wyoming. They have 2
surviving children, Laura and Demetrius. Their son Jason was killed in a
traffic accident at 19. They also have a stepson, Jason, and 4 grandsons.
Johanna passed away on January 20, 2018.
Associated Press Newswires
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Cowboy Enterprise: POW recalls horror of captivity
By ILENE OLSON
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Ted Gostas knows better than most what it is like to
feel fear, pain and uncertainty. As a prisoner of war in Vietnam for five
years, he suffered physical and mental pain and torture beyond the limits
many endure and survive....
Bracelet links duo
By MARGARET LAYBOURN
CHEYENNE -- In 1970, three college students began making metal bracelets
engraved with the names of Vietnam war prisoners to remind Americans of the
sacrifices these men were making.....
I was alerted to an interesting article on NAM-POW Ted Gostas. This is about one of our
guys who was captured in the South. Brutal treatment. MM
Here is the link:
June 10, 2015POW Honored By VFW