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William M. Smith

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This Page Is Dedicated To
William M. Smith

 

 

In Memory of William M. Smith


William Smith


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Thanks to Joni's Patriotic Graphics.


On PRG DIC list 06/70

  • Name: William Mark Smith
  • Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
  • Unit: Company B, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
  • Date of Birth: 02 April 1949 (New Bedford MA)
  • Home City of Record: Middleboro MA
  • Date of Loss: 03 March 1969
  • Country of Loss: South Vietnam
  • Loss Coordinates: 142028N 1073610E (YA777848)
  • Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
  • Category: 2
  • Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
  • Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


REMARKS: 7006 DIC - ON PRG DIC LIST
SYNOPSIS: PFC William M. Smith was a rifleman from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division. On March 3, 1969, his unit was located in Kontum Province, South Vietnam about 25 miles east of the city of Kontum. Elements of the 4th Infantry Division were on their way to rejoin the main body when Smith fell down an embankment.


Members of the column in which Smith was located went down to find him, but before they could locate him, someone shouted that PFC Smith had rejoined the head of the column. It was not until later that it was determined that Smith was missing. A patrol doubled back to look for him in the area where he fell down the embankment, but he was not found. Smith was declared Missing in Action.
In 1973, 591 American prisoners were released from communist prison camps and two of them reported that Smith had been captured by the Vietnamese, and killed on the trail to North Vietnam. Although no Americans witnessed the murder, one of the North Vietnamese medics told the two prisoners that Smith had died on the trail. No information had been received regarding Smith's fate from the time he was missing until the spring of 1973. The Vietnamese also listed Smith as having died in captivity, although they have never returned his remains.
Several other returnees reported in their debriefings that Smith was being taken by a Viet Cong prison guard to a latrine. The POWs heard him shout, and were later told by prison guards that he fell and hit his head and died. None of these POWs actually witnessed Smith's death, but the statements were considered sufficient to concluded the evidence of death.
It has long been believed that the Vietnamese have much more information relating to those Americans who were killed and left behind than they have given the U.S. In fact, credible Congressional testimony indicates that the Vietnamese have American remains "stockpiled" to be returned at politically strategic intervals.
The same Congressional witness stated that he knew of live American POWs still in Vietnam after the war was over. This information is non considered credible. It is one of nearly 1000 eye-witness reports of live American POWs that have been debunked in one way or another by the U.S. intelligence community.
Alarmingly, the number of total reports received is nearly 10,000, and less than 20% of them have been proven false. The balance have been accurate, although many of them relate to Americans already accounted for. Further, the reports continue to come in, and many are convinced that hundreds of Americans still remain in enemy hands. It's time we brought our men home.
 
 

[181822Z.OH 06/08/96]

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RCV10606                        02:37 06/24/93

VZCZCBTO637
RR RUEHBT
DE RUHQSGG #5420 1691822
ZNR UUUUU
R 181822Z JUN 93 ZYB
FM CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI//J2//
TO RUEKJCS/DIA WASHINGTON DC//PW-MIA//
INFO RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASH DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//OASD-ISA/PW-MIA//
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//CA/OCS/CCS/ťAP/VLC//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//OCJCS/J5/PW-MIA/J3-JOD//
RUHQHQB/USCINPAC HONOLULU HI//J2/J3/J30-M//
RUEKJCS/USCINCPAC LO WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC//DEA/SEA/IB/DDO/EA/ICOG//
RUHVAAA/CDRUSACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//TAPC-PED-H//
RUEHBT/USDAO BANGKOK TH//PW-MIA//
RUEHBT/CJTFFA DET ONE BANGKOK TH
BT
UNCLAS //N03460//
SECTION 01 OF 02
MSGID/SYS.RRM/CDR JTF-FA/J2//
AMPN/SUBJ: INTERVIEW OF REQUESTED SOURCE, KHUONG XUAN QUE//
REF/A/FAX/DET 2/16MAY93//
AMPN/SUBJ: LIST OF PERSONS FOR INTERVIEW - SENATOR KERRY, ENTRY

PAGE 02 RUHQSGG5420 UNCLAS
NUMBER 7 OF 83//
RMKS/1.  BACKGROUND. ON 17 MAY 1993, A JOINT US/VIETNAM
INTERVIEW TEAM INTERVIEWED MR. KHUONG XUAN QUE, A 51-YEAR OLD
NATIVE AND CURRENT RESIDENT OF HANOI WHO WAS A CADRE OF THE ENEMY PROSELYTING SECTION OF THE B3 FRONT FROM 1965 UNTIL 1973. THE TEAM MET AT THE ANTE-BUILDING MEETING ROOM OF THE GOVERNMENT GUEST HOUSE, 2 LE THACH STREET, HOAN KIEN DISTRICT, HANOI, TO INTERVIEW SELECTED PERSONNEL, LISTED IN REFERENCE, WHO ARE BELIEVED TO BE POTENTIAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION CONCERNING U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING IN ACTION IN VIETNAM. THE U.S. CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF MR. KEITH GARY FLANAGAN, DET 2 CASUALTY RESOLUTION SPECIALIST AND PETTY OFFICER JOHN L. HARVEY, JTF-FA LINGUIST. THE VIETNAMESE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CONTINGENT CONSISTED OF LTC LE KY, MINISTRY OF DEFENSE; AND MR. NGUYEN THANG LOI, MINISTRY OF INTERIOR. ON 17  HAY 1993, LTC KY ESCORTED MR. QUE TO THE GOVERNMENT GUEST HOUSE. MR. QUE SAID HE HAD NOT BEEN INTERVIEWED BY JOINT TEAMS PREVIOUSLY.


2. SUMMARY. THE SOURCE PROVIDED VAGUE, LIMITED INFORMATION
CONCERNING U.S. PERSONNEL WHO BECAME UNACCOUNTED FOR IN VIETNAM. THE SOURCE PROVIDED ONLY GENERAL NON-SPECIFIC STATEMENTS

PAGE 03 RUHQSGG5420 UNCLAS
CONCERNING HIS MILITARY ASSIGNMENTS AND EXPERIENCE TO SUPPORT THE CONCLUSION THAT HE HAD NO SIGNIFICANT INFORMATION TO CONTRIBUTE.
3. DETAILS.
A. AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF THE TEAM AND ITS MISSION WAS
COMPLETE, MR. KHUONG XUAN QUE (KHWONG XUAAN QUEES), SAID THAT HE BELIEVED HE COULD BE OF VERY LITTLE ASSISTANCE TO THE TEAM AND COULD PROVIDE LITTLE OR NO INFORMATION WHICH MIGHT HELP RESOLVE SPECIFIC CASES.

8. MR. FLANAGAN ASKED THE QUESTION: "SINCE THE RELEASE OF U.S.
PRISONERS IN 1973, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANY LIVE AMERICANS?"  MR. QUE RESPONDED THAT TO HIS KNOWLEDGE, THERE HAVE BEEN NO POWS IN VIETNAM SINCE 1973.

C. MR. FLANAGAN ASKED THE QUESTION: "SINCE THE RELEASE OF U.S.
PRISONERS IN 1973, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANY 'STAY-BEHINDS'?" MR. QUE RESPONDED THAT TO HIS KNOWLEDGE, THE ONLY AMERICANS THAT HE HAD BEEN AWARE OF IN VIETNAM AFTER 1973 WERE TOURISTS. IN RESPONSE TO ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, MR. QUE SAID THAT HE HAD NEVER SEEN OR MET BOBBY GARWOOD.

D. CONCERNING WARTIME REPORTING ON U.S. PRISONERS WHO DIED IN
CAPTIVITY OR PRISONERS WHO  DIED WHILE BEING EVACUATED TO THE

PAGE  04 RUHQSGG5420  UNCLAS
NORTH, MR. QUE SAID HE HAD NEVER HEARD OF ANY U.S. PRISONERS WHO WERE WOUNDED AT THE TIME OF CAPTURE AND DIED BEFORE REACHING THE HOLDING LOCATIONS IN THE B3 FRONT AREA. MR. QUE SAID THAT ONLY FIELD MEDICAL PERSONNEL WOULD HAVE INFORMATION ON CAPTIVES WHO DIED DURING TREATMENT.  MR. QUE SAID THERE COULD HAVE BEEN SOME U.S. PRISONERS WHO DIED ENROUTE TO A HOLDING LOCATION BUT HE DID NOT KNOW Of ANY. WHEN ASKED IF HE REMEMBERED THE NAME DELONG, MR. QUE SAID THAT HE HAD ONLY HEARD THE NAME BUT HE DID NOT REMEMBER ANY OTHER DETAILS. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE DID NOT KNOW THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF DELONG'S DEATH.

E. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE RECALLED ONE U.S. PRISONER, WILLIAM
SMITH, WHO DIED WHILE ON THE ROUTE TO NORTH VIETNAM MR. QUE SAID THAT TO HIS KNOWLEDGE, NO OTHER PRISONERS FROM HIS CAMP DIED ON THE WAY NORTH. MR. QUE ALSO SAID THAT HE DID NOT REMEMBER THE NAMES OF ANY OF THE OTHER PRISONERS IN THE CAMP. IN EXPLAINING THIS, MR. QUE SAID THAT IN THE COURSE OF HIS DUTIES, HE WENT IN AND OUT OF THE CAMPS RATHER QUICKLY. MR. QUE SAID HE WOULD ESCORT OTHER VIETNAMESE PERSONNEL INTO THE CAMPS AND THEN BACK OUT QUICKLY. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE DID NOT REMEMBER ANY OF THE NAMES OF ANY OF THE PERSONNEL HE ESCORTED TO THE CAMPS OR ANY OF

PAGE 05 RUHQSGG5420 UNCLAS
THE UNITS, TO WHICH THEY WERE ASSIGNED. THESE VIETNAMESE
PERSONNEL CAME FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF UNITS AND LOCATIONS. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE DID NOT RECALL ANY OTHERS BY NAME EXCEPT FOR ONE OF THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL, DR. LE CAO DAI WHO WAS THE DIRECTOR OF HOSPITAL V211.

F. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE REMEMBERED MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE
DEATH OF WILLIAM SMITH. MR. QUE SAID THAT SMITH WAS IN A GROUP OF PRISONERS GOING NORTH WHEN HE DIED. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE DID NOT REMEMBER HOW MANY PRISONERS WERE IN THE GROUP. BUT HE BELIEVED THAT ALL OF THE OTHERS ARRIVED IN HANOI AND WERE REPATRIATED IN 1973. MR. QUE THEN RECALLED THAT THERE WAS A MAJOR WHO WAS AN ADVISOR; ONE HELICOPTER PILOT, A CAPTAIN NAMED MCMURRAY WHO HAD BLACK HAIR; ONE BLACK MAN, A WARRANT OFFICER OF SMALL, SLIGHT BUILD, APPROXIMATELY  1.62 OR 1.63 METERS TALL, AND WILLIAM SMITH MR. QUE DESCRIBED SMITH AS 1.7 METERS TALL, 19 OR 20 YEARS OF AGE, WITH THE RANK OF PRIVATE OR PRIVATE FIRST CLASS. MR. QUE SAID THAT SMITH WAS VERY WEAK BEFORE HE SET OUT ON THE ROAD WITH THIS GROUP. MR. QUE SAID THAT SMITH WOULD NORMALLY HAVE BEEN CARRIED ON A STRETCHER, BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE MEN TO BEAR HIM ON A STRETCHER WITHOUT EXPOSING THEMSELVES

PAGE 06 RUHQSGG5420 UNCLAS
UNNECESSARILY. MR. QUE RECALLED THAT SMITH SUFFERED FROM  DIARRHEA CONTINUOUSLY AND COULD NOT TRAVEL WELL. MR. QUE SAID THAT HIS PERSONNEL USED A GREAT DEAL OF MEDICATIONS IN TREATING  SMITH TO NO AVAIL. MR. QUE SAID THAT ONE DAY IN A SECTION OF THE KONTUM REGION NEAR THE LAO BORDER, SMITH ASKED TO RELIEVE HIMSELF. MR. QUE  SAID THAT A SHORT TIME  LATER, SMITH  FELL DOWN, AND LANDED IN A STREAM. MR. QUE SAID THAT SMITH INJURED HIMSELF DURING THE FALL AND DIED OF HIS INJURIES ON THE SPOT. MR. QUE SAID THAT TWO OR THREE OF THE U.S.
PRISONERS IN THE GROUP ALSO WITNESSED THE EVENT AND SAW SMITH DIE. MR. QUE THEN CLARIFIED THAT HE WAS RELATING THE STORY AS HE HEARD IT AFTER THE FACT. MR. QUE SAID HE DID NOT REMEMBER ANY MEMBERS OF THE VIETNAMESE  TEAM WHICH LED THE AMERICANS NORTH. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE DID NOT KNOW HOW ANYONE COULD LOCATE THE GRAVE SITE. MR. QUE DID SAY THAT HE REMEMBERED  HEARING THAT SMITH  WAS BURIED ALONGSIDE A
MOUNTAINSIDE  STREAM, BUT HE WOULD NOT HAZARD A GUESS AS TO THE LOCATION OF THE BURIAL. MR. QUE RECALLED THAT SMITH DIED SOMETIME DURING THE RAINY SEASON.

S. MR. QUE RECALLED THAT NORMALLY THERE WERE ONLY FOUR OR
//

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#5420

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RCV10607                        01:40 06/24/93

VZCZCBTO638
RR RUEHBT
DE RUHQSGG #5421  1 691822
ZNR UUUUU
R 181822Z JUN 93 ZYB
FM CDR JTF-FA HONOLULU HI//J2//
TO RUEKJCS/DIA WASHINGTON DC//PW-MIA//
INFO RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASH DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//OASD-ISA/PW-MIA//
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC//CA/OCS/CCS/EAP/VLC//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGT ON DC//OCJCS/J5/PW-MIA/J3-JOD//
RUHQHQB/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//J2/J3/J30-M//
RUEKJCS/USCINCPAC LO WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC//DEA/SEA/IB/DDO/EA/ICOG
RUHVAAA/CDRUSACILHI HICKAM AFB HI//TAPC-PED-H
RUEHBT/USDAO BANGKOK TH//PW-MIA//
RUEHBJ/CJTFFA DET ONE BANGKOK TH
BT
UNCLAS //N03460//
FINAL SECTION OF 02
MSGID/SYS.RRM/CDR JTF-FA/J2//
RMKS/
FIVE U.S. PRISONERS IN A HOLDING CAMP AT ANY GIVEN TINE. MR. QUE
SAID THAT THERE WERE RECORDS SUCH AS DEATH CERTIFICATES FOR BOTH

PAGE 02 RUHQSGG5421  UNCLAS
AMERICAN AND VIETNAMESE PRISONERS, BUT HE WOULD NOT KNOW WHERE TO LOOK FOR SUCH RECORDS TODAY. MR. QUE SAID THAT FOR EACH CASE, WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF DEATH, WHOEVER THE WITNESSES WERE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE WITNESSES WERE DOCTORS, CAMP PERSONNEL, GUARDS, OR EVEN U.S. PRISONERS, THE WITNESSES WERE REQUIRED TO PRODUCE A STATEMENT CONCERNING THE DEATH. A STATEMENT WAS REQUIRED REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF WITNESSES.

H. AFTER RECALLING THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THE DEATH OF SMITH,
MR. QUE SAID THAT HE VAGUELY RECALLED HEARSAY OF THE DEATHS OF DELONG AND OLSEN "BETTY". MR. QUE SAID THAT HE HAD NO DETAILS OF THESE TWO DEATHS.

I. MR. QUE SAID THAT HE DID NOT REMEMBER ANY OF THE CAMP
DESIGNATORS OR DISTRICT DESIGNATORS FOR THE AREAS WHERE HE WAS STATIONED IN THE B3 FRONT REGION. MR. QUE SAID HE DID NOT
REMEMBER HOW TO LOCATE ANY OF THE ENCAMPMENTS AND EXPLAINED THAT ALL ACCESSES TO THE CAMPS WERE BY SHORT, POINT-TO-POINT, LOCAL ROUTES DIRECTED BY LOCAL INHABITANTS. MR. QUE ADDED THAT EVEN CAMP PERSONNEL FREQUENTLY GOT LOST. MR. QUE SAID THAT CAMP CAMOUFLAGE TECHNIQUES WERE EXCELLENT AND MADE CAMPS DIFFICULT TO FIND.

PAGE 03 RUHQSGG5421  UNCLAS
J. ON 17 MAY 93, WITH NO ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AT HAND FOR
MR. QUE, THE MEMBERS OF THE JOINT TEAM AGREED TO DISCONTINUE THIS INTERVIEW. BOTH THE US AND SRV MEMBERS CONFERRED ON ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS WHICH SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BEFORE  CONCLUDING THIS INTERVIEW.


4. POTENTIAL LEADS OBTAINED DURING THE INTERVIEW. MR. QUE SAID
THAT THERE WERE MANY OTHERS WHO SHOULD KNOW MUCH MORE THAN HE ABOUT THE FATES OF U.S. SERVICEMEN.

A. MR. QUE RECALLED DR. LE CAO DAI, FORMER DIRECTOR OF
HOSPITAL V211, WHO SHOULD HAVE INFORMATION ON PRISONERS WHO
RECEIVED MEDICAL TREATMENT.

B. MR. QUE RECOMMENDED THAT THE TEAM ASK SOMEONE WHO WORKED IN THE CAMP ABOUT DELONG'S FATE. AS AN EXAMPLE, MR. QUE SAID THAT MR. NGUYEN PHOI COULD POSSIBLY HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS MATTER

C. MR.  QUE SAID THAT THE ONE PERSON WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN ALL THE DETAILS ABOUT DELONG WAS MR. DUONG HONG. MR. QUE THEN SAID THAT HONG HAD BEEN FLUENT IN BOTH ENGLISH AND FRENCH AND HAD WORKED CLOSELY WITH U.S. PRISONERS. MR. QUE SAID THAT HONG HIMSELF HAD BECOME AN MIA IN EITHER 1972 OR 1972. MR. QUE SAID

PAGE 04 RUHQSGG5421 UNCLAS
THAT HE AND OTHERS HAD BEEN UNABLE TO LOCATE HONG'S  GRAVE.

5. MATERIAL EVIDENCE: NONE. THIS SOURCE BROUGHT NO RECORDS
NOTEBOOKS, DIARIES, OR ANY MATERIAL EVIDENCE CONTEMPORARY TO
THE WARTIME ERA WHICH COULD BE ASSOCIATED WITH ANY UNACCOUNTED FOR U.S. PERSONNEL. THIS SOURCE SAID THAT HE HAD NO MATERIAL EVIDENCE, NOTES, RECORDS, OR DIARIES FROM THE WARTIME.

6. RECOMMEND FUTURE ACTIONS.

A. RECOMMEND THAT THIS SOURCE BE REINTERVIEWED AT A LATER
DATE ONLY AFTER MORE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS OR LEADS CAN BE
DEVELOPED.

B. REQUEST THE VNOSMP ALLOW THE U.S. ACCESS TO THIS SOURCE FOR POTENTIAL FUTURE INTERVIEW IN THE EVENT THAT SIGNIFICANT SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ARE DEEMED NECESSARY.

7. PERTINENT LOCATION OR DATA CHANGES: NONE.

8. COMMENTS

A. AFTER THIS INTERVIEW, THE MEMBERS OF THE JOINT TEAM
ASSESSED ALL POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL LEADS PROVIDED BY THE SOURCE. THE CONSENSUS OF TEAM MEMBERS WAS THAT CONTINUATION OF THIS INTERVIEW OR AN ATTEMPT TO RE-INTERVIEW THIS SOURCE WOULD DEPEND ON SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS WHICH SHOULD BE ASKED PERTAINING TO

PAGE 05 RUHQSGG5421 UNCLAS

SPECIFIC INCIDENTS OR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS WHICH MIGHT LEAD TO
FINDING NEW WITNESSES OR DISCOVERING CONTEMPORARY DOCUMENTATION WITH DETAILS ON SPECIFIC CASES.

B. THIS SOURCE SPOKE ENGLISH BUT HE DID NOT ENGAGE IN ANY SIDE
CONVERSATIONS WITH CRS BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE INTERVIEW.
THE SOURCE SEEMED TO VIEW QUESTIONS FIELDED BY CRS WITH
AMUSEMENT. THE SOURCE WAS MORE ANIMATED THAN ANY OF THE OTHER SOURCES INTERVIEWED IN HANOI, USED A WIDER VARIETY OF GESTURES, AND WAS VERY ANIMATED WHILE APPEARING TO TRY TO APPEAR SUBDUED IN HIS RESPONSES. AS THE INTERVIEW PROGRESSED, THE SOURCE TENDED TO CONTRADICT EARLIER STATEMENTS, OR EMBELLISH EARLIER STATEMENTS, POSSIBLE AS HE REMEMBERED MORE DETAILS THAT HE DID NOT RECALL DURING EARLIER QUESTIONS FIELDED BY CRS.//
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#5422

 



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