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
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground

Official pre-capture photo

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 2023.

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

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

Star-Tribune correspondent

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, 2015

POW Honored By VFW
Gostas was presented with a leather POW jacket and a POW bracelet with his name on it that a fellow veteran's wife
had worn during his capture.


Major Ted Gostas, Cheyenne (trib.com)

      Jun 14, 2015 Updated Jul 12, 2017

Ted Gostas, a prisoner of the North Vietnamese Army for five years, one month and 15 days, today is an artist living
in Cheyenne.

·         Photo by Mark Junge
Ted Gostas said he hopes his art helps people to understand the prisoner of war experience. Gostas has produced
10,000 drawings, sketches, paintings, poems and a book, "Prisoner."

By Mark Junge

“So when they butt-stroked me to the head from an AK-47 and I was bleeding down the side of my face and they
threw me back in the cell I could put my fingers [into] the impression … and I just said, ‘heal me, little army’. I even
had a little army in my head. ‘Heal me.’ But do you know, in retrospect — when I was captured they blew up a rocket
in the room with me and my men — and in all honesty and without any lies at all, I wish that had killed me. I’m telling
you the truth.” ...




Johanna Gostas’ POW-MIA Papers

Posted on  by 

Johanna Gostas served as Wyoming coordinator for the National League of Families of American
Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia.

Her husband, U. S. Army Maj. Theodore W. Gostas, was taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese
during the Tet Offensive in February 1968....



Theodore William Gostas

December 13, 1938 — January 31, 2023



Ted Gostas died on 31 January, 2023. He took his last breaths with loved ones by his side and
Flamenco music filling the room. In his last moments on earth, there was no fear, no anxiety,
and finally no more pain.


[Ted] said he’s lived a fantastic life and the only message he has for us is to be kind. - 2020 Wyoming News Now

Theodore William Gostas was born December 13, 1938 in Butte, Montana to a Czechoslovakian mother
and Greek father. In 1941, the family moved to Bayard, Nebraska, and two years later, settled in Cheyenne,
WY. He studied English Literature at the University of Wyoming and enrolled in ROTC. In 1960, he married
Johanna Ludecke from Sheridan, WY. Together they had 3 children, Demetrius, Laura, and Jason.


Ted  was commissioned 2nd Lt in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program at the University of Wyoming
on July 28, 1961. After attending Infantry School, the U.S. Army Intelligence School for Counter Insurgency
Training, and foreign language school, Ted served as a German interpreter with U.S. Army- Europe in West
Germany from April 1964 to March 1967. He then deployed to Southeast Asia, where he served as an
intelligence officer with the 135th Military Intelligence Battalion of the 525th Military Intelligence Group
in South Vietnam beginning in April of 1967...


MORE INFO  http://www.veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=1228