American POWS - Vietnam

#1
Ok many of us have seen the movies about attempted rescues of american POWS from vietnam.

My question to my fellow arrsers - is there any evidence out there to substantiate that american POWS were kept by the vietnamese?...
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I guess the only substantiated case would be PFC Robert Garwood USMC. On his repatriation to the USA in the late 1970's he was convicted by Court Martial of collaboration, busted in rank, Dishonourably Discharged and lost his back pay. There were many American POWs who swore in court to have seen him collaborating with the enemy and as a lowly PFC driver there was little incentive for the Communists to forcibly keep him after releasing much bigger fry.

He always maintained that he was detained against his will, but I suppose he would. I remember a made for TV film about him starring the Karate Kid actor back in the 1990s.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Further to. From: The Case of Robert Garwood PFC 1979
Mr. Rahkonen decided to pass the information to the US State Department through the Swedish ambassador in Hanoi. Notified by the Swedes of Mr. Rahkonen's meeting with Garwood and the passing of the note, the State Department cautiously noted that it was unlikely that Garwood would be free to leave any camp without Vietnamese assistance and that it could not be excluded that he had acted at the "request or demand" of the SRV. (In meetings between officials of the US Joint Task Force - Full Accounting and senior military officials on the People's Army of Vietnam, in Hanoi, June 1992, it was noted that Hanoi had "forced" Garwood to leave the country after he had officially requested permission to do so through appropriate Vietnamese channels. According to these PAVN officials, although Garwood was a "rallier," he had proven to be undisciplined, had been involved in the black market, and wa a known womanizer.)
Although the State Department had previously asked the SRV about Garwood at Operation Homecoming in 1973, and via the Four Party Joint Military Team (FPJMT) established in Vietnam pursuant to the Paris Peace AGreement, there is no record of any SRV reply. That fact notwithstanding, the State Department acted quickly once it became aware of an American wanting to be repatriated. In a message to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, it requested that the ICRC be informed of Garwood's request and that the ICRC delegate in Hanoi be apprised of the situation. (State Dept. message 140126Z FEB 79) Of course, it was not clear yet if Garwood was actually being help as a prisoner or whether he was living in Vietnam voluntarily. For this reason the State Department recommended that the ICRC tell him and the SRV that the ICRC was acting on a "humanitarian basis" to assist Garwood's repatriation. (As a "humanitarian gesture," the Secretary of State requested that, upon Garwood's release, the ICRC notify him that his mother had passed away during the last year. State Dept. message 142354Z FEB 79)
The ICRC Acting Director of Operations told the US Secretary of State that he would immediately request the ICRC delegate in Hanoi seek permission from the SRV to see Garwood and ascertain his condition and desire to be repatriated. (SECSTATE messages of 150509Z and 160331Z FEB 79) While the ICRC was working through its delegate in Hanoi to see Garwood and effect his departure from Vietnam, the SECSTATE sent an urgent message to the Vietnamese ambassador to the United Nations, requesting that the Garwood matter be brought to the attention of the SRV government at the highest levels.
The Vietnamese UN ambassador expressed his "surprise" at the news that Americans could be living in the SRV against the will and stated that Hanoi's policy regarding American POWs detained in Vietnam was clear; to wit: the SRV had consistently maintained that, after 1973, no US POWs were left in Vietnam. The SRV ambassador also remarked that the SRV would have no interest in detaining Americans in his country. (SECSTATE message 152236Z FEB 79)

...




The USMC debriefing scheduled to last from 1300 - 1615 hours on the 29th actually began at 1435 and ran until 1615 and that of the Congressmen was a morning session of two hours and 20 minutes duration. The reasons for which the USMC debriefing was of such short duration are not clear; however, in both of these debriefings it appeared obvious to both the USMC and the Congressmen that PFC Garwood had no information on live US POWs in Vietnam and, indeed, he specifically told the debriefers that he had no first-hand information on live US POWs. (In a 6 April 1979 announcement from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, it was noted that Congressmen Wolff and Gilman had informally questioned Garwood concerning the possibility of American prisoners still alive in Vietnam. The announcement also noted that "Full discussion of PFC Garwood's knowledge must await conclusion of Marine Corps legal proceedings." Wolff and Gilman also added that "We are pleased and grateful for the cooperation extended us by the Marine Corps . . . They are making every effort to aid our task with full regard for Pvt. Garwood's legal rights.")
Additionally, in DIA's evaluation of the USMC interview, it was noted that


  • ". . . Garwood provided no information which would confirm that Americans still remain in Vietnam. Garwood has provided only rumors common during the years following the fall of Saigon and reported to DIA via other sources in the past. Garwood did not provide any new or potentially useful information . . . It should be noted that the scope of the debriefing was limited at the request of Garwood's civilian attorney."
    (Undated DIA memo of probably late March or early April 1979, entitled "DIA Evaluation of PW/MIA Information Provided by PFC Robert R. Garwood, USMC." It should be noted here that this DIA memo also indicated that "All of his information is admittedly hearsay, rumor, opinion or possibly propaganda with no specific information of concrete evidence which would verify his statements." Neither in 1979, nor in any of his later testimony, did any of Garwood's statements on his live sightings in Vietnam after 1973 lead to the recovery of an US POWs.)
In statements given by Garwood at both of these debriefings, as well as in statements to defense attorney Composto, Garwood said that he "had heard from the populace" that there were other US POWs but that he had not seen any himself. (Garwood maintained, to both the media and other organizations, that he had not seen any other US POWs or even Americans after his departure from South Vietnam in 1969. He changed his story in a 4 December 1984 interview with the Wall Street Journal when he indicated that he had seen a number of US POWs at several locations in Vietnam. None of these live sightings has ever been corroborated.)
 
#4
I remember watching a documentry where it was stated "as fact" that any US POWs were killed after a rescue attempt, wikipedia tells me that was Operation Ivory Coast
 
#5
Ok many of us have seen the movies about attempted rescues of american POWS from vietnam.

My question to my fellow arrsers - is there any evidence out there to substantiate that american POWS were kept by the vietnamese?...
The book answer is yes, but comes with some qualifications.

The release of all US POW’s by March 31 1973 was the principal US condition of the Paris Peace accords.

Technically the North Vietnamese violated the accord because Capt. Robert T. White was not released until April 1, 1973.

There were a number of other exceptions. The aforementioned Garwood and another US Private, McKinley Nolan, can be more properly regarded as defectors rather than Prisoners. Nolan settled down and established a family with his Cambodian wife until he was killed by the Khmer Rouge. Garwood tired of life in Vietnam and returned to the US.

Garwood is still up to his old nonsense. His latest escapades are real Naafi Bar stuff.

Tucker Gouglemann, a retired CIA employee. was living in Bangkok when Saigon fell to the Communists in 1975. Gougelmann’s wife and family were in Saigon and he returned to rescue them. He was arrested almost immediately. He was the only American held by the Viets after the war’s end in 1975. Gougelmann was subjected to an extremely brutal interrogation and died of the injuries he sustained while in custody.

The number of POW’s released was lower than Defence Intelligence estimates. This led some to believe that some US Prisoners had been retained as some sort of economic bargaining chip. While Vietnam never attempted to bargain with live prisoners (because they didn’t have any) They did play silly buggers with the repatriation of MIA remains. The MIA remains recovered by the Viets were stored in a mortuary in Hanoi and these were drip fed back to the US in return for economic concessions. This became much less of an issue after the Doi Moi reforms in 1986. The co-operation now between JPAC and the Vietnamese Government is as good as it gets. In the last few years the Viets have even permitted the US teams access to the previously restricted PAVN training areas. I’m sure if a Vietnamese team wanted to wander around Fort Hood, they would be told to go shit in their hat.

The rescue of Allied Prisoners was the principal mission given by Military Assistance Command Vietnam to their Special Operations Group. The total number of US prisoners rescued by MACV-SOG in the eight years that they were active is precisely nil. A lot of excuses have been offered by MACV-SOG’s publicists. The favourite excuse is that Vietnamese spies compromised the rescue missions. The largest Rescue operation of the war was the Son Tay raid. This operation was completely planned in the US and was launched on a US eyes only basis. It too was an absolute fiasco.


The truth is that in 1960’s and 70’s USSF just were not very good at rescue missions. Operation Eagle Claw in Iran was another typical effort. Perhaps the Hollywood efforts were compensating for the failure in reality.

The films like: Missing in Action, Behind Enemy Lines, Uncommon Valor, and, Rambo II, all had the basic premise that weak, leftard, US politicians had abandoned American Soldiers in Vietnam. These movies allowed Americans to gratuitously refight the war. It was on behalf of a good section of the US movie going public when John Rambo asked the question “Sir, “Do we get to win this time?” The idea of abandonment was picked up by the lunatic right in the US and it struck a chord with a good many Spams.

Despite no evidence to support the proposition that US servicemen are still in custody in Vietnam, because of the work of Hollywood, thousands believe it to be true. Of course some other people have a vested interest in keeping the pot boiling.

There are a number of politicians who have been latched on to the public tit for decades, mostly on account of their POW/MIA activism. Among the most brazen of these flim flam men is the Republican politician and author Bill Hendon. Now that Hendon has been given short shrift by the electorate, hopefully we will hear less of his histronic horse shit

There are a number of .coms that benefit from the sale of ‘memorial bracelets.’TM

The Weider History Group knows that a good POW/MIA story has the mouth breathers reaching for their wallets and does wonders for circulation.

Several Australians served with USSF officer and uber walt Bo Gritz in Vietnam. Their tenure with his B-36 was very short. They were reassigned due to the fact that his operations were insanely dangerous and served no particular strategic or tactical purpose.

Gritz became the most prominent of the, self appointed POW rescue Commandos. His private-sector forays into Southeast Asia were sponsored by ‘Soldier of Fortune’ Magazine. As an illustration of how ‘walting’ can be harmful, Gritz is a cracking example. Gritz’s bogus reports of "live sightings” fanned the hopes of MIA families for years.
Gritz is pretty typical of those who seek to profit from this blood libel. While most people in the Western world who visited his website would come to the conclusion that he was barking mad. Perversely his bizarre showmanship actually gives him credibility among a section of the septic community.

This trope will have legs for as long as there is money to be made from it. There will be money to be made for as long as America has cretins.

Mick
 
#6
thanks for that chippymick very informative post
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
The rescue of Allied Prisoners was the principal mission given by Military Assistance Command Vietnam to their Special Operations Group. The total number of US prisoners rescued by MACV-SOG in the eight years that they were active is precisely nil. A lot of excuses have been offered by MACV-SOG’s publicists. The favourite excuse is that Vietnamese spies compromised the rescue missions. The largest Rescue operation of the war was the Son Tay raid. This operation was completely planned in the US and was launched on a US eyes only basis. It too was an absolute fiasco.

Mick,

I think that's an overly harsh assessment of Op Kingpin. The raid failed, through no fault of the actual operators on the ground, but a lack of joined up intelligence that would have given up to date information as to the location of the POWs. The op itself went like clockwork, unfortunately for the Yanks, the prisoners had been moved shortly before due to the concern of flooding from a nearby river.

On a pedantic note, MACV 'Special Operations Group', later and more famously called 'Studies and Observations Group', had sabotage of North Viet Nam as their primary mission. Strategic Recce, Psy Ops, Prisoner rescue (usually downed airmen of whom a number were retrieved) etc., were added to their remit. The 'MACV Command History' is good primary source material for this.
 
#8
Hi RP

Pedantic note noted!

If my assessment of Son Tay is harsh you must understand that the Son Tay extravaganza has to be viewed as just one in a string of MACV SOG POW rescue attempt failures. Son Tay has to be judged on its critical point of difference to the others. This was to be MACV-SOG’s “US Eyes only” intelligence triumph. It wasn’t. It was an abject failure

I’ve read most of the “MACV Command Histories”. Interestingly the existence of MACV-SOG only came about because the Command Histories were tabled at one of the many US Senate investigations into the POW/MIA issue.

There is a good reason why MACV turned on USSF towards the end of the war. It wasn’t because of “professional jealousy” as the Green Beanie set would have you believe. It was because enterprises like MACV SOG and the various Greek letter projects consumed enormous amounts of resources and provided **** all in terms of results.

You are completely correct when you say that “'Studies and Observations Group', had sabotage of North Viet Nam as their primary mission”. Absolutely true and another prime example of MACV SOG over promising and under delivering.

ALL of the teams that MACV SOG inserted clandestinely into North Vietnam were captured and turned within days. It was another abject failure. It’s all in the CIA official histories. They’ll cost you a poultice on Amazon, but you can get them for free here.

You want volume 5 The Way We Do Things Black Entry Operations into Northern Vietnam.

Regards

Mick
 
#9
It is easier to believe that your MIA listed family member is actually alive and a POW, than dead - even if it's decades later and him still being a POW is pointless.

It also makes for good movies...
 
#10
Son Tay raid wasn't under the Aegis of MACV-SOG. It was a JCS Operation, planned, trained in the USA. The USSF operators came from 7th Group, not the Vietnam based 5th Group.
 
#11
I disagree django.

My Great Grandad went down on a coastal steamer a hundred years ago. Great Grand Pa wasn’t much of a swimmer, so odds on, he would have been shark shit within a day or so.

Notsomuch Missing in Action but Missing in Ocean. Either way – Body not recovered.

Oddly enough, the wreck in which he perished is now a pretty popular dive site.

Because of the zero sum nature of US political partisanship, seemingly normal people are required to believe that US POW’s still live. Otherwise they cannot be properly regarded as decent Republicans.

Strange but true.

Domestic US political considerations determine that the 1200 odd Vietnam MIA’s belong to a completely different class to the 8,000 odd US Korean MIA or the 80,000 US servicemen missing from WW2.

It is an article of faith that these 1200 are assumed to be alive, rather than pushing up daisy’s, which common sense suggests. Never underestimate the potential for national self delusion.

For my part, I’m not holding out any hope that Great Grand Dad is about to wade ashore at Cape Bowling Green, having broken the world’s record for holding your breath underwater.

Regards

Mick
 
#12
Having recently visited WW1 battle sites, including the Thiepval memorial, there was never any suggestion that those missing from WW1 would still be sititng sausage side in a POW camp - but maybe that's because POWs were declared?

Your Grandad went MIA at sea - the MIAs in Vietnam presumably could have been captured - yes, it is perhaps daft of the families to believe they are still alive somewhere (why!!!) as POWs, but maybe that heps them in some way. Yes, probably most of them have been hoodwinked by someone with an agenda, fuelling the POW fire, rather than extinguishing the MIA flame by finding some evidence.

I'm sure I read somewhere (or maybe even watched something - could even be as obscure as NCIS - incredible I know, but based on fact?) that limited forays into Vietnam and even Korea to visit well known battle sites and try to recover dog tags/identification had recently been allowed by the respective (unfriendly?) governments.

Back to WW1, the battlefields there are still giving up secrets 90 years on, with artifcats and bodies found even now. I presume as no-one ploughs the jungles of Vietnam (as they do the Flanders Fields), they wont come across any fresh evidence.

Having seen the POW/MIA stands in Washington, I can see how people would want to support that, but why would personnel from a conflict 30+ years ago still be held by a complletely different government, in secrecy, to what end??
 
#13
Son Tay raid wasn't under the Aegis of MACV-SOG. It was a JCS Operation, planned, trained in the USA. The USSF operators came from 7th Group, not the Vietnam based 5th Group.
Obfuscation.

POW rescue was a MACV SOG mission. The fact that the troops used were 7th rather than 5th is immaterial, for the reasons I’ve stated above.

Oplan34Alpha was initially a 7th group MACV SOG mission as well.

How did that go and when exactly did they give up on it? Wiki doesn't say.

Was it something 5th ever got involved in?

There is no escaping the fact that the scoreboard still reads POW’s rescued NIL.
 
#14
Obfuscation.

POW rescue was a MACV SOG mission. The fact that the troops used were 7th rather than 5th is immaterial, for the reasons I’ve stated above.

Oplan34Alpha was initially a 7th group MACV SOG mission as well.

How did that go and when exactly did they give up on it? Wiki doesn't say.

Was it something 5th ever got involved in?

There is no escaping the fact that the scoreboard still reads POW’s rescued NIL.
Its not obfuscation, the Son Tay Raid was never under the control of MACV-SOG. SOG wasn't even aware of the Mission until it had been launched.

At no time did MACV-SOG have control of whether the mission launched, or of its personnel. This was a JCS op. Gen. Wheeler the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs gave the go ahead for the mission prep, not the MACV-SOG Cdr.

The Mission was planned in the USA, training for the Mission was conducted in the USA. Army Personnel for the Mission came from the USA, not Vietnam based units. Nixon himself authorized the mission launch. Claiming it was a MACV-SOG mission is Ludicris, no one in the MACV-SOG chain of Command was involved in it, or had any responsibility for it.

And since we are getting pedantic, yes no US POW's were rescued by SOG. However Numerous ARVN POW's were rescued by US/ARVN forces

Cranberry Bog rescued 45 ARVN POW in August 1968
Vietnam War Operation CRANBERRY BOG
SEAL tm 1 under Dick Couch rescued 19 ARVN POW's in 1969.
USNA Faculty Profiles: Faculty Profile

Sgt William Taylor was rescued on May 6th, 1968 during an attack on a camp he was being held at in South Vietnam.

Name: William Brooks Taylor
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: 221st Aviation Company, 16th Aviation Group
Date of Loss: 20 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 102602N 1044221E (VS642510)
Status (in 1973): Escaped POW
Shot down in an O-1 by the enemy on March 20th, 1968.

On May 6, 1968, a force of armed helicopters attacked a guerrilla camp with
machine guns and rockets, unaware that Sgt Taylor was in the camp. Sgt
Taylor, who was still recovering from a compound fracture to one leg, a
shattered knee, and numerous abrasions and burns he suffered in an air crash
on 20 March 1968, received additional wounds from one of the rockets; yet he
still managed to take advantage of the confusion during the air attack to
crawl out of the camp and into a clearing where he signaled the crew of one
of the helicopters. One Cobra swooped in and Taylor grabbed the skid. As
they lifted off, Taylor was shot off the skid by the Viet Cong. The Cobra
returned, crew threw him in the helicopter with his leg irons still on and lifted
off. He is the ONLY survivor of 28 military escapees to get out alive
through such an escape during the entire Vietnam war.
 
#15
Goldbricker

I disagree with you, strongly.

What flash was the UK's favourite USSF soldier, Dick Meadows, wearing on his Beret when he landed at Son Tay?

The 'yes, but we garnered plenty of ARVN' doesn't cut it either. It's not like you gave a rats arse about the ARVN any other time.

Scoreboard still reads MACV SOG primary missions

Insert covert teams into North Vietnam - No result

Rescue US POW's - No result.

Resources consumed - Massive

Regards

Mick
 
#16
Goldbricker

I disagree with you, strongly.

What flash was the UK's favourite USSF soldier, Dick Meadows, wearing on his Beret when he landed at Son Tay?

The 'yes, but we garnered plenty of ARVN' doesn't cut it either. It's not like you gave a rats arse about the ARVN any other time.

Scoreboard still reads MACV SOG primary missions

Insert covert teams into North Vietnam - No result

Rescue US POW's - No result.

Resources consumed - Massive

Regards

Mick
Disagree all you want, the FACTS are against you on this. Son Tay( Operation Ivory Coast )was NOT a MACV-SOG Mission. Show me where MACV-SOG had control of the planning, manning, the premission training, and the execution of this mission.

Show me where MACV-SOG gave the go ahead to Launch the operation?

Please dont tell me you base your claims on One Operators beret flash? (By the way You understand the raiders wore Patrol Caps, OG, M1951 on the mission, not Berets?)
 
#17
Son Tay raid wasn't under the Aegis of MACV-SOG. It was a JCS Operation, planned, trained in the USA.

Specifically Camp McCall (sp?) within the Ft. Bragg complex. They built the Son Tay camp structure which had to be demountable to 'hide' it from Russian satellite cover at the time.
 
#18
Sgt William Taylor was rescued on May 6th, 1968 during an attack on a camp he was being held One Cobra swooped in and Taylor grabbed the skid. As
they lifted off, Taylor was shot off the skid by the Viet Cong. The Cobra
returned, crew threw him in the helicopter with his leg irons still on and lifted
off. He is the ONLY survivor of 28 military escapees to get out alive
through such an escape during the entire Vietnam war.
You may very well be correct in your assertion, but I'm not so sure that this gent was the ONLY one. I recall hearing about one gent whose name I cannot recall to my personal embarrassment. This gent's story was similar. He described a helio assault, spotted him in black PJ's and considered him to be a VC. Looking at him closer, the crew noticed that he had a beard and landed close by to collect him. I recall in his story saying " that I hold the unofficial Vietnam land speed record for covering 100 meters in tall grass to reach that helio"

He also mentioned that he noticed the pilot's 'class ring' as being a colleague when at West Point. I'm equally sure that he was subsequently killed several years after, in a vehicle assault when in Panama. All of that, yet I can't recall his name.
 
#19
Disagree all you want, the FACTS are against you on this. Son Tay( Operation Ivory Coast )was NOT a MACV-SOG Mission. Show me where MACV-SOG had control of the planning, manning, the premission training, and the execution of this mission.

Show me where MACV-SOG gave the go ahead to Launch the operation?

Please dont tell me you base your claims on One Operators beret flash? (By the way You understand the raiders wore Patrol Caps, OG, M1951 on the mission, not Berets?)
Goldbricker, the only FACT germane to the OP’s question is that the US efforts to rescue their POW’s failed dismally.

I had already made the observation that Son Tay was a US eyes only operation. I had a specific reason for introducing Meadows into the discussion. Some of those involved in Son Tay, like Meadows, had at least one MACV SOG tour under their belt. (I think some of the claims for Meadows reconnaissance efforts are a bit dubious too. ;)

Any way you cut it Son Tay was a clusterfuck
.
There is some dispute over whether the POW’s had been moved from Son Tay three weeks earlier or three MONTHS earlier.

If Alec is correct and the training set up was hidden from Soviet satellites, wouldn’t it have been prudent to have Son Tay under observation by US Satellites or at least regularly checked by Oxcart?

You don’t have to be Sun Tzu reincarnated to make the observation that any plan that starts with “.... first we crash a helicopter into the compound.” Could possibly be a bit dodgy.

The man responsible for the’ deliberately crashing helicopters’ part of the plan was General Leroy Manor. Do click on the Wiki link provided. It is interesting for what it leaves out. If Manor had a track record of prudent decision making, then the helicopter business might be seen as a quirky but ‘outside of the box’ thinking.

Prudent decision making is perhaps the trait most valued in Merchant Bankers. The Wiki article omits any mention of General Manor’s career as a Merchant Banker.

The reason why Manor’s foray into the banking system is airbrushed out of history is because his firm was Nugan-Hand. Nugan-Hand was to banking what MACV-SOG was to POW rescue.

No surprise to see that though. Just about every aspect of the way that the US was involved in Vietnam is distorted by lies. Sometimes lies of omission. Both sides of the political divide are guilty of it.

Lies and double standards really are the order of the day. America’s best loved memoirist of the Vietnam War was the convicted drug trafficker Robert Mason. In his book ‘Chickenhawk’ Mason describes the skull taken from a Viet Cong Soldier, chloroxed and then mounted on the unit bars wall. Here is a photo.



Now, that skull belongs to a Vietnamese who is most likely regarded by his people, as also Missing in action, body not recovered. We hear an enormous amount of bleating from the US regarding THEIR MIA’s but there is no reciprocity towards Charlies’. That’s not very fair is it?

There are some, but not many, US voices saying. “What can we do to help the Viets recover their MIA’s” A task that completely dwarfs the 1200 or so remaining US cases.

What goes around comes around.

Edited to add, There were no Australian POW's taken in Vietnam, but 6 MIA's. Against astonishing odds all the Australian MIA remains have been recovered.

The UK had one man taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he was killed by his captors and is still MIA. There is also another non POW, UK serviceman still MIA.

Regards

Mick
 
#20
The best book on the subject is Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives: Solving the Mia Mystery by Malcolm McConnell

Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives: Solving the Mia Mystery: Amazon.co.uk: Malcolm McConnell: Books

Amazon.com: Inside Hanoi's Secret Archives (9780671871185): Malcom Mcconnell: Books

McConnell tells the story of Theodore G. Schweitzer, an American researcher given access to the North Vietnamese archives. Schweitzer made the interesting discovery that a lot of those thought MIA were killed in captivity by the North Vietnamese, through medical malpractice, murder by villagers before the authorities could place them into custody, or torture and beatings.

A lot of the POW/MIA activists will reference Americans lost in Laos as evidence of MIAs left behind. Sad to say, the evidence points to them being killed either in action or in captivity.

The site below is the best one on the subject:

MIA Facts
 

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