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 Vietnam War:  Department of Defense POW/MIA Documents
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Vietnam War
Department of Defense POW/MIA Documents

4,866 pages of Department of Defense files dealing with Southeast Asia POW/MIA issues stemming from the Vietnam War, archived on CD-ROM.

Materials Include:

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Stony Beach Files

Material dating from 1972 to 1978. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), maintains a team based at Hickham Air Force Base in Hawaii, known as Stony Beach, dedicated solely to support the collection of POW/MIA intelligence, through human intelligence collection operations. Most of this information is gained via interviews throughout Southeast Asia. Stony Beach also performs live sighting investigations in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Files include: DIA reports from the early 1970's giving analysis, descriptions, locations, diagrams, maps, and handmade drawings concerning various POW camps. Includes DIA data sheets on individuals in Southeast Asia who have provided "live sighting" reports and information on human remains. DIA memorandums covering  information obtained from sources. Communications from the Joint Casualty resolution Center.

Among the many camps in which these files include intelligence on are: Son Tay, Bat Bat Prison, Xom Ap Lo PW Camp, Pho Lu Prison, Reeducation Camp 1 Hoang Lien Son Province, Ha Tay Reeducation Camp, Tra Noc Reeducation Camp, Ha Son Binh, Lai Xa Prison, Dan Hoi Barracks, Yen Bai Camp, Tan Lap Reeducation Camp, Thanh Phong Prison and Quyet Tien Prison.



Laos Prisoner of War Camp Study 

A November 1972 Department of the Navy Fleet Intelligence Center Pacific report on the location of prisoner of war camps in Laos. Includes physical descriptions, coordinates of camps, and aerial reconnaissance photos (the mechanical reproductions of photos are minimally discernable).



Prisoners of War in Indochina RM 5729-1-ARPA

A January 1969 report, that was part of continuing Defense Department research into various military and political aspects of the termination of the Vietnam War. It was based on the assumption that in the eventual settlement of the war, the question of the release and exchange of prisoners of war and civilian internees would be of major importance.This study examines issues that needed to be addressed to aid in the formulation of a policy regarding POW return.




Operation Kingpin: Son Tay Prisoner of War Rescue Operation

The disc contains a report written before the rescue attempt giving details of the plans of Operation Kingpin and Two after action reports concerning the events of the operation.

On November 20-21, 1970, a joint force composed of United States Air Force Special Operations and rescue personnel and U.S. Army Special Forces, supported by U.S. Navy Carrier Task Force 77, made a daring raid on the Son Tay prison camp located less than 24 miles from Hanoi, North Vietnam. The objective was to rescue as many as 100 U.S. captives thought to be held there.

Reconnaissance flights by SR-71 Blackbirds discovered the POWs, and also pointed out that while the camp was only 23 miles northwest of Hanoi, the area was isolated and desolate. Conditions for the POWs were poor. Initial planning to rescue POWs was underway in June 1970. It was found that POWs of the camp were sending signals to help develop a rescue strategy, but Army Brig. Gen. Donald Blackburn, Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities, who worked directly for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had an idea of his own. He decided that while the POWs suggestive signals of a rescue around Mount Ba Vi, where groups of POWs were often sent in working parties, would have a high chance for success, he thought an operation should be made to crash-land into the prison and rescue all the POWs rather than a few. During a briefing for Secretary of State Henry Kissinger before the raid, the last question he asked was "What if the raid fails?" He was told the raid stood a 95 to 97 percent chance of success as air crews had flown 697 hours, 268 sorties and the operation had been rehearsed 170 times.

The assault troops, in six ARRS helicopters accompanied by two C-130 aircraft, flew 400 miles to Son Tay from bases in Thailand. U.S. Navy pilots made a diversionary raid while 116 USAF and Navy aircraft from seven air bases and three aircraft carriers flew refueling, surface-to-air missile suppression, fighter cover, close air support, early warning, communications support and reconnaissance missions. Although no prisoners were found in the camp, the raid is considered a brilliant success in transporting, landing and recovering an assault force of 92 U.S. Air Force  and 56 Army personnel, without the loss of a single man. The Son Tay Raid was described by Mike McKinney, co-author of the 2001 book, "Chariots of the Damned," as a special operations raid that "stands out above all as the best example of flawless planning, preparation and execution."



U.S. Prisoners of War DIA Memos

478 pages of Department of Defense Intelligence information report memos from 1972 to 1978, concerning American POWs. Approximately 240 pages are discernable. Contains various information such as reports of sightings, aircraft shoot downs, and collaboration.



U.S. Prisoners of War Camps DIA Memos

236 pages of Department of Defense Intelligence information report memos from 1967 to 1968, concerning th possible location of Prisoner of War Camps in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Approximately 170 pages are discernable. Contains intelligence information such as location, camp configuration, prisoner description, and security forces.



Abstract of Deposition of Honorable Richard T. Kennedy at POW/MIA Hearings

Transcript of Richard T. Kennedy's testimony before a closed hearing of the 1992 Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. In 1969 Kennedy joined the National Security Council as Director for National Security Council planning. His boss was Al Haig, who was Henry Kissinger's deputy. Richard Kennedy was Deputy Assistant to the President in the National Security Council staff from 1971 to 1975. His position allowed him to give valuable insight to the committee on the views of POW/MIA matters held by both the Nixon and Ford administrations.



Bo Gritz's Operation Lazarus

A set of well redacted Department of Defense memos containing a critique of the activities of former Green Beret Bo Gritz.Also included is a copy of Gritz's plan for his 1982 "Operation Lazurus," propertied by Gritz to be an attempt to rescue American POWs in Laos



Final Interagency Report of the Reagan Administration

19 pages of a report issued by the Reagan White House the day before President Reagan left office.President Ronald Reagan, in his address to the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia on July 29, 1988, announced that he had directed a comprehensive study of the POW/MIA issue be prepared.



The Case of PVT Robert R. Garwood, USMC

The Case of PVT Robert R. Garwood: Report to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, communication and intelligence (ASD/C3I). A June 1993 report on the investigation of Private Robert Garwood conducted by the Department of State, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), United States Marine Corp (USMC), Department of Defense, and the Naval Investigative Service. PFC Robert R. Garwood disappeared from DaNang, South Vietnam in 1965. He was repatriated from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1979. In 1981 he was convicted at court martial of collaboration with the enemy. In December of 1984, Garwood reported live sightings of American POWs in Vietnam. In June 1992 a government task force spent 30 days in Vietnam examining locations of Garwood's live sightings. Included are a final report, a deposition of Garwwod taken by U.S. Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Marine Corps Intelligence Debrief, Interview by Congressmen Lester L. Wolff and Benjamin A. Gilman and testimony before the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives.



Americans Unaccounted for in Indochina - Statistical Data

A 1989 stat sheet on for U.S. POW/MIA's and the U.S. position on live sightings.



U.S. Personnel and selected Foreign Nationals Missing, Southeast Asia 1993, 1995 & 1997

Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office summary listings of U.S. Personnel Missing in Southeast Asia and selected Foreign Nationals for the years 1993, 1995, and 1997. Reporting includes fields for file id number, name, current status, date individual was lost, branch of service, rank at time of loss, race, last known latitude/longitude of the individual's place of lost, country where individual was lost, vehicle identifier if a vehicle was connected with the loss, REFNO incidence reference number, time of incident, and return date of remains
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Archival copy on CD-ROM
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