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Advocacy And Intelligence Index
For Prisoners Of War/Missing In Action, Inc. (AIIPOWMIAI)
Bob Necci and Andi Wolos
THE POW/MIA E-MAIL NETWORK (c)
Family Member Update in Hartford, Connecticut
Who Families of Americans unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, Cold War, and Korean War are invited to meet with officials from the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO).
What For informal briefings from the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office followed by a question and answer period.
When April 17, 1999 (9:30 AM - 5:00 PM)
Why To provide an informal forum for information exchange between United States Government officials, and the families of unaccounted for Americans from our Nations wars.
Where Double Tree Hotel, Bradley International Airport, 16 Ella Grasso Turnpike, Hartford, Connecticut 06096
For hotel information associated with this event call 860-627-5171 not later than April 5, 1999.
To register, please contact your respective service casualty office by April 7, 1999.
DISCLAIMER The content of this message is the sole responsibility of the originator. Posting of this message to the POW/MIA E-MAIL NETWORK (c) list does not constitute AIIPOWMIAI endorsement. It is provided so that you may be informed of current information. AIIPOWMIAI is not associated in any capacity with any United States Government agency or entity, nor with any nongovernmental organization.
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Advocacy And Intelligence Index
1220 Locust Avenue, Bohemia, Long Island, New York 11716-2169 USA
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THE KOREAN WAR
Unlike the result in World War II, Allied forces did not achieve a military victory in Korea. The Korean War ended at the negotiating table between Communist North Korean representatives and United Nations representatives.
With regard to POW repatriation, the North Koreans initially demanded an "all-for-all" prisoner exchange. In other words, the North Koreans wanted an agreement similar to the Yalta Agreement of World War II. The United States was reluctant to agree to this formula based on its World War II experience with mandatory repatriation, knowing that thousands of those forced to return to the Soviet Union were either shot or interned in slave labor camps, where most of them died. After two long years of negotiations, the North Koreans agreed to the principle of voluntary or "non-forcible repatriation." This agreement stated that each side would release only those prisoners who wished to return to their respective countries.
Operation BIG SWITCH was the name given to the largest and final exchange of prisoners between the North Koreans and the U.N. forces, and occurred over a one-month period from August 5, 1953 to September 6, 1953 [Source Korean War Almanac, Harry G. Summers, Jr., Colonel of Infantry, Facts on File, pp. 33,62]. Chinese and North Korean POWs were returned to North Korea, and U.S. and other U.N. troops were returned to South Korea. Approximately 14,200 Communist Chinese POWs elected not to return to the Peoples Republic of China; but only 21 American POWs elected to stay with the Communist forces, and likely went to China. These 21 Americans are defectors and obviously are not considered as unrepatriated U.S. POWs.
However, U.S. government documents state that nearly one thousand known captive U.S. POWs--and an undetermined number of some 8,000 U.S. MIAs--were not repatriated at the end of the Korean War. Three days after the start of operation BIG SWITCH, the New York Times reported that, Gen. James A. VanFleet, retired commander of the United States Eighth Army in Korea, estimated tonight that a large percentage of the 8,000 American soldiers listed as missing in Korea were alive ["8,000 Missing, VanFleet Says," The New York Times, August 8, 1953.]
"LEAVES A BALANCE OF 8,000 UNACCOUNTED FOR"
A report by the U.N. Combined Command for Reconnaissance Activity, Korea, five days into operation BIG SWITCH, stated *Figures show that the total number of MIAs, plus known captives, less those to be US repatriated, leaves a balance of 8,000 unaccounted for." (emphasis added) [Report, U.N. Combined Command for Reconnaissance Activity Korea (CCRAK). CCRAK specific request Number 66-53]
The report mentions numerous reports of U.N. POWs who were transferred to Manchuria, China, and the USSR since the beginning of hostilities in Korea. [The United States had not recognized the People's Republic of China and, as a result, the U.S. did not deal directly with the Chinese throughout the negotiations.] Specifically, the report stated many POWs transferred have been technicians and factory workers. Other POWs transferred had a knowledge of Cantonese and are reportedly used for propaganda purposes. [(CCRAK) Report, Request Number 66-53]
The number of known U.S. POWs not repatriated from the Korean War was cited by Hugh M. Milton II, Assistant Secretary of the Army in January, 1954, in a memorandum he wrote four months after the conclusion of operation BIG SWITCH. Section 3, Part B readsB. THE UNACCOUNTED FOR AMERICANS BELIEVED TO BE STILL HELD ILLEGALLY BY THE COMMUNISTS (SECRET)
1. There are approximately 954 United States personnel falling in this group. What the Department of the Army and other interested agencies is doing about their recovery falls into two parts. First, the direct efforts of the UNC Military Armistice Commission to obtain an accurate accounting, and second, efforts by G2 of the Army, both overt and covert, to locate, identify, and recover these individuals. G2 is making an intensive effort through its information collection system world-wide, to obtain information on these people and has a plan for clandestine action to obtain the recovery of one or more to establish the case positively that prisoners are still being held by the Communists. No results have been obtained yet in this effort. The direct efforts of the UNC (United Nations Command) are being held in abeyance pending further study of the problem by the State Department....
2. A further complicating factor in the situation is that to continue to carry this personnel in a missing status is costing over one million dollars annually. It may become necessary at some future date to drop them from our records as "missing and presumed dead."In fact, the Defense Department did in fact "drop them" from DOD records as "missing and presumed dead," as were the non-repatriated U.S. POWs from the American Expeditionary Force in World War I and World War II. In a memorandum to Milton from Major General Robert Young, the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 of the U.S. Army, Young updates Assistant Secretary Milton on the progress on dropping the U.S. POWs from DOD records
2. Under the provisions of Public Law 490 (77th Congress), the Department of the Army, after careful review of each case and interrogation of returning prisoners of war, has placed 618 soldiers, known to have been in enemy hands and unaccounted for by the Communist Forces in the following categories 313 - Finding of Death - Administratively determined, under the provisions of Public Law 490, by Department of the Army 275 - Report of Death - reported on good authority by returning prisoners. 21 - Dishonorable Discharge 4 - Under investigation, prognosis undecided. Missing in Action for over one year. 2. - Returned to Military Control [Memorandum, classified secret, "To
Hugh Milton, the Assistant Secretary of the Army, (M&RF)
United States Personnel Unaccounted for by Communist Forces,
Major General Robert N. Young, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, 04/29/54".
The number had already been dropped from 954 to 618 through a series of presumed findings of death for the "unaccounted-for Americans believed to be still held illegally by the Communists." Presumed findings of death were also used to whittle down the number of U.S. soldiers listed as MIA. According to the "Interim Report of U.S. Casualties," prepared by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as of December 31, 1953 (Operation BIG SWITCH ended September 6, 1953), the total number of U.S. soldiers who had been listed as Missing in Action from the Korean War was 13,325. Still listed as MIA in January 1, 1954 were 2,953, and the figure for died, or presumed dead, was 5,140. 5,131 MIAs had been repatriated and 101 were listed as "Current captured."
'THESE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE TO BE NEGOTIATED FOR"
On June 17, 1955, almost two years after the end of operation BIG SWITCH, the Office of the Secretary of Defense issued an interim report titled, "Recovery of Unrepatriated Prisoners of War." The report admitted that "After the official repatriation efforts were completed, the U.N. Command found that it still had slightly less than 1000 U.S. PWs [not MIAs] "unaccounted for" by the Communists." [Report, classified Confidential, prepared by Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War, Study Group III titled "Recovery of Unrepatriated Prisoners of War," a document presented by the Office of Special Operations, Office of the Secretaryy of Defense, written by James J. Kelleher, Report No. CPOW/3, D-1, June 8, 1955.]
Although frank and forthright, this report -- written by staff of the Office of Special Operations -- provides a glimpse into the thinking of those involved in the Korean POW issue. Sections of the report follow:
At the time of the official repatriation, some of our repatriates stated that they had been informed by the Communists that they (the Communists) were holding 'some' U.S. flyers as 'political prisoners' rather than prisoners of war and that these people would have to be 'negotiated for' through political or diplomatic channels. Due to the fact that we did not recognize the red regime in China, no political negotiations were instituted, although [the] State [Department] did have some exploratory discussions with the British in an attempt to get at the problem. The situation was relatively dormant when, in late November 1954, the Peking radio announced that 13 of these 'political prisoners' had been sentenced for 'spying'. This announcement caused a public uproar and a demand from U.S. citizens, Congressional leaders and organizations for action to effect their release. [Report, classified Confidentail, prepared by Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War...]
The eleven U.S. "political prisoners," were not the only U.S. servicemen the Chinese held after the Korean War. The New York Times, reported
Communist China is holding prisoner other United States Air Force personnel besides the eleven who were recently sentenced on spying charges following their capture during the Korean War. This information was brought out of China by Squadron Leader Andrew R. MacKenzie, a Canadian flier who was released today by the Chinese at the Hong Kong border. He reached freedom here two years to the day after he was shot down and fell into Chinese hands in North Korea...Held back from the Korean War prisoner exchange, he was released by the Peiping [sic] regime following a period of negotiations through diplomatic channels...Wing Comdr. Donald Skene, his brother-in-law who was sent here from Canada to see him, said guardedly at a press conference later that an undisclosed number of United States airmen had been in the same camp with Squadron Leader MacKenzie...Wing Commander Skene said none of the Americans in the camp was on the list of eleven whose sentencing was announced by the Chinese November 23 . ["Freed Flier Says Peiping is Holding More U.S. Airmen, Canadian Now in Hong Kong Brings News of Americans Other than 11 Jailed," the New York Times, December 6, 1954.
Part of the October 1952 draft of the armistice. The source is "Special Report by the Unified Command under the United States, Letter Dated 18 October 1952 from the Chairman of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations, Addressed to the Secretary-General." 18 October 1952. Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. Papers of the President of the United States. Ann Whitman File. International Series. Box 35. Korea - 1952 Trip. I don't know if you need the page numbers but they're 40-47.
ARRANGEMENTS RELATING TO PRISONERS OF WAR
51. All prisoners of war held in the custody of each side at the time this Armistice Agreement becomes effective shall be released and repatriated as soon as possible. The release and repatriation of such prisoners of war shall be effected in conformity with lists which have been exchanged and have been checked by the respective sides prior to the signing of this Armistice Agreement (So that there may be no misunderstanding owing to the equal use of three languages, the act of delivery of a prisoner of war by one side to the other side shall, for the purpose of this Armistice Agreement, be called "repatriation" in English, "SONG HWAN" ( ) in Korean, and "CH' IEN FAN" ( ) in Chinese, notwithstanding the nationality or place of residence of such prisoner of war.)
52. Each side insures that it will not employ in acts of war in the Korean conflict any prisoner of war released and repatriated incident to the coming into effect of this Armistice Agreement.
53. Seriously sick and seriously injured prisoners of war shall be repatriated with priority. Insofar as possible, there shall be captured medical personnel repatriated concurrently with the seriously sick and seriously injured prisoners of war, so as to provide medical care and attendance en route.
54. The repatriation of all of the prisoners of war required by paragraph 51 hereof shall be completed within a time limit of two (2) months after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective. Within this time limit each side undertakes to complete the repatriation of all of the prisoners of war in its custody at the earliest practicable time.
55. PANMUNJOM is designated as the place where prisoners of war will be delivered and received by both sides. Additional place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war in the Demilitarized Zone may be designated, if necessary, by the Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War.
56. (a) A Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War is hereby established.
It shall be composed of six (6) officers of field grade, three (3) of whom shall be appointed by the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, and three (3) of whom shall be appointed jointly by the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers. This Committee shall, under the general supervision and direction of the Military Armistice Commission, be responsible for coordinating the specific plans of both sides for the repatriation of prisoners of war and for supervising the execution by both sides of all of the provisions of this Armistice Agreement relating to the repatriation of prisoners of war.
It shall be the duty of this Committee to coordinate the timing of the arrival of prisoners of war at the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war from the prisoner-of-war camps of both sides; to make, when necessary, such special arrangements as may be required with regard to the transportation and welfare of seriously sick and seriously injured prisoners of war; to coordinate the work of the joint Red Cross teams, established in paragraph 57 hereof, in assisting in the repatriation of prisoners of war; to supervise the implementation of the arrangements for the actual repatriation of prisoners of war stipulated in paragraphs 53 and 54 hereof; to select, when necessary, additional place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war; to arrange for security at the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war; and to carry out such other related functions as are required for the repatriation of prisoners of war.
(b) When unable to reach agreement on any matter relating to its responsibilities, the Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War shall immediately refer such matter to the Military Armistice Commission for decision. The Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War shall maintain its headquarters in proximity to the headquarters of the Military Armistice Commission.
(c) The Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War shall be dissolved by the Military Armistice Commission upon completion of the program of repatriation of prisoners of war.
57. (a) Immediately after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, joint Red Cross teams composed of representatives of the national Red Cross societies of countries contributing forces to the United Nations Command on the one hand, and representatives of the Red Cross society of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and of the Red Cross society of the People's Republic of China on the other hand, shall be established. The joint Red Cross teams shall assist in the execution by both sides of those provisions of this Armistice Agreement relating to the repatriation of prisoners of war by the performance of such humanitarian services as are necessary and desirable for the welfare of the prisoners of war. To accomplish this task, the joint Red Cross teams shall provide assistance in the delivering and receiving of prisoners of war by both sides at the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war, and shall visit the prisoner-of-war camps of both sides to comfort the prisoners of war and to bring in and distribute gift articles for the comfort and welfare of the prisoners of war. The joint Red Cross teams may provide services to prisoners of war while en route from prisoner-of-war camps to the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war.
(b) The joint Red Cross teams shall be organized as set forth below
(1) One team shall be composed of twenty (20) members, namely, ten (10) representatives from the national Red Cross societies of each side, to assist in the delivering and receiving of prisoners of war by both sides at the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war.
The chairmanship of this team shall alternate daily between representatives from the Red Cross societies of the two sides. The work and services of this team shall be coordinated by the Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War.
(2) One team shall be composed of sixty (60) members, namely, thirty (30) representatives from the national Red Cross societies of each side, to visit the prisoner-of-war camps under the administration of the Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteers. This team may provide services to prisoners of war while en route from the prisoner-of-war camps to the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war. A representative of the Red Cross society of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or of the Red Cross society of the People's Republic of China shall serve as chairman of this team.
(3) One team shall be composed of sixty (60) members, namely, thirty (30) representatives from the national Red Cross societies of each side, to visit the prisoner-of-war camps under the administration of the United Nations Command. This team may provide services to prisoners of war while en route from the prisoner-of-war camps to the place(s) of delivery and reception of prisoners of war. A representative of a Red Cross society of a nation contributing forces to the United Nations Command shall serve as chairman of this team.
(4) In order to facilitate the functioning of each joint Red Cross team, sub-teams composed of not less than two (2) members from the team, with an equal number of representatives from each side, may be formed as circumstances require.
(5) Additional personnel such as drivers, clerks, and interpreters, and such equipment as may be required by the joint Red Cross teams to perform their missions, shall be furnished by the Commander of each side to the team operating in the territory under his military control.
(6) Whenever jointly agreed upon by the representatives of both sides on any joint Red Cross team, the size of such team may be increased or decreased, subject to confirmation by the Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War.
(c) The Commander of each side shall cooperate fully with the joint Red Cross teams in the performance of their functions, and undertakes to insure the security of the personnel of the joint Red Cross team in the area under his military control. The Commander of each side shall provide such logistic, administrative, and communications facilities as may be required by the team operating in the territory under his military control.
(d) The joint Red Cross teams shall be dissolved upon completion of the program of repatriation of prisoners of war.
58.(a) The Commander of each side shall furnish to the Commander of the other side as soon as practicable, but not later than ten (10) days after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, the following information concerning prisoners of war
(1) Complete data pertaining to the prisoners of war newly added and those who escaped since the effective date of the data last exchanged.
(2) Insofar as practicable, information regarding name, nationality, rank, and other identification data, date and cause of death, and place of burial, of those prisoners of war who died while in his custody.
(b) If any prisoners of war are newly added or escape or die after the effective date of the supplementary information specified above, the detaining side shall furnish to the other side, through the Committee for Repatriation of Prisoners of War, the data pertaining thereto in accordance with the provisions of sub-paragraph "a" hereof. Such data shall be furnished at ten-day intervals until the completion of the program of delivery and reception of prisoners of war.
(c) Any escaped prisoner of war who returns to the custody of the detaining side after the completion of the program of delivery and reception of prisoners of war shall be delivered to the Military Armistice Commission for disposition.
59.(a) All civilians who, at the time this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, are in territory under the military control of the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, and who, on 24 June 1950, resided north of the Military Demarcation Line established in this Armistice Agreement shall, if they desire to return home, be permitted and assisted by the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, to return to the area north of the Military Demarcation Line; and all civilians who, at the time this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, are in territory under the military control of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers, and who, on 24 June 1950, resided south of the Military Demarcation Line established in this Armistice Agreement shall, if they desire to go home, be permitted and assisted by the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers to return to the area south of the Military Demarcation Line. The Commander of each side shall be responsible for publicizing widely throughout the territory under his military control the content of the provisions of this sub-paragraph, and for calling upon the appropriate civil authorities to give necessary guidance and assistance to all such civilians who desire to return home.
(b) All civilians of foreign nationality who, at the time this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, are in territory under the military control of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers shall, if they desire to proceed to territory under the military control of the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, be permitted and assisted to do so; all civilians of foreign nationality who, at the time this Armistice Agreement becomes effective, are in territory under the military control of the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, shall, if they desire to proceed to territory under the military control of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers, be permitted and assisted to do so. The Commander of each side shall be responsible for publicizing widely throughout the territory under his military control the content of the provisions of this sub-paragraph, and for calling upon the appropriate civil authorities to give necessary guidance and assistance to all such civilians of foreign nationality who desire to proceed to territory under the military control of the Commander of the other side.
(c) Measures to assist in the return of civilians provided for in sub-paragraph "a" hereof and the movement of civilians provided for in sub-paragraph "b" hereof shall be commenced by both sides as soon as possible after this Armistice Agreement becomes effective.
(1) A Committee for Assisting the Return of Displaced Civilians is hereby established. It shall be composed of four (4) officers of field grade, two (2) of whom shall be appointed by the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, and two (2) of whom shall be appointed jointly by the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's Volunteers. This Committee shall, under the general supervision and direction of the Military Armistice Commission, be responsible for coordinating the specific plans of both sides of assistance to the return of the above-mentioned civilians, and for supervising the execution by both sides of all of the provisions of this Armistice Agreement relating to the return of the above-mentioned civilians. It shall be the duty of this Committee to make necessary arrangements, including those of transportation, for expediting and coordinating the movement of the above-mentioned civilians; to select the crossing point(s) through which the above-mentioned civilians will cross the Military Demarcation Line; to arrange for security at the crossing point(s); and to carry out such other functions as are required to accomplish the return of the above-mentioned civilians.
(2) When unable to reach agreement on any matter relating to its responsibilities, the Committee for Assisting the Return of Displaced Civilians shall immediately refer such matter to the Military Armistice Commission for decision. The Committee for Assisting the Return of Displaced Civilians shall maintain its headquarters in proximity to the headquarters of the Military Armistice Commission.
(3) The Committee for Assisting the Return of Displaced Civilians shall be dissolved by the Military Commission upon fulfillment of its mission.
Chaplain Father Emil Joseph Kapaun FATHER EMIL JOSEPH KAPAUN, CHAPLAIN (Captain) 8TH CALVARY REGIMENT
Father Kapaun was a POW in North Korea in the Camp called Death Valley.
To all POWs, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, or Muslim and to men to professed no faith at all he was "Father".
As a son of a Kansas farmer he spoke in a farmer s flair. He told of Christ s sufferings the agony in the garden, the way to Calvary, and the Crucifixion. This became real to the POWs who bore their own crosses of blows, cold, starvation, and outright murder at the hands of the guards. This gave the POW s hope. He gave them his food and took care of them when they were sick. Many survived the ordeal because of him. In his own way be brought cheer and hope to his fellow POWs. He spoke of St. Dismas the good thief. He would sneak out at night and find where the Koreans stored their grain and corn shocks and bring it back to the starving men. He risked being caught by surreptitiously sneaking food in daylight, right out from under the noses of the guards. He did many things to keep the men from losing hope and to keep going.
When he became sick and weak with dysentery the Chinese took him to the hospital, which was no hospital at all, but rather where they took sick men to die. The Father was domed. As the Chinese took him away he made no protest. He looked around the room and smiled at everyone. He held in his hands his ciborium, which held the sacramental bread. He said "Tell them back home that I died a happy death." He then gave Lt. Ralph Nardella his missal and said to Ralph "You know the prayers. Keep holding the services. Don t let them make you stop." He gave comfort and advice to those around him. He said to Mike Dowd, "I am going where I ve always wanted to go. And when I get up there, I ll say a prayer for all of you." As the Chinese took him away tears came to Mike Dowd s eyes and Fezi Bey, a Turkish Muslim, said, "To Allah who is my God, I will say a prayer for him."
A few days later, Father Kapaun died. Ralph Nardella continued to hold prayer services, as instructed by Father Kapaun. Ralph asked to hold a remembrance service for him on the anniversary of his death. The Chinese refused. This told Ralph that their refusal meant that even though the Father was dead, they still were afraid of him. They feared him because he was the symbol of what they couldn t kill the unconquerable spirit of a free man, owing his final allegiance only to God. And in this sense he and the things he believed in could never die.
To Rose This is the write up I told you about in my message yesterday. It is from what I have been told about Father Kapaun. I used also a Pamplet which was copied from Saturday Evening Post, 11 Jan 54 as a reminder. I would like to see this in Your web pages.
To Jules and Lynneta I think that Father Kapauns ordeal should also be exposed in your Web Pages and Museum. His Chalice was recovered from the Chinese and is now on display in his home town parish in Kansas.
Credit belongs to Ralph Nardella (now deceased) and to Mike Dowd in their efforts to memorialize the Good Father in his home parish and to perpetuate his memory.
I will mail of copy of this to Mike Dowd.
Ralph "Eli" Culbertson
Korean War POW Overview
Source verbatim, pp. 387-388 "Conflict The History of the Korean War"
by Robert Leckie, Da Capo Press, New York, 1962.
"Big Switch began on August 5 and lasted through the first week of September. The United Nations returned to the Communists 70,159 North Koreans and 5,640 Chinese seeking repatriation, a total of 75,799. The Communists sent back 12,757 prisoners, or 3,597 Americans, 1,312 other UN troops and 7,848 of the 65,000 South Koreans whom Pyongyang had once boasted of capturing. These troops were brought to Freedom Village constructed near Panmunjom, given delousing treatment, food and new clothes, and then subjected to extensive questioning about life in Communist prison camps. Their replies provided the evidence from which the U.S. Defense Department concluded that more than 6,000 Americans troops and 5,500 other soldiers--most of the latter ROKs--had perished after falling into Communist hands. Half of these 11,500 men were the victims of Communist atrocities, and the other half died in imprisonment. The U.S. Army alone was able to prove that 1,036 of its soldiers had been murdered after caputre. It was also proven that 2,370 Americans had died after reaching the prison camps. True enough, many of these men perished because they were not accustomed, as were their Communist captors, to the intense cold and coarse food of the Korean north. But there were others who died because the Communists were either indifferent to their responsibilities toward them as prisoners or had brutally refused them food or medical care in an attempt to force them to collaborate."
At the close of the Korean War, only a handful of American POWs chose the communist way of life over democracy. The 21 Americans who decided not to return to the United States are listed below:
All of these former POWs returned to the United States eventually, with the exception of Rufus Douglas, who died in China, James Veneris, who still lives in China, and John Dunn who lives in Czechoslovakia. At least three of the 23 are now deceased. On two occasions, James Veneris has returned to the United States to visit relatives in California. Former POW Howard Adams just came back to the United States a few years ago.
On the 26th of April 1953, Operation Little Switch ended. Both sides were given additional time for those how refused to go home to think it over. On 21 October 1953, Ed Dickenson decided to come over to the UN lines. Batchelor came over on 2 January 1954, just before the final deadline. Both were under the impression that if they came over the line there would be no disciplinary action taken against them. Instead, they were court-martialed, found guilty, and sentenced to 20 years hard labor for Batchelor and 10 years for Dickenson. Neither of them completed their sentences; they were both paroled after 4 or 5 years. One non-American also refused repatriation. He was Andrew Condron, Scot who was serving in the 41st Royal Marines and was captured at the Chosin Reservoir in November 1950. Like the Americans, he eventually returned home to the United Kingdom. The British government did not court-martial him, nor did they take any disciplinary action against him. It is believed he died a few years ago.
Visitors to our website who would like to see the list of names of
all 8,000+ Korean War Missing in Action servicemen can view the list at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo if you use the Adobe reader. Anyone wishing a hard copy of the 172 page missing personnel list can order it through the Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library. Cost of printing, shipping, & handling is $12.00 per list.* Orders must be pre-paid. Send check or money order to: Korean War Museum, 700 S. Main Street, Tuscola, IL 61953.
*This is not a money-making project for the museum.
Unwelcome Changes to the Full Accounting Effort
The collective POW/MIA community has been working through a difficult and important situation recently. The controversy centers around changes being made to the JCSD, the support directorate for the U.S. side of the U.S. Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.
Norm Kasshas served admirably for years in his dual roles as Executive Secretary the Joint Commission, and as Director of the JCSD. Norm was recently removed from his positions on the Commission and told he was being reassigned elsewhere within the Department of Defense. Norm states that he did not request to leave and was given no reasons for the reassignment, except references to different management styles.
Immediately, a ground swell of opposition arose from the POW/MIA community. Norm Kass is one of our most dedicated and trusted investigators into the reported transfer of American POWs to the Soviet Union during the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold Wars. Norm and his team of investigators on the JCSD have developed some promising leads on the transfer issue. They have shown themselves to be in search of the whole truth, even where that truth might be politically or emotionally difficult. Their work is very important to the accounting mission. Norm Kass is very important to the accounting mission.
The Coalition of Families has conducted an extensive inquiry into this situation. We have met and spoken with various government officials, including Bob Jones at DPMO; General Roland LaJoie, the new U.S. Chair of the Joint Commission; Commissioners on the Joint Commission, Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) and Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX); Norm Kass and other members of the JCSD. We have reviewed written correspondence and other documents. We have discussed the situation with numerous veteran and family organizations. We also draw from our long history of dealing with DoD, Norm Kass and the rest of the JCS Investigators.
The Coalition leadership remains in adamant opposition to the removal of Norm Kass from his positions on the JCSD. His removal apparently is being presented as something that was done at his own request. If that is the explanation, the situation should be easy to resolve. Norm states fervently that he did not request a reassignment and that he does not want to be reassigned. There must have been some sort of misunderstanding. If there are other reasons for Norms reassignment, we would like to know what they are.
Additionally, we have significant concerns over whether the JCSD will remain in tact as a quasi-separate and distinct team of investigators. The DPMO recently put out a draft five year strategic plan that calls this issue into question. Not only is Norm being reassigned, but the JCSD offices are physically being moved into the DPMO office space. The JCSD apparently would now come under the supervision of some other DPMO directorate, and all active investigations would transition to reactive effortsby the year 2004. This latter provision strongly suggests a fundamental altering over time of JCSDs function.
DPMO insists that the JCSD is not being dismantled. Based on what we have seen and heard thus far, however, we are not convinced that the fundamental integrity and work product of the JCSD team is secure. We encourage the Department of Defense Leadership, including Bob Jones at DPMO, to listen to the POW/MIA community. We have lived and worked the full accounting issue for decades. We know a good team of investigators when we see one. We know a good and honest team leader when we are fortunate enough to encounter one. If major changes are contemplated, we would like to be involved in the process.
Following is a letter the Coalition of Families
sent to Secretary of Defense William Cohen about these matters:
Secretary of Defense William Cohen
Dear Secretary Cohen:
conducted an extensive inquiry into this situation and we are not satisfied with the
proffered rationale behind Norms removal. The most that has been offered is
that his management skills are somehow problematic. Norms value to the
accounting effort far exceeds any issues of management, even assuming such problems
reasonable solution to any legitimate concerns can be found; one that does not involve
removing Norm from a leadership role on the Joint Commission. He has led the JCSD
team through a period in which more potential developments have been discovered than ever
before. We do not want to lose his talents, his commitment, nor the continuity that
he brings to the team.
are greatly disturbed by anticipated changes to the JCSD which are evident in DPMOs
draft five year strategic plan. JCSD is the primary investigative arm of the
accounting effort. Part of JCSDs value to the families is that it serves two
masters; DPMO and the Commissioners. This directorate is unique among POW/MIA
taskings, in that it serves as a bridge between executive and congressional activity on
this issue. Part of JCSDs value to the operation is its distinction from other
five year plan shows the JCSD subsumed into day to day DPMO operations. In fact, the
plan does not even reference the JCSD, even though the various other directorates are
specifically listed. Further, the plan calls for a transition from active
operations to reactive efforts triggered by new information by FY 2004. This
language gives the impression that a plan is underway to phase out actual investigation
into the fate of our missing men, and minimize the accounting effort by the arbitrary date
months, the JCSD (under Norm Kass leadership) has uncovered, among other things,
evidence of a KGB program to bring Americans to the Soviet Union for intelligence
gathering; evidence that Polish citizens were in Soviet gulags with American POWs; and
evidence that American POWs were taken to Bulgaria by the Soviets. Investigation
into the question of whether live POWs were taken by the Soviet Union and held back is a
matter of highest national priority. At a time when inroads to this issue are
finally being made, we should not see the leader of the team moved off the project
and the JCSD blended into the larger, more bureaucratic DPMO operation. This does
not ring true, and it raises sorts of suspicions.
at hand is accounting for missing American servicemen. They gave their all for this
country and the country must find out what happened to them. We ask that you listen
to the collective POW/MIA community as it expresses its adamant opposition to the various
changes to the JCSD that are being implemented now and planned for the future. Norm
Kass is a uniquely talented and dedicated investigator. His current investigators on
the JCSD are a superb team, and we owe the quality of their work in large measure to the
JCSDs present distinction from other DPMO directorates. We urge the DoD
leadership to work together to find an acceptable solution to the crisis that stands
for your consideration.
POW Information Wanted Regarding Father
Dennis W. Johnson was my father. He served in the CIC corps. during the Korean conflict. I know that most of the circumstances surrounding his capture were and still are being kept sealed, but, I would like to know of any persons that might have had contact with him during his time in Korea. He was release in a prisoner exchange, and returned to the US, but, never fully recovered from the experience. Also, due to this sealing of records, my mother is being denied any benefits from the government. As some of you can attest to, they had a fire and it (destroyed) most of the records for the CIC corps along with many others. He has since passed on, after struggling with the VA through many painful and tearful meetings in Arkansas. I do not know if this will bring forth any light to the subject, but, I had to try to help as best that I can. Please, any persons associated with the CIC or other Army units that might have had contact with my father, contact me. This is not an inquiry for records release and you will not be called as any witness. We have long since given up on the legal route. I am simply seeking the truth of the situation to put this to rest. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Silver Star. He was a member of the Signal Corps and was trained as a medic. This is all the information that I have to go on, but, as I uncover more information I will try to forward it to help with the search. He was discharged as a SSGT. at Fort Chaffee, AR. Thank you.
I am the sister of Major Samuel N. Busch. My brother's B-29 was shot down in the Sea of Japan on June 13, 1952. For the past forty-six years my family has been looking for closure.
It isn't easy to find the words to express what has been in the hearts and minds of my family and the families of thousands of POWs and MIAs of WWII, Korean/Cold War, and Vietnam War. Over the years family members have worried, I am sure like mine, about their loved ones, wondered if they were alive, if they were well, or if they were every coming home.
Time after time we have asked the government to help us with our search for the truth. All we had received in the past were lies, half-truths, and misinformation.
All that we have ever wanted was to know the fate of our loved ones. In August of 1944 one of my brothers, at age 21, was killed on the battlefield in France: he is now buried in Beverly National Cemetery in New Jersey. Upon hearing of his death my family was devastated, but there was no uncertainty about his fate. He was dead, and we mourned him, and that is the normal response. How do you mourn a POW/MIA? You can't. You don't. What you do is you pray, you unite with others, you question, you become assertive, you become aggressive, and obnoxious.
You push your Senators, and Congressmen and investigative reporters. And maybe, just maybe, you will get people to listen to you. That is what some veterans groups like the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs, the Chosin Few, National Alliance of Families, and the Korean/Cold War Family Association of the Missing have done. And it has worked. It's hard work, but it does work. We have had our successes, although small: declassification of some, not all records; the POW/MIA stamp issued Memorial Day of 1995; researchers to help assisting those of us searching records; the discharge of an assistant secretary of defense for POW/MIA affairs who we felt was not working in the best interest of the families; and we participated in an inquiry by the inspector general's office into the DPMO. We must never stop in our pursuit for what is right.
There is so much more we the families need to do and need to know so our hearts and minds can be put at ease after all this time. We must insist that our government make North Korea, China, and Russia accountable as to what happened during the 50s, 60s, and 70s to our men.
There are people out there who say "enough is enough, give it up already. Do you know how much this POW/MIA thing is costing our government?" My response, "These men paid the ultimate price -- their lives. The cost was not too great for those men or their families to pay. To get closure is the least our government can do for them." I would like to close with a few lines from the "Gates of Prayer":
"If the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them. In the blowing of the wind and the chill of winter, we remember them. In the opening of buds and the rebirth of spring, we remember them. In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of Autumn we remember them. When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them. When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them. So long as we live they too shall live for they are now part of us, as we remember them."
- Charlotte Busch Mitnik sister of Major Samuel N. Busch
This is an appeal to our fellow Americans to please help get our missing service personnel home to America, where they belong, and to help bring peace to their families. Please join us in participating in Operation: Pressure, which we hope and pray will let our government know that we have not, and will not abandon the search and repatriation of those who served our country so that we can live free, and that we need results in every case possible, as soon as possible. We owe them this, and so very much more. Please read the following information and join us in our plea for answers and results... http://www.powmiaff.com/pressure.html Pam Director, Operation: Pressure
This is long story that was ran in the New Albany, IN Tribune on June
8th, 1994; prior to his receipt of the POW medal at Fort Knox.: "The scars of
war" Veteran battling vivid memories of massacre by Ken Hardin
Tribune Staff Writer
Roy Manring carries painful reminders of the day he somehow survived a nightmare most people couldn't imagine. He has 12 scars from bullet wounds that riddled his torso, legs and arms, plus one on his head from a grazing bullet fired by an American GI who mistook him for the North Korean enemy. He also suffered two bayonet wounds when North Koreans waded through their victims, stabbing them to make sure they were dead.
Manring later testified before Sen. Joseph McCarthy's hearings on Korean War atrocities that the company thought it was odd the South Koreans were coming up from deeper in enemy territory. The Americans opened fire. But Neuman ordered them to stop shooting, and the group-actually walked up and shook the Americans' hands and then took away their weapons. They were taken prisoner and forced for three days and four nights to march through gullies and ravines. They laid low as American artillery bombarded their positions.
Then, on the morning of Aug. 18, at the foot of Hill 303, the POWs
were lined up like they were going to be moved out again. But the North Korean
commander shouted a different command, and the POWs were machine-gunned down. "They
didn't say why they were doing it-they just started shooting," Manring said.
He was hit 10 times, and was bleeding heavily. But somehow he stayed rational enough to realize the North Koreans, who had momentarily left the scene of the massacre, would be back. His hands were still tied, but the bonds to the other POWs had slipped off, so he crawled under the dead body of a man he took basic training with and hoped he would be mistaken for dead. "Of all the things I remembered, lying under him is the thing that sticks with me the most," he said. "Those guys were my buddies, and I watched them get shot.
"There's going to be another war over there," he said with resignation. "If they would have let MacArthur do what he wanted to do, they (the communists) wouldn't be over there right now." The July 4 public ceremony will honor Manring, and fellow survivors Fred Ryan of Cincinnati and James Rudd of Kentucky. Two other men survived the massacre, but have since died. Manring was contacted about a year ago by a sergeant who wanted to know if he had ever received his POW medal, which usually delivered by mail. "I told him that if it was going to be presented by the postman, I didn't want it," Manring said.
Proclamation 7124 of September 17, 1998
National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 1998
By the President of the United States of America
For more than two centuries, America has been blessed by the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our Armed Forces. Often leaving home and family, they have fought to preserve our freedom, protect our national interests, and advance American values and ideals around the globe. These valiant heroes have risked - and many have lost - their lives in service to our Nation and for the well-being of their fellow Americans.
Each year, on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we acknowledge with special gratitude and profound respect those who paid for our fredom with their own, and we remember with deep sorrow those whose fate has never been resolved. Americans who were held as prisoners of war throughout our history endured the indignities and brutality of captivity without surrendering their devotion to duty, honor, and country. With steadfast hearts and indomitable spirit, these patriots never gave up on America because they knew that America, and the American people, wound never give up on them.
In the same way, we will never give up on our efforts to obtain the fullest possible accounting of every American missing in service to our country. We reaffirm our pledge to their families to search unceasingly for information about those missing and to seek the repatriation of those who have died and whose remains have not been recovered. By doing so we keep faith with our men and women in the Armed Forces and with the families who have suffered the anguish of not knowing the fate of their loved ones.
On September 18, 1998, the flag of the National League of Families of American Prisoners of War and Missing in Southeast Asia, a black and white banner symbolizing America's missing and our fierce determination to account for them, will be flown over the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, the Selective Service System Headquarters, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, national cemeteries, and other locations across our country.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18, 1998, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I ask all Americans to join me in honoring former American prisoners of war and those whose fate is still undetermined. I also encourage the American people to remember with compassion and concern the courageous families who persevere in their quest to know the fate of their missing loved ones.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-eight, and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
[William J. Clinton's signature]
The above was found in Federal Register, Presidential Documents, vol. 63, no. 182, September 21, 1998.
Prisoners: 2701 died + 4418 returned alive + 21 refused repatriation = 7140 total. Dates of Little Switch, 20 April to 3 May 1953. Dates of Big Switch, 5 Aug to 6 September 1953.
Camp 1 - Changsong 1951-53
Camp 2 - Four cluster units inland from old Pyoktong at Camp 5, 1952 - 53.
Camp 3 - Bayside Camp below Changsong, 1951 - 1953. Camp 3 Annex was inland, 1953.
Camp 4 - Wiwon, 1952-53
Camp 5 - [old] Pyoktong, 1950-53 -- town name moved after war.
Susan Bean Camp, Feb. to April 1951
Suan Mining Camp, May to Dec. 1951
The Valley at Sambakkol, mainly Nov. 50 - January 1951
Death Valley at Pukchin-Tariogol, mainly Dec. 50-March 1953.
Pak's Palace northeast of Pyongyang, mainly April to December 1951.
The Peace Fighters' Camp east of Pyongyang, April to December 1951.
The Bunkers at Chiktang, southeast of Pyongyang, intermittently 1951
Kangdong, farther east of Pyongyang, intermittently 1951-52
Pike's Peak east of Sunchon from March 1952.
Pike's Peak east of Sunchon, from March 1952
"The Apex" camps at Chunggang-jin, Hanjang-ni, and An-dong, November 50 to Oct 1951
Kanggye, used by POWs from the Chosin Reservoir, December 50 to March 51
Valley #1 at Teksil-li, north of Chosin Reservoir, en route to Kanggye [same dates].
The Pines and Peaceful Valley, holding points just north of the mid-Korean waist [recurrent].
The Collection Camp at Holgo & Soktal-li [twin villages], northeast of Suan, from January 1952.
Pyongyang, Seoul, Sinui-ju, Wonsan, etc.
Antung, perhaps 100 POWS in small groups for interrogation, returned to North Korea.
Mukden, probably US + 1 Canadian, including some post-KW returnees.
Caution: POW camp numbers go up through 36, and some were used redundantly. For example, both Suan Mining Camp and Kanggye were called Camp 9. Kangdong was variously called Camp 8, Camp 9, Camp 11, and Camp 12 -- but not Camp 10!
Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library
Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library