Six More US MIA returned to their families

There's a book called "Where they lay" about the teams that go into SE Asia to recover remains. They never run out of volunteers. One of the stories was that a Huey crew had perished in a crash in the middle of an intense battle in a mountainous area of Vietnam. After the battle, what was accessible of the crew was bagged up and removed in haste and the wreck left there. When the CILHI team got there in the 90s, the site was overgrown so they had to clear it in tropical heat by hand. In time, they began to find scorched bits of the Huey and bone fragments, bits of clothing and so on. When they began to examine the bones, they soon established that they had found a fifth human, of American origin. It turned out that the Huey had crashed right onto the crash site of a previous helicopter and the fifth man was one of the crew of the original wreck. Another unpleasant point was that, especially in Laos, locals were falsifying crash sites to keep the Americans in situ for longer. They found that some locals were burying old helmets, cartridges, weapons, bits of clothing and even bones to try and convince the Yanks that they had found a previously unknown crash site. The dubious sites were soon identified as such but it soured relations with the Laotian Govt.
 
Father Emil Kapaun a Army Chaplain who died in a chicom POW camp in 1951 has been recovered and identified. he also served in Burma during WW2
Remains of Father Emil Kapaun, Medal of Honor recipient from Kansas who died in Korean War, identified
A very gallant priest, indeed.

Whatever the reasons, and they are varied, life was much more deadlier for US POWs in Korea than for British troops who were FEPOWs in WW2.

38.7 percent of U.S. prisoners of the North Koreans/Chinese died in captivity.
24.8 percent of British POWs held by Japanese died in captivity

Yet the perception is that the treatment of their servicemen ranks lower in the US national psyche that does that of FEPOWs in that of the British.
Blame in part must go to the US government who wanted, for various reasons, the fate of their POWs to be significantly down-played.
I don't know the reason why the well-deserved MOH for Fr Kapaun took sixty years (to 2013) to be awarded, but I have a feeling might be due to the politics in the aftermath of the prisoners' release.
 
A very gallant priest, indeed.

Whatever the reasons, and they are varied, life was much more deadlier for US POWs in Korea than for British troops who were FEPOWs in WW2.

38.7 percent of U.S. prisoners of the North Koreans/Chinese died in captivity.
24.8 percent of British POWs held by Japanese died in captivity

Yet the perception is that the treatment of their servicemen ranks lower in the US national psyche that does that of FEPOWs in that of the British.
Blame in part must go to the US government who wanted, for various reasons, the fate of their POWs to be significantly down-played.
I don't know the reason why the well-deserved MOH for Fr Kapaun took sixty years (to 2013) to be awarded, but I have a feeling might be due to the politics in the aftermath of the prisoners' release.
Here are some mortality rates for POW's WW2 - what was the UK rate in Korea? US WW2 rate for those held by Japan was much higher but not up to Korean War.

USSR POWs held by Germans57.5%
German POWs held by Yugoslavs41.2%
German POWs held by USSR35.8%
American POWs held by Japanese33.0%
German POWs held by Eastern Europeans32.9%
British POWs held by Japanese24.8%
German POWs held by Czechoslovaks5.0%
British POWs held by Germans3.5%
German POWs held by French2.58%
American POWs held by Germans1.19%
German POWs held by Americans0.15%
German POWs held by British0.03%
 
I don't know the reason why the well-deserved MOH for Fr Kapaun took sixty years (to 2013) to be awarded, but I have a feeling might be due to the politics in the aftermath of the prisoners' release.
He was awarded Distinguished Service Cross in 1950 so his bravery didn't go unrecognized at the time but it didn't take into account his conduct as a POW.
 
Here are some mortality rates for POW's WW2 - what was the UK rate in Korea?
British deaths in Korean/Chinese captivity were, it seems comparatively low with WW2 figures, but the figures are hard to come by

I've just been trying to tot up the figures in a couple of reputable books on the Korean War,
and what comes up is;

Total British captured or missing = 1060 (most, but not all of that number were taken into captivity)

Number released on first repatriation (Operation Little Switch) = 32
Number release on 2nd and final repatriation (Op Big Switch ) = 945
Refused repatriation ( Marine Andrew Condron) = 1
------
Total Survived Captivity 978
Number not surviving captivity 1060- 978 = 82 (or 7.7%)

Figure will certainly be less than 7.7% as that includes those who simply disappeared in battle or were killed upon surrendering.
 
A very gallant priest, indeed.

Whatever the reasons, and they are varied, life was much more deadlier for US POWs in Korea than for British troops who were FEPOWs in WW2.

38.7 percent of U.S. prisoners of the North Koreans/Chinese died in captivity.
24.8 percent of British POWs held by Japanese died in captivity

Yet the perception is that the treatment of their servicemen ranks lower in the US national psyche that does that of FEPOWs in that of the British.
Blame in part must go to the US government who wanted, for various reasons, the fate of their POWs to be significantly down-played.
I don't know the reason why the well-deserved MOH for Fr Kapaun took sixty years (to 2013) to be awarded, but I have a feeling might be due to the politics in the aftermath of the prisoners' release.
Post WW2 Standards slipped badly in the US Army in Japan as garrison duties took precedence over Collective training for combat.

Many of the draftees were never imbued with any sense of what the USA today calls the code of conduct if captured.


The Chicoms used this and deliberately starved the men to break down their loyalty to their chains of command, Officers and Non Coms were not to be their leaders. They used Race for Black troops and basically drove wedges among the men reducing them to individual vulnerable to communist propaganda and "Brainwashing"

After 6 months enough men had died to divide the rest as Hardliners or Pliable
 
British deaths in Korean/Chinese captivity were, it seems comparatively low with WW2 figures, but the figures are hard to come by

I've just been trying to tot up the figures in a couple of reputable books on the Korean War,
and what comes up is;

Total British captured or missing = 1060 (most, but not all of that number were taken into captivity)

Number released on first repatriation (Operation Little Switch) = 32
Number release on 2nd and final repatriation (Op Big Switch ) = 945
Refused repatriation ( Marine Andrew Condron) = 1
------
Total Survived Captivity 978
Number not surviving captivity 1060- 978 = 82 (or 7.7%)

Figure will certainly be less than 7.7% as that includes those who simply disappeared in battle or were killed upon surrendering.
Thanks for that I have done some checking and found a quote of 12 died in captivity. Figures do not include great detail if captured wounded but later died of those wounds? Also remember reading of an Officer, Middx Regt who was POW of Japanese and in Korea, captured Hong Kong 1941 surrender then Korea.
 
Discipline amongst US POW in Korea broke down very quickly and very badly. One well known case was of a sergeant named Gallagher who kicked three fellow GIs, who were helplessly sick with dysentery, out of a hut to freeze to death.

The outstanding example of good discipline amongst UN troops was shown by the Turkish contingent. Although their absolute numbers were much smaller, with only 230 men taken prisoner, not one single Turk died in captivity.
 
Post WW2 Standards slipped badly in the US Army in Japan as garrison duties took precedence over Collective training for combat.

Many of the draftees were never imbued with any sense of what the USA today calls the code of conduct if captured.


The Chicoms used this and deliberately starved the men to break down their loyalty to their chains of command, Officers and Non Coms were not to be their leaders. They used Race for Black troops and basically drove wedges among the men reducing them to individual vulnerable to communist propaganda and "Brainwashing"

After 6 months enough men had died to divide the rest as Hardliners or Pliable
Standard lefty technique to this day, exploit factions and groups with grudge. During Chinese Civil war leading to establishment PRC turning POW's from the ROC Army to fight for the communists was standard and could be done in a few weeks indoctrination.
 
Thanks for that I have done some checking and found a quote of 12 died in captivity. Figures do not include great detail if captured wounded but later died of those wounds? Also remember reading of an Officer, Middx Regt who was POW of Japanese and in Korea, captured Hong Kong 1941 surrender then Korea.

I feel sure that several of the Glosters who went into the bag in Korea had been POW in WW2. Their 1st Battalion was caught up in the retreat from Rangoon in 1942, and the 2nd Bn were captured in very large numbers in France in 1940, after making a stand at Cassel.
 
Thanks for that I have done some checking and found a quote of 12 died in captivity. Figures do not include great detail if captured wounded but later died of those wounds? Also remember reading of an Officer, Middx Regt who was POW of Japanese and in Korea, captured Hong Kong 1941 surrender then Korea.
12 seems extremely low. The Glosters Wiki page states that 34 men from their one battalion alone died in N Korean captivity. That's something like 6%
 
I feel sure that several of the Glosters who went into the bag in Korea had been POW in WW2. Their 1st Battalion was caught up in the retreat from Rangoon in 1942, and the 2nd Bn were captured in very large numbers in France in 1940, after making a stand at Cassel.
Drum Major Buss had been a POW in WW2, captured in 1940 with 2 Glosters. One third of 29 Brigade including 1 Glosters, 1 RUR and 1 RNF were made up of regular reservists from the Z reserve. They were from every regiment of the British Army including the Paras and had enlisted in 1939, gone through WW2 and were reaching the end of their reserve service. They were not happy bunnies, especially a few who had been FEPOW's.
Also remember reading of an Officer, Middx Regt who was POW of Japanese and in Korea, captured Hong Kong 1941 surrender then Korea.
There were a handful of soldiers serving with 1 Argyles who had been captured in Singapore with 2 Argyles. The 2i/c Major David Wilson had been with 2 A&H at Singapore but escaped with an official party on 13 Feb two days before the surrender.

2 Loyals had been part of the pre war garrison of Singapore and after the surrender in late 1942 were shipped by the Japanese to Korea. The first thing the Japanese did was march the battalion through the streets of Seoul to demonstrate to their colonial subjects Japanese superiority and not to expect help from the west to free them. They were then sent to work in the mines in what became North Korea.

The story told to me by veterans of 29 Brigade who were survivors of the battle and latter POW's was when they were being marched up North to their prison camps the CPV guards became lost. One of the prisoners asked the guard where they wanted to go and he would show them. It turned out that he knew the area they were in well as he had been held as a Japanese POW in that same area in WW2.

1 RUR had previously been badly mauled in a battle in January 1951 outside Seoul with a company overun and 41 Commando RM had suffered heavy losses in November 1950 as Task Force Drysdale when they took part in the Battle of the Chosin resevoir with 1st USMC Division and the fighting retreat to the port of Hungnam.

You really have to experience a Korean winter to believe it. Manchuria and Siberia are not that far away.
 
Standard lefty technique to this day, exploit factions and groups with grudge. During Chinese Civil war leading to establishment PRC turning POW's from the ROC Army to fight for the communists was standard and could be done in a few weeks indoctrination.
I doubt that it took very much indoctrination to turn Kuomintang prisoners into People's Liberation Army troops. I think it would have simply involved sticking a PPSh into the small of their backs and asking them if they wanted to change sides yet. An illiterate Chinese peasant drafted into one warlord's army isn't going to have much ideological objection to now serving the warlord that has captured him, given what the alternative might be.

I believe that most of the human wave assaults carried out by Chinese soldiers in Korea were made by captured and turned Nationalist troops, the Red Guards maintaining a discreet watching brief well to the rear.
 
The late Anthony Farrer Hockley was a POW in Korea I believe.
He was indeed. Adjutant of 1 Glousters. Captured in the Battle of the Imjin River April 1951 while leading a breakout.

Wrote a very good book about his experiences in Korea, both in the battle and as a POW.

51pnP-UU1EL.jpg
 
I doubt that it took very much indoctrination to turn Kuomintang prisoners into People's Liberation Army troops. I think it would have simply involved sticking a PPSh into the small of their backs and asking them if they wanted to change sides yet. An illiterate Chinese peasant drafted into one warlord's army isn't going to have much ideological objection to now serving the warlord that has captured him, given what the alternative might be.

I believe that most of the human wave assaults carried out by Chinese soldiers in Korea were made by captured and turned Nationalist troops, the Red Guards maintaining a discreet watching brief well to the rear.
Geoje POW camp.

There were big battles in Koje-Do POW camp in 1952 between Chinese communist soldiers and former nationalist troops who had been captured at the end of the civil war and impressed into the PLA. British troops assisted in putting down the uprising. There were 14,068 Chinese soldiers who who refused to be repatriated to China after the armistice in July 1953 and who went to Taiwan.
 
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I remember reading a book somewhere (very helpful, I know) that put the "Glorious Glosters" into the pantheon of Great British military cockups, along with the Charge of the Light Brigade and the Dunkirk evacuation, whereby disasters are celebrated while successful actions are forgotten about.

It pointed out that the Ulsters and Fusiliers were all able to successfully extricate themselves in good order while the Gloucester Regiment managed to lose a perfectly good battalion of British infantry. Who now remembers that the Ulsters and Fusiliers were ever there while the Glosters get all the glory?

I couldn't possibly comment on such a claim and will leave it to others to judge.
 
Geoje POW camp.

There were big battles Koje-Do POW camp in 1952 between Chinese communist soldiers and former nationalist troops who had been captured at the end of the civil war and impressed into the PLA. British troops assisted in putting down the uprising. There were 14,068 Chinese soldiers who who refused to be repatriated to China after the armistice in July 1953 and who went to Taiwan.
Yeah, that's after they were captured by yet a third warlord and were keen to curry favour with their new bosses. Whether the Nationalists were quite so bolshy prior to being bagged by the British is a moot point.
 
I remember reading a book somewhere (very helpful, I know) that put the "Glorious Glosters" into the pantheon of Great British military cockups, along with the Charge of the Light Brigade and the Dunkirk evacuation, whereby disasters are celebrated while successful actions are forgotten about.

It pointed out that the Ulsters and Fusiliers were all able to successfully extricate themselves in good order while the Gloucester Regiment managed to lose a perfectly good battalion of British infantry. Who now remembers that the Ulsters and Fusiliers were ever there while the Glosters get all the glory?

I couldn't possibly comment on such a claim and will leave it to others to judge.
Not really. The UN Forces had been advancing again under General Ridgeway after the 1950 Chinese winter offensive had pushed the UN forces in a retreat from the North Korean border to south of Seoul at Osan (now USAF Osan Air Base). General Ridgeway's counter offensive recaptured Seoul for the second time and 29 Brigade, leading the advance had reached the hamlet of Solma-ri on the Imjim river not far from the present border. The Glousters were on the left flank near a ford where the main weight of the Chinese attack came. There were gaps between the battalions as they had a large area to defend.

The Brigade expected to move again soon so had not made extensive defensive positions. Each of the companies of the Glousters had been occupying a hill near the river until after three days fighting the remains of the battalion had to retreat to a hill battalion HQ had occupied. This hill has now been named Gloucester Hill. They also had C Troop 170 Heavy Mortar Battery with 4.2 heavy mortars in support. Artillery fire from 45 Medium Regiment RA called in by FOO's with the Gloucesters were taking a huge toll on the Chinese.

The other battalions of the Brigade were fighting for there life as well. The Centurian tanks of the 8th KRIH were firing cannister rounds at their own tanks to clear chinese soldiers from them. Eventually the Brigadier was given permission from his US Commander to withdraw the Brigade. However the Gloucesters were surrounded and once the Artillery could no longer provide support, the game was up. The troops were down to a few round a man. A breakout was attempted but most of the troops were captured. About 39 men from D company managed to escape joining up with the tanks of a Phillipine Army Combat Team who were attemting to relieve them.

The 63rd Chinese Army substained serious losses and the flanking US and ROKA divisions were able to withdraw to a more defendable line and the Chinese didn't get much further with their offensive fizzing out. The UN then advanced to North of the Imjin where it settled into static trench warfare for the next two years while peace talks dragged on. 29 Brigade had been sitting on the classic historical invasion route to Seoul.

There is resentment from veterans of the RUR and RNF that the Glousters seem to get all the glory and they get overlooked, but then again they didn't get wiped out. The battle is stil,used as a classic example of defensive warfare in the ROKA Staff college and the Korean people are to this day, young and old,are still in awe that soldiers from a nation 10,000 miles away would come and fight so hard and bravely for their freedom. Commerations are still held on the anniversary of the battle with veterans and the British community in Seoul at Glouster hill where the Koreans have built a commemoration park.

 
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