MEHRER, GUSTAV ALOIS Name: Gustav Alois Mehrer Rank/Branch: United States Army/E2 Unit: Date of Birth: 03 April 1949 Austria Home City of Record: Omaha NE Date of Loss: 25 December 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 154700 North 1081900 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: Refno: 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. Updated in 2015 with material and articles provided by Gustav Mehrer. REMARKS: 730316 RELEASED BY PRG
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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 GUSTAV A. MEHRER PFC - United States Army Captured: December 25, 1968 Released: March 17, 1973 Parents: Erhardt and Hermine born in Romania Brothers: Charles, Ludwig and Berthald Sisters: Narcisse, Maria Gustav A. Mehrer was born 3 April 1949 in Leoben, Austria. After coming to the United States, the family settled in Nebraska, where his father was employed as a carpenter. When Mehrer, who is known as "Gus", was serving as an Army Signal Corps specialist, and was captured on Christmas Day in 1968, memories of World War II flooded the minds of his parents. Mr. Mehrer had been arrested by the Nazis and held prisoner in a German concentration camp. His mother well knew how imprisonment could break a man. She knew the deep emotional and physical tortures that were endured. Many times the scars were still there long after the release came. Now Gus was missing. He had volunteered for the draft and been sent to Vietnam with the 156th Signal Platoon. When captured by the Viet Cong, he was dragged and beaten through the jungle. During the interrogation he was bound with twine. He was tied to the top of the hut, with his elbows tied together and then hoisted and left hanging for hours. Later, at one point, an American helicopter endeavored to rescue some of the prisoners, but the jungle growth was too thick to permit it to land. "The food smelled musty, like mildew. The weevils would crawl in the husk of the rice and eat the inside. They'd die in there, but you wouldn't know the difference, we had so little to eat." He dreamed of the many hobbies he enjoyed - music, dancing, model cars, ceramics, lapidary, and reading while living the reality of starvation, death and dehumanization. Two and a half years were spent in the jungle the rest in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. Now home, "It's like a million Christmasses and birthdays all wrapped into one. I'll do everything I can for this country for the rest of my life. The United States must know that other nations envy its power and wealth and we must be aware of the Communist threat."
Gustav lives in Colorado. He lost his wife in 2008.
|Original DD214 and 1991 DD215
Mehrer was assigned to numerous covert ops before, during and after captivity.