Name: Neil Sharman
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Australia
Date of Loss: 05 September 1974
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 181251 North 1073308 East
Status (in 1973):
Other Personnel in Incident: Charles Dean
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 and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. 2020
REMARKS: Captured Ban Pak Hin Boun, on boat en route to Thankhek
SUMMARY SELECTION RATIONALE
NAME : DEAN, Charles, Civilian, Tourist
OFFICIAL STATUS: DEAD, BODY NOT RECOVERED
CASE SUMMARY: SEE ATTACHED
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION: Source reports indicate that at Mr. Dean was in
fact detained by the Pathet Lao. There have been no correlated reports of
his death subsequent to the many reports Mr. Dean's. detention.
REFNO: 1994 2 Apr 76
(C) CASE SUMMARY
1. (C) On 5 September 1974 Mr. Neil Sharman, an Australian tourist, and Mr.
Charles Dean an American tourist, departed Vientiane Laos. They had planned
on traveling by road from Vientiane to Paksane, and from there by boat to
Thakhek. On 13 September the U.S. Agency for International Development Area
Coordinator in Savannakhet , (Laos), received a report that Mr. Sharman and
Mr. Dean were overdue. Subsequent information from Laotian sources indicate
that on 6 September 1974, Mr. Sharman and Mr. Dean while traveling from
Paksane to Thakhek by boat, experienced difficulties with Neo Lao Hak
Sat (AKA: Pathet Lao), authorities at Hinboun, located in the vicinity of
grid coordinates (GC) VE 585 466. At this time they were taken into
custody. It is reported that they were held first at Ban Thong Lom, in the
vicinity of (GC) VE 380 910, and then four days later moved to a Pathet Lao
Police Compound. A review of aerial photography indicates that this camp
may be located in the vicinity of (GC) VF 704 157. There are reports that
in December 1974 Mr. Sharman and Mr. Dean were moved from this camp,
reportedly to Sam Neua, Laos. However, later information places them in the
camp located in the vicinity of (GC) VF 699 156 as late as 23 February
1975. (Ref 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5)
2. The US and Australian Embassys in Vientiane made repeated and determined
efforts to secure the release of Mr. Sharman and Mr. Dean. Summaries of the
incident, subsequent intelligence reports, and photographs of the two men
were handed over to high-ranking members of the Laotian Government with
requests for assistance. All efforts were unsuccessful, as the Neo Lao Hak
Sat authorities consistently denied knowledge of the incident. and the men
concerned. Mr. Sharman is currently carried in the status of Captured, and
Mr. Dean is currently carried in the status of Dead Body Not Recovered.
1. RPT (U), Chronology of events, undated.
2. MSG (C), Det 5, 7602 AINTELG, 010610Z Nov 74.
3. MSG (C), USDAO Vientiane, 260240Z Nov 74.
4. MSG (C), DIA Wash D.C., 182107Z Dec 74.
5. MSG (C), Det 5, 7602 AINTELG, 120603Z Mar 75.
1. Neil Sharman 1994-0-01
2. Charles Dean 1994-0-02
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