The Front Page
Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing
May 2006 Issue 11
POW-MIA We Remember!
2006 FAMILY UPDATE LOCATIONS 2006
Savannah , GA -- Feb 25
San Francisco, CA -- March 25
St Louis, MO -- April 29
Washington , DC * -- June 22-24
Syracuse , NY -- July 22
Minneapolis , MN -- August 19
Seattle , WA -- September 16
Washington , DC ** -- Oct 18-20
Albuquerque , NM -- November 18
* - The Southeast Asia Annual Government Briefing held in conjunction with the National League of Families'Annual Meeting
** - The Korean and Cold War Annual Government Briefings
Casualty Assistance (Air Force Personnel Center) 800-531-5501
Casualty Assistance (U. S. Army) 800-892-2490
Casualty Assistance (U.S. Navy) 800-443-9298
Casualty Assistance (USMC) 800-847-1597
Secretary's Corner by Emma Skuybida:
IMPORTANT NOTICE! Dear Members:
IF YOU HAVE ATTENDED ANY FAMILY OUTREACH IN 2006 BESIDES THE Washington DC, PLEASE CONTACT IRENE MANDRA AT email@example.com OR WRITE TO Korea/Cold War Families, PO Box 454, Farmingdale NY 11735.
If you wish to write a story about your missing loved one for the HEROES column in our newsletter, please do so and e-mail our web master at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have a picture, please include it.
Dear President Bush:
I realize you have much on your plate, but only the President of the United States can help with this problem. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953; we were not given back all our prisoners of war that the North Koreans were holding. There were hundreds of men seen and identified by returned American POWs; who to this day have not been repatriated or accounted.
I know that you have not forgotten these heroes. At this point in their lives, our Korean War soldiers are in there seventies. It would be a miracle, if they can be brought to their families before they die. Our servicemen do not deserve to be abandoned by our government. They heard the call of their country and answered that call as loyal, patriotic Americans. What a feat for this administration.
Our men have been in North Korea for over fifty years and what has been done to bring about their release from North Korea? We have given humanitarian aid to North Korea; yet we have not demanded the release of these men, as a condition of this aid. There have been to many sighting of Americans soldiers held in North Korea, to ignore this information. Is it any wonder why today s military is not attracting viable personnel? Who would willingly enlist to serve a country that is not proactive about release of captured servicemen?
Mr. President, we family members understand that men are still alive and kept by the North Koreans. There is also information that the Chinese did not release all the servicemen that were shot down in a B29 on January 12, 1953, in North Korea. There are returned servicemen, who saw the two radar men alive, while they too were in a Chinese prison; yet the Chinese said the radar men were not in their possession or in captivity. How long will the policy of this country be abandon rather than argue and negotiate for our prisoners? You can be that hero. Our boys, who are old men, do not deserve to spend another day as prisoners of a long past war.
We ask you to open up dialog with North Korea about our soldiers and if they wish any more money from the United States, we want our soldiers back.
We need to stop asking North Korea whether they are holding American soldiers; we need to equate a live body with American dollars.
Very Truly Yours,
Irene L. Mandra
IN MY OPINION
by IRENE L. MANDRA
I mention in our February newsletter that we still have not as a country done enough to free our men still being held by North Korea. Going through some of my documents, I came across a document that was just sent to me. Pilots from the Vietnam War were sent to North Korea. Most of the document was redacted, but the lines that were left was enough to read that the North Koreans are not just holding men from the Korean War. Again, I wrote to President Bush about our abandon men. The letter is attached. My sincere hope and pray is that we will get a hearing on our MIAs and that this country is finally force to deal with North Korea and secure the release of our prisoners of war.
General Accounting Office REPORT on DPMO :
19th Plenum of the
U.S. - Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs :
• N E W S • N E W S • N E W S • N E W S •
We extend our congratulations to Irene Mandra, on the birth a new grandbaby, Ana Grace.
We extend our prayers and wishes for a speedy recovery to members Marion Wolos and Nick Graziano.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
The Korean and Cold War
Annual Government Briefings
October 18th, 19th and 20th, 2006
Washington DC family update meeting will be at the Double Tree Hotel (same as last year).
For reservations call 703-416-4100.
ON THE HILL
By Frank Metersky, Washington, DC Liason
BUDGET PROBLEMS AT JPAC
I JUST HAD A VERY DISTURBING CONVERSATION WITH JOHNNY WEBB RE THE PROBLEMS BEING CREATED BY THEIR BUDGET PROBLEMS.
THEY ARE BEGINNING TO HAVE TOPRIORITIZE THEIRDECISIONS ON WHAT OPERATIONS THEY SHOULD DO FOR 2006. KOREAN WAR OPERATIONS WILL NOT BECUT BACK , THAT IS OPERATIONS IN SOUTH KOREA AND CHINA ARE STILL SCHEDULED.ITPROBABLYWILL EFFECT OPERATIONS IN RUSSIA AND EUROPE.
PACOM (Pacific Command) IS THE MAJOR PROBLEM RE THE BUDGET AND THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE IS HAVING TROUBLE GETTING THEM TO COME TO WASHINGTON TO GET THINGS RESOLVED.
HE GAVE MEONE BIT OF EXCITING NEWS FOR THE FAMILIESAND THAT IS THEY THINK THEY WILL IDENTIFY AS MANY 20 SETS OF REMAINS FROM THE KOREAN WAR THIS YEAR.
Your Senators and Congressional Representatives need to hear from you! Your emails, phone calls and letters do make a difference. Call, fax, write and let your elected officials know they MUST insure full funding for JPAC operations. Remind them we are the wealthiest Nation in the world... freedom, liberty, economics, quality of life... and much of that is due to the sacrifices our boys and girls in uniform have made and continue to make. As the wealthiest nation, aren't our Missing worth a few extra dollars?
JPAC needs $3.6 US Dollars for 2006. Their annual budget is $60 million... let's get those folks in Washington, DC to do something for our Missing and their families and get JPAC the money it needs to do the job.
Online, go to:
CONTACT SENATE: http://www.senate.gov/
CONTACT HOUSE: http://www.house.gov/writerep/
US Post Office Letters: Write to
"YOUR SENATOR'S NAME"
Washington, DC, 20510
"YOUR REPRESENTATIVE'S NAME"
Washington, DC, 20515
It's That Easy.
Death leaves a heartache, No one can heal
Love leaves a memory No one can steal
NOTICE: WEB MASTER NEEDED:
We have a wonderful web site. However, after almost 3 years, we need a new web master, if you have that capability please let us know. The sight is set up already; its just a matter of adding new information. So if you can volunteer to help us it would be deeply appreciated. Please contact Irene at email@example.com .
CHIT CHAT By Iren
Many thanks for your renewals, and a gracious welcome to the new members that joined Korea/Cold War families.
Five hats for Korean War Veterans Nassau #1 who donated $2,000 worth of phone cards to our boys in Iraq. I am so proud to be a member of that organization.
In February we sent a letter to President Bush for the continuation of the US Russian commission.
We also sent a letter to the Korean community to include American POWs in their quest for South Korean POWs, from North Korea.
A wonderful letter was sent to the Russian Ambassador, for their cooperation, on the POWs shipped to the Soviet Union.
A letter was sent to the North Korean Ambassador in reference to live American POWs.
On March 30, 2006 a meeting took place at DPMO conference room in Arlington, Virginia for veterans and Family Organizations representatives.
Our board member Frank Metersky (Washington liaison) attended. His report is on another page.
Washington DC family update meeting, which will take place in October, at the Double Tree Hotel (same as last year) For reservations call 703-416-4100.
If you are going to attend any of the Reginald meeting in any of the states, please let me know. Its important that we send our newsletter out to these families.
If you are writing to DPMO they are back using the 2400 Defense Pentagon Washington DC 20301-2400 address again, we were using a different address so that they would received mail faster, but that has been discontinued. Please make a note that they are back using the old address again.
Our best wishes to Dr. Jim Connell from the US Joint Commission who had open-heart surgery. Jim is doing very well, and had a speedy recovery.
Korea/Cold War Families wishes to extend our heart-felt condolences to the family of Walt Griswold who passed away February 26, 2006.
TREASURER'S REPORT by Gail Stallone:
With sincere gratitude we wish to acknowledge the following organizations and family members for their kind donations:
Many thanks go out to:
Korean War Veterans Association Nassau #1
Viet Now National Headquarters
Rolling Thunder Chapter 4
Helen Logan Swann
Gil Pak Yon, DPRK Mission
820- 2 Ave, NY, NY 10017
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
We are the families of the Missing U.S. soldiers from the Korean War. We are aware that for over fifty years, your country has been holding Americans soldiers prisoners. These men are now in there 70s, elderly, and possibly ill. We cannot understand the purpose in continuing to hold onto these men.
There have been many live sightings of Americans living in camps and of men in North Korea since 1953.
At this point, it would be beneficial to both countries to show humanitarian efforts. As family members, we just want to have our missing servicemen back in their own country. Wont you please consider acting upon the information we have?
I would be very happy to meet with your representative here in New York to discuss this further. I could offer you so much more to discuss. I ask you, on behalf of the organization that I represent, to please consider my request. Thank you.
Irene L. Mandra, National Chair
Dr. Sidney Esensten
By Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing Staff
Dr. Sidney Esensten passed away on February 7, 2006. He was a physician/prisoner of war in Camp Five for three years. Camp Five was a bombed-out village on the banks of the Yalu River in North Korea.
Dr. Esensten was captured on November 27, 1950. He and other prisoners were moved to Pyoktong January 1951, which became the major camp for all the prisoners of the war.
The winter of 1951 was the coldest in Korea in 100 years. The war had started the previous June, but for Lt. Sidney Esensten, a doctor from St. Paul, Minnesota, this was its defining moment: the day he had to treat 50 prisoners of war suffering from pneumoniawith enough penicillin for just one of them. He gave placebos to 40 soldiers. They all died. Tragically, so did the 10 who received diluted doses of penicillin.
I had to play God, Esensten said. None of the people who died should have died. They were kids, 19 and 20 years old. He noted that, I want to make it perfectly clear that except for the POWs that were wounded at the time of capture, all the deaths in the Communist prison camps were caused directly or indirectly by starvation, exposure, torture, purposeful killing, and harassment by the enemy.
On the long marches it was all but impossible for any of the captured physicians to do much for the men except to offer encouragement. But, in the temporary camp at Sombakol, which the men called the Valley, Dr. Esensten and another American physician, Maj. Clarence L. Anderson, managed to set up a temporary hospital. He noticed that prisoners captured as a unit almost always did better than people who were captured as individuals. Dr. Esensten and his fellow doctors tried to keep a record of how many prisoners died from disease and other causes, but the Chinese would not allow it. American prisoners of war were the first POWs who were forced to undergo so-called brainwashing.
The good doctor believed that in spite of the many physical and psychological challenges he and his fellow prisoners had to endure, he came out of his experience a better man. In 1985 he was chief of staff at Fairview Riverside Hospital, where he gave a speech which was published as Memories of Life as a POW 35 years later in The Graybeards, the magazine published by the Korean War Veterans Association.
Dr. Sidney Esensten worked as a medical doctor in the prison camps in Korea, and he continued to practice medicine until he retired in 1999 at age seventy-six. In the camps he faced the daunting challenge of keeping men alive without proper facilities and little or no medicine. During the years before his death, Dr Esensten wrote extensively about his personal experiences and the chronic effects of POW life on former prisoners. In spite of his firsthand understanding of the POW experienceor perhaps because of itDr. Esensten admitted that he still suffered nightmares 3 or 4 times a week. He came home from Korea one month after the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.
We, the families of POWs/MIA, wish to say good-bye to the good doctor, who took care of our loved ones the best he knew how. In my heart I know that many of those boys must be greeting him on the other side. God Bless You, Dr. Esensten.
Excerpts taken from Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War by Lewis H. Carlson
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 25, 2006
President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate seven individuals, appoint two individuals and designate one individual to serve in his Administration:
The President intends to designate General Robert H. Foglesong, U.S.A.F. (Ret.), of West Virginia, to be Co-Chairman of the United States-Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.
NEWS - Missing But Not Forgotten
26 March, 2006
Families of soldiers seek answers from Dept. of Defense
Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
Barbara Novak remembers her big brother as an easygoing, good-humored guy who pushed her on a swing set and hoisted her on his shoulders when he came home on military leave.
"He was like a lot of young men at the time -- he wanted to serve his country," said Novak, 64, who lives in Livermore. "He had a lot of pride, and we were all very proud of him." But on July 12, 1950, Pvt. Nicholas John Hansinger, a medic in the Korean War, was captured and marched to a prison camp in North Korea, where he apparently died three months later at age 19. His remains were never found.
MORE ON JPAC
by Frank Metersky
THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE IS STILL IN THE PROCESS OF RESOLVING JPAC'S BUDGET PROBLEMS EVERYONE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT IF ITDOES NOT GET DONE SATISFACTORALLY IT WILL EFFECT ALL OF THE AREAS RELATED TO INVESTIGATIVE OPERATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. SOME THE WII KOREAN WAR VIETNAM AND THE COLD WAR OPERATIONS WILL HAVE TO BE CURTAILED.
THIS WILL BE A SAD DAY FOR ALL OF THE FAMILIES AND I HAVEADVISED THEM THAT THIS SHOULD NOT HAVE HAVE HAPPENED TO BEGIN WITH BUT THE LACK OF DASD TO ADVOCATE FOR DPMO AND JPAC WAS MAJOR FACTOR IN ALLOWING THIS SITUATION TO DEVELOPE PLUS SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH PACOM'S LACK OF COOPERATION RE JPAC' S NEEDS.
THE COMMITTEE HAS PROMISED TO DO EVERYTHING IT CAN TO GET THINGSBACK ON TRACK ALONG WITH THE TEAM SENT OVER FROM THE PENTAGON NOW RUNNING DPMO. I INTEND TO STAY ON TOP OF THIS TO SEE THAT IT GETS DONE.
A DPMO MEETING WAS HELD ON MARCH 30 TO DISCUSS THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE BUDGET SHORT FALLAT JPAC THAT HAS CAUSED THEM TO CANCEL MISSIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA FOR 2006 AND HOW THIS WILL EFFECT FUTURE MIAOPERATIONSFOR ALL WARS IF THE BUDGET PROBLEMS WERE NOT ADDRESSED ON A PERMANENT BASIS.
THE TEMPORARY DASD NEWBERRY AND THE CURRENT HEAD OF JPAC BRIG.GEN. FLOWERSCHAIRED THE MEETING
ALL OF THE VETERANS AND FAMILY ORGANIZATIONSIN ATTENDENCE AT MY URGING WILL SEND A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENTANDASST, SEC OF DEFENSE GORDON ENGLAND AT THE PENTAGONTO WEIGH IN AND RESOLVE THIS SITUATION.THIS IS JUST THEBEGINNING OF WHAT MAY HAVE TO BEA CONSTANT EFFORT TO SEE THAT THE POW/MIA ISSUE DOES NOT DETERIORATE BECAUSEOF THE LACK OF FUNDING.
IN ANSWER TO MY QUESTION WHEN WE CAN EXPECT TO SEEA NEW DASD ATDPMO AND A NEW US CHAIRMAN OF THE US RUSSIA JOINT COMMISSION MR. NEWBERRY SAIDTHEY SHOULD BEAPPOINTED IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS.
WE WEREINFORMED THATTALKING POINTS ARE NOW GIVENTO ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND GROUPS WHEN THEY VISIT ANY OF THE15 COUNTRIES THAT THE US IS NOWENGAGED WITHFOR RECOVERY OPERATIONS AND ARCHIVAL RESEARCHIN AN EFFORT BY DPMO AND JPAC TO REENFORCE THEIR WORK.
FRANK METERSKY Director (Washington Liaison)
Korea/Cold War Families of the Missing
NEWS - Seoul Tries to Bring Back POWs
14 April, 2006
Seoul Intensifies Efforts to Bring POWs Back Home
The Defense Ministry is trying to determine the exact number of Korean soldiers taken to North Korea as prisoners of war right before the armistice on July 27, 1953, as part of efforts to bring survivors home. A ministry official said Friday the government is considering bringing back first POWs who were not included in the repatriation list at the time of the armistice agreement. They were captured between July 1951, when negotiations started, and July 1953, when the truce was concluded.
The ministry said when negotiations to repatriate POWs between the South and North started in 1951, UN Command estimated the number of South Korean soldiers missing in action at more than 82,000, but only 8,343 were actually returned home. In a report submitted to the National Assembly last year, it said that as of September last year, 546 South Korean POWs believed alive in the North, 845 deceased and 260 missing. Some 60 POWs have escaped the North to return to the South, and 60 percent of them had been captured right before the truce was finalized in 1953.
Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok told a Uri Party policy meeting that POWs can be classified into two groups those who were captured during the Korean War in 1950 and forced to serve in the North Korean Army and those captured right before the truce. He said the ministry is working to bring the latter group back first.
(c) 2004 The Chosun Ilbo
NEWS - Canterbury hosts viewing of POW film
04 March, 2006
By LARRY JAMES GREENE For the Norwich Bulletin
CANTERBURY -- Robert Dumas has been telling his story about his search for his missing brother ever since he returned from the Korean War more than 50 years ago.
Now he is getting help promoting his cause thanks to a documentary his nephew produced titled, "Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search for America's POWs."
For other informationabout the issue of prisoners of war, go to All POW-MIA's Web site at www.aiipowmia.com
Two Korea's at Impasse Over POWs
22 February, 2006
North, South Korea at Impasse on POW's, Kidnapped Civilians
By VOA News
North and South Korean officials have apparently made little progress toward reaching an agreement on the plight of South Korean prisoners of war and missing civilians South Korean officials believe are alive in the north.
Talks hosted by the Red Cross began Tuesday at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea. The Yonhap news agency says that South Korean officials pushed for at least eight annual reunions for family members separated by the Korean War. The report said North Korea instead suggested holding one reunion each June.
Seoul says more than 500 prisoners and hundreds of kidnapped civilians are still alive in the North. Pyongyang denies holding any war prisoners and says any South Korean citizens in its country defected voluntarily.
On a separate issue, South Korea agreed to donate 150,000 tons of fertilizer to the impoverished North. Some information for this report was provided by AP.
(former POW January 13, 1953 to August 4, 1955)
Not ALL MIAs & POWs Were Brought Home
On the night of 12 January 1953, we were flying what was supposed to be a routine leaflet drop mission over North Korea. Our targets were six towns along a set of RR tracks down the center of what was Searchlight Alley. On both sides of the RR tracks were radar-controlled searchlights and radar-controlled anti-aircraft gun emplacements. As we proceeded to drop on our targets, the searchlights zeroed in and locked onto our stripped down B-29. Our Aircraft Commander Captain Vaaditried every possible maneuver toevade the searchlights; several timeshe managed to lose them.Unfortunately though,each time he lost them; momentarily they would againlock onto our aircraft, making us a sitting duck for the ack-ack gunners and for the myriad of MiG 15's which rushed down from MiG Alley. Within a matter of minutes, we sustained direct hits from the ack-ack on theground and from the MiG's attacking us in the air. The MiG's firstattacked and demolishedthe only protection we had: our tail guns, and then proceeded toriddle our engines and fuselage with their 20mm rockets. [We all believe that our Tail gunner Alvin Hartwas killed in his position as hecalmly and heroically fired at the attacking MiG 15's.]
With three of our four engines burning, witha blazing inferno in our forward bomb bay, and fire throughout our crippled aircraft, Captain Vaadi gave the order to bailout.
At an altitude of 24,000 feet, the outside air temperature was minus 50, and on the frozen North Koreanground the temperature was minus 30 with icy wind gust between 30 to 40 mph. Due to an Air Force supply snafu back atClark Field (in the Philippines)from whence we had come to Yokota AFB in Japan on TDY to fly leaflet-drop missions for the 91st. Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, some of us didn't have winter flight suits. Nonetheless, we bailed out into the frigid, icy atmosphere over North Korea. As we descended through theice-cold air, we could see the tracer rockets of the MiG's as they fired at us.
I was one of the unfortunate ones who was wearing a flimsy, thin summer flight suit. By the time I hit the cold frozen North Korean hill, my hands were so numb that it took me almost an hour to unsnap my parachute harness. My gloves were ina pants-leg pocket of my flight suit, and the zipper had frozen shut.Not being able to feel the zipper, I struggled for what seemed like hours before I was finally able to grasp the zipper and pull it open.The only outer garment Iwas wearing wasmy B-15 jacket which was no matchagainst the bitter subzerocold and the icy biting wind. I had no winter fur-lined boots and no hat. Tostate it bluntly, I was ill-prepared to go up against a frigid North Korean winter night. My chances of making it through the night were indeed slim to none.
I knew that two of our crewmen were wounded in the vicious attack upon our helpless, stripped down aircraft; so, after sitting on the frozen hillside for what seemed hours, I managed to get to my feet and started walking, hoping to find my wounded crew members. I kept searching throughout the night, and at sunrise I took shelter under a rock outcropping.From my hiding place, I could see the enemyparties searchingin the valley below andscouring the hillsides all around me.
Minute by minute I was losing slowly freezing to death. My hands had swollen to over twice their normal size and had turned a deep purplish black, and my face felt as if it, too, had swollen, and I'm sure that it was also discolored. My whole body was becoming numb. I realized that I had to get shelteror I would surely freeze to death. I left my sanctuary of the rock ledge, managed to stand up; then, as I attempted to walk, I fell and literally rolled and slid down the hill. Needless to say, this decision to seek shelter led to my capture and the loss of my freedom.
In my first encounter with our enemy interrogators, I was told that they had already captured thirteen ofour crewmen, two as they touched the ground the night of our shoot down. We were kept separated andspent only four days in North Korea where we underwent preliminary questioning. The fourth night we were escorted to a North Koreantrain station where each crewman with his armed guards wasplaced on a RR coach loaded with Red Chinese soldiers.
We were transported by force and against our will across the Yalu River and ended up in the city of Mukden in Manchuria, Red China. Here we were kept in solitary, and our interrogation/indoctrination sessions began.Shackled and manacled and always standing, the sessions were long and tedious and an incorrect or sarcastic answer would result in a sharp jab to the small of your back with the barrel of a rifle. Muchmore painful and devastating was thestarvation/dehyrationregimen whereyou were taken to the very brink of death for failure to co-operate.
FromMukden we were taken by train to Peking, again in separate RR cars, and accompanied only by our private armed escorts. In Peking we were kept separated and placed in various prisons in and around the city. Our interrogation/indoctrination sessions were resumed, and we were grilled day and night for almost eight months.
Here, too, theywouldwithhold nourishment anddrinking water as a means of punishment for failure to give them the "correct" answers to their questions. Using this yo-yostarvation/dehydration technique, you were taken to the very brink of starving to death or dying of dehydration. Once at the brink, you were given barely enough to bring you backso that they could start over.
In almost every session you were told over and over and overthat unless you co-operated and allowed yourself to be re-educated you would never be released and you would spend the restof your miserable existence in Red China. And, in almost every session, you were belittled and were forced to listen to how terrible and corrupt American officials were and that you had been betrayed, abandoned, and forgotten and that your US Government didn't give a damn whether or not you ever came home or whether or not you rotted in your filthy cell. Too, the mangy bastards continuously boasted of having captured two of our crew as they touched the ground. They continuously boasted that and described in great detailhow they would destroy the USAwithout having to fire a shot. I would laugh in their face, and of course painfully pay for my"incorrect" attitudeand insolent behavior. They continuously reiterated that time was of no essence because they were patient and it mattered not to themhow long it would take--five, ten, twenty-five, fifty, a hundred years or even longer.
[As I look back now over 50 some years later and recall the veritable hell which the other crew members and I endured because in our wildest dreams we just could not fathom any patriotic American leader or politicianaiding, abetting, or giving comfort to our enemiesby taking campaign dollars from them and by giving them our military top secrets,I must regretfully and sadly confess that perhaps those Red Chinese bastards were right.]
During our horrible internment in that hell-on-earth,we were able to see several other Caucasians who were never released and whom the mangy communists are undoubtedly still holding. From July 18 to August 4, 1953, I saw one of our group who was not deported with us. This was 1st. Paul Van Voohris. I would watch Van Voohris walk ina courtyard which was enclosed by three cellblocks.
I was in a cell along theouterwall of a cellblock whichformed part of the enclosure. Van Voohris was definitely ALIVE and appeared to be well. I saw and watched him about three times a week as he was taken out to walk in the courtyard during the aforementioned time frame. [Paul Van Voohris and Henry Weese had to be the two whom the Red Chinese continuously bragged about having captured as they hit the ground the night of our shoot down. Of the eleven of us who fortunately were deported, none were captured that night.] In addition to Van Voohris, I saw about fifteen or so other Caucasians in that same courtyard as they were allowed their brief exercise period. Evidently the Red Chinese got wise and figured out that I was looking outinto the courtyard, so they moved me to another cell in another cellblock on 4 August 1953.
''During the remainder of our terrible sojourn in hell, we were able to see a few other Caucasians who very likely never made it out and are still there.
On 9 Oct., 1954, two civilian Caucasians and nine Chinese were tried for acts of espionage.
On 10 October 1954, our crew wastried as war criminals on the trumped upgrounds that we had intruded intoRed Chinese air space to commit acts of espionage, drop germs, and other heinousactivities. During the proceedings the Red Chinese lied and claimed that Weese and Van Voohris were killed the night of our shoot down. Remember, I saw Van VoohrisALIVE seven months after the Red Chinese claimed that he had died.
On 22 November 1954, the two civilians and nineChinese were found guilty as charged. These two civilians were John Downey, who received life, and Richard Fecteau, who was sentenced to 20 years. The Chinese were also given prison terms.
On 23 November 1954, our crew was found guilty of theaforementioned charges and sentenced to various prison terms.
On 7December 1954, for some unknown reason, thewily communistsmoved Downey and Fecteau into a cellblock with ten of our group. ColonelJohn Arnold, the Wing Commander of the 581st. Air Resupply & Communications Wing was kept in solitary confinement.
As a matter of fact, Colonel Arnold was forced to spend his entire time in hell in solitary confinement away from the other members of his wing. God only knows what this poor unfortunate fellow countrymen had to endure. No human could even come close toimagining what those barbaric, brutal, cruel,godless, inhumane, sadistic disciples of Satan himself put this fellow American human being through.
Then, on 28 December 1954, the wily,subhumancommunists sons-of-bitches moved Downey and Fecteau out of our cellblock and put them back into solitary confinement. By the Grace of God eleven of us were deported from that dirty, filthy hellhole known as Red China on 4 August 1955, over two years after thecease fire had been signed on 27 July 1953.
Upon our return to the Free World and to our Beloved and Blessed USA,we had to undergo debriefing by three different intelligence agencies. In these debriefings we answered all of their questions, and we reported having seen fellow Caucasian prisoners in Peking and our encounter with Downey and Fecteau. I reported my having seen Paul Van Voohris on numerous occasions during the latter part of July and the first part of August of 1953, seven months after the Red Chinese claimed that he was killed. We were admonished by all three agencies that we were never to divulge having seen others and that we were forbidden to talk or write about having seen anyone. Though I wanted to make the AF a career, I got out because I knew damned good and well that I wasn't about keep my mouth shut about having seen fellow American countrymen who had been left behind to linger and languish in that horrible foreign hellhole which we had just left.
Since havingbeen deported from Red China and since having left the USAF in 1955, I have been speaking out on behalf of those whom our own US Government betrayed, abandoned, left to languish in their cruddy cells in communist hellholes, and now ultimately forgotten. Over the past 51 years, I am sorry to say, I have come to the unpleasantconclusion that US GovernmentMIA/POWPolicy is, was, always has been, and will probably always be to betray, to abandon, to leave behind to linger and languish and fend for themselves, to deny their existence, and finally to forget all about them. As for our fellow American countrymen, I have drawn the equally unpleasant conclusion that most people are too busy and too wrapped up in their own concerns and problems to give the unfortunate "still missing and unaccounted for" souls a first thought much less a second thought.
May God bless, heal, protect, and save this great nation of ours even though she has attempted to kick Him out. God bless, protect, and shield from capture, death, danger, harm, and injury ALL of our brave and selfless men and women in our superbly superior armed forces.May He bless, protect, be with, and very soon bring home ALL of our "still missing and unaccounted for" fellow American combatants who unfortunately fell into the hands of our brutal, cruel, godless, inhumane, and sadistic enemies and who are all-but-forgotten by their very own government and people.
Steve E. Kiba, Author
The Flag--My Story: Kidnapped by Red China
"Not ALL POWs & MIAs Were Brought Home!!!"
Background on the new Co-Chairman of the United States-Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.
General Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong is Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe; Commander, Allied Air Component Command Ramstein; and Air Component Commander, U.S. European Command, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
General Foglesong earned his wings at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss His aviation career includes more than 4,250 flying hours, primarily in fighter and training assignments in the F-16, F-15, A-10 and AT/T-38.
He has been a commander six times. His staff tours include duty as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C; Commander, 12th Air Force; Commander, U.S. Southern Command Air Forces; Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations and Vice Chief of Staff at Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General Foglesong has a Masters and Doctorate Degree in Chemical Engineering from West Virginia University and an honorary Doctorate degree in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College. He has published 47 articles on scientific, leadership and military subjects.
MSU president named to POW/MIA commission. Mississippi State President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong was appointed to membership of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.
A Department of Defense organization of four working groups, the commission was formed in 1992 and meets annually. The collaborative effort between the two nations works to locate missing servicemen in conflicts from World War II through the Cold War.
A former four-star general, Foglesong retired Feb. 1 as commander of U. S. Air Force Europe and was named MSU president March 28.
A Shepherd in Combat Boots:
Chaplain Emil Kapaun of the 1st Cavalry Division
by William L. Maher
The story of the POW Priest who ministered to other POWs until he died in captivity.
By Any Means Necessary:
America's Secret Air War in the Cold War
by William E. Burrows
Records relating to American prisoners of war and missing-in-action personnel from the Korean Conflict and during the Cold War era
(SuDoc AE 1.124:102)
by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Last Seen Alive:
The Search for Missing Pows from the Korean War
by Laurence Jolidon
Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War :
An Oral History of Korean War POWs
by Lewis H. Carlson
Another Mystery; KAL 007
27 April, 2006
Letter to the Editor
First of all, let me thank you for your efforts in helping families and our POWs and MIAs. My Uncle served in Korea and although not a POW or a missing man, his and the sacrifice of others should not go unnoticed.
The reason I write is that I have been following the ongoing case of KAL 007. The Boeing 747 Korean airliner was shot down by the Soviets on September 1, 1983. Onboard were 269 crew and passengers including Congressman Larry McDonald of Georgia. Their fate remains unknown.
At the time of the incident, various reports stated the airplane had crashed, exploded in the air and that all the people onboard were killed. However, as time passed we found out that the Soviets had actually shot the airplane down. What happend to KAL 007 and the 269 people, some of them children?
The night the airplane was lost, it left Anchorage, Alaska and was to fly the Soviet-Japan air corridor on its way to Seoul, Korea. Bad weather, night, electronics, inattentive personnel, all seem to have played a part in KAL 007s deviation from its flight route that left it miles off-course and in Soviet airspace near the Kamchatka Peninsula. I neednt remind you of the importance and sensitivity of this region - as you are aware it has played a great role in the loss of many Americans during the Cold War years.
In order for the plane to get this far off-course, it had to pass through NORAD monitoring. NORAD either did not notice a stray plane in its very intensely monitored corridor or didnt say anything about it. By the time anyone seemed to realize this plane was off course, it had strayed 160 nautical miles from its route, smack into Soviet airspace. As fate would have it the Soviets were on high alert as they were testiing an illegal ICBM, the SS 25, which was to land on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Soviet orders were to jam signals so that the US would not be able to detect the ICBM test. The US was indeed in the area, listening and watching. They even had a surveillance plane in the air, not too many miles from KAL 007, yet no one seemed to notice or care. No one except the Soviets.
Transcripts of Soviet communications, released in a 1993 report, show that the Soviets were aware of the plane and that it might be civilian. Also, it appears that after the orders were given to shoot down the plane, there was some concern that the plane might move to neutral waters before it could be destroyed.
KAL 007 was then destroyed over the Sea of Okhotsk near the coast of Sakhalin Island in INTERNATIONAL WATERS.
The tragedy is not only the loss of 269 innocent people, but the following cover-up by the Soviets and the lack of resolve by our government to find out what happened and to recover the remains of the victims.
President Reagan condemned the Soviets. The Soviets claimed there were no survivors and no wreckage, yet they somehow managed to describe the contents of the Black Boxes onboard KAL 007 in November and December 1983 secret memos.
The Soviets continued to deceive the US about this shoot down and the US continued to verbally condemn the Soviets. But that does not answer the hundreds of questions about what happened to the people onboard.
Numerous articles have appeared over the years, books, web sites and discussions. Congressional inquiries have communicated with the Russians. We have evidence that the Soviets even launched a RESCUE mission after the shoot down. Cockpit recordings exist. Twenty years after this tragic loss we learned that the Soviets intentionally kept the US and Japanese aircraft away from the site in the hours after the shoot down.
Clealry the Soviets were trying to hide what they did, but the answer on my mind is what else did they hide and when will we ever find out if there were any survivors, and where the remains of those killed that dark & lonely night are buried.
Thank you and keep up the wonderful work.
Korean Heritage Library
University of Southern California
USCs Korean Military History Archive seeks to collect documents, private papers, photographs, visual and sound recordings, datasets, and other relevant record formats concerning Korea and the Korean War. For the purpose of organizing such materials and presenting them for use by researchers, we propose to develop a digital archive that will include the following features (once sufficient material has been gathered):
1. Personal name database. Brief biographical file of individuals important to an understanding of the military in 20th century Korea, including war veterans
2. Image Database. Photos, maps, charts depicting military personages, places, events, organizations, etc.
3. Glossary of specialized terminology. Brief explanation of key terms, abbreviations, events relative to an understanding of the military in 20th , century Korea.
4. Gazetteer. Geographical terms, including related and alternative names and GPS coordinates for places important to an understanding of the military in 20th century Korea.
5. Bibliography. Annotated bibliography on the subject, with
links to record in Homer (USC Library Catalog) and selected tables of contents.
6. Timeline. Brief chronological ordering of key events relating to the history of the military in 20th century Korea.
In the interest of capturing important personal perspectives and information about Korean military matters that might otherwise be unrecorded, we propose to sponsor a series of oral history interviews with selected individuals. The interviews could be preserved in digital form and added to the digital archive, with full indexing. (In the event, however, that the subject matter of a particular interview contains sensitive information, arrangements can be made to preserve and archive those interviews for an agreed upon period of time, only after which they could be made available for research purposes.)
Korean Heritage Library
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA90089-0154
Tel: 213-740-2329 / Fax: 213-740-7437
DPMO And Norman Kass - Editorial
09 April, 2006
By Andi Wolos, AII POW-MIA:
Over the years there have been inherent problems with the official agency of record for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action.
Regardless of its name, where it is located, who and what reports to it or is under it, this agency, and its many, many incarnations, is THE end all and be all for all things POW-MIA in the USG.
Going back to the war years in Southeast Asia, the genesis of what would eventually become DPMO may be found. We had Two-Party groups, Four-Party Teams, IAGs, Office of POW-MIAs, Missing In Action became Missing Personnel and ultimately we found ourselves with DPMO. The mission to account for the missing from SEA expanded to Korea, the Cold War and WW II. With new conflicts the lists grew, the names, the places, ultimately to encompass virtully every place on earth and time within the last century.
Over the years, caring citizens, activists, advocates, family members, veterans and others have done battle with the agencies of record, sometimes gaining a little and many times losing. We have had Hearings, legislature, Congressional intervention. But, in the long run, the folks at DPMO and the Families and others have fallen into a love/hate relationship that works for some, leaves much to be desired for others but nonetheless works and has done some excellent work in finding answers and providing resolution when it can.
Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. There have been many problems. Then again, there have been many bright moments. But the main issue for most is the continuance of DPMO as a responsible, responsive entity that aggressively looks for answers - be they in jungles, on mountains, in the desert, GULAGs or archives - continues an ongoing dialogue with former adversaries, is available to family members and honest in its reporting to the people of the United States.
With that said, the health and well-being of DPMO is of paramount importance. Not only to the men and women who are unaccounted-for, but to the families to whom a debt of answers and truth is owed, to our military in uniform who may one day, God forbid, go missing and to the millions of veterans and citizens who have invested decades in this issue to bring all the boys (and girls) home.
That health has been gravely impacted the past several years by mismanagement, bureaucratic bull, power-struggles (within and without) and an endless litany of grievances. Fortunately, before any more damage could be done, the former head of DPMO took his leave, a new broom swept in to straighten things out in the personage of Newberry & Co., and a search for a competent, HONEST, and committed new DASD for the POW-MIA Office began.
The majority - a SUBSTANTIAL MAJORITY - of family members, as well as 3 of the 4 family member organizations, millions of vets and advocates have unanimously said NORMAN KASS is the go-to guy for this job. Norman Kass, who has served so honorably and selflessly all these years at DPMO and on the US-Russia Joint Commission, WANTS THE JOB. How do we know? He told us so.... we have the long distance bills to prove it.
He said he wanted it. He submitted his resume. He interviewed for the job. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the man is interested and willing to do the job.
So, why is it that someone, somewhere is telling Congressional Offices that Mr. Kass does NOT want the job? Why is it that when Family Members call their Congressional Rep and ask why they have not sent a letter to the Pentagon and White House in support of Mr. Kass's appointment, they are told that Mr. Kass doesn't want the job yet the Congressional Office will not say who told them that? Who are they protecting?
Congress has done little enough on this issue, the very least they could do is listen to their constituents, make sure they have the TRUTH, and support their Family Member constituency by recommending Mr. Kass.
We have put up with enough garbage all these years, all these decades, and come so far in this issue that we cannot allow the personal politics or agenda of control to affect this incredibly important appointment. We have come so far and we can not, will not take one single step backward.
Whoever was behind this whisper campaign to diminish Mr. Kass's chances for consideration as DASD was simply spreading lies. Not rumors, but lies, period.
A decision and announcement are due at any moment. It will be interestimg to see whether a man with eminent qualifications in every aspect of this issue - all wars and all theaters - is selected, or one that is an expert on Southeast Asia.
When we look at the numbers, 78,000 Missing from WW II with 35,000 considered recoverable, 8,100 from Korea, 123 from the Cold War, 1,800 from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, 1 from Desert Storm and 1 fron Operation Iraqi Freedom, it is evident that it is an issue that affects all people, all generations and all geographical locations.
For those who have had another agenda and a rather underhanded way of advancing it, remember this - No one person or entity can control this issue, it belongs to all Americans.
Military asked to join WTC remains search
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS April 26, 2006
The elite military search unit now being asked to bring its identification expertise to ground zero has built a reputation over the past decade for daring work in dangerous places and impressive results in a forensic lab where names are matched to human remains, sometimes no more than a single tooth.
On Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Hawaii-based organization's expertise should be applied to a new search for remains in buildings near the World Trade Center site, where hundreds of bone fragments left over from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were recently discovered.
In a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Schumer said the "miraculous" finds warranted federal efforts to help local agencies identify the 1,000-plus victims still missing in the destruction of the twin towers, and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command - or JPAC - was best suited for the task.
If approved, it would not be the first nonmilitary mission for the agency, created by the Pentagon in 1992 with the primary mission of finding the more than 2,200 Americans still missing from the war in Indochina, and thousands more on other battlefields.
Schumer's proposal followed the finding of 150 new bone fragments on the roof of the former Deutsche Bank building, severely damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks and soon to be demolished. More than 400 shards were found earlier, prompting calls from victims' families for new efforts to identify those still missing.
JPAC experts were in New York and at the Pentagon after the attacks, and sent a team to Indonesia in early 2005 to aid in the recovery of tsunami victims. Its Central Identification Laboratory, the world's largest forensic facility, also has provided forensic assistance to recovery efforts in domestic and foreign plane crashes and local law enforcement cases.
Indeed, said JPAC spokesman Troy Kitch, the lab's outside work dates as far back as the Jonestown massacre in Guiana in 1978.
"We're a military organization, so we don't take these actions on our own, but if called upon we are prepared to do so," said Kitch.
Before 1992, MIA searches in Indochina were rare and focused mainly on the politically explosive issue of Americans still held captive. While that remains JPAC's stated first priority, no latter-day prisoners of war have turned up since 591 known POWs were repatriated in 1973. Founded as Joint Task Force-Full Accounting and merged with the Central Identification Laboratory into JPAC in 2003, the agency has recovered and identified about 400 missing Americans in Indochina, and hundreds more in old battlefields from Papua New Guinea to Vietnam.
The majority are pilots and other airmen who crashed in remote mountains and rain forests.
As of this month, JPAC lists more than 1,800 Americans still missing in Indochina, 8,100 in Korea, 78,000 from World War II, 120 from the Cold War era and one from the first Gulf War.
A typical JPAC search team has about a dozen military members - specialists in mortuary affairs, bomb disposal, medicine, aircraft, weapons and military equipment and linguistics - led by one of more than 30 civilian anthropologists from the Central Identification Laboratory.
The work is often dangerous due to leftover bombs and shells, poisonous creatures, adverse weather and difficult terrain.
Despite that, JPAC's only casualties were the deaths of seven members, along with nine Vietnamese, when their Russian-built helicopter crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain in Vietnam in 2001.
The CIL laboratory, located at Hickam Air Force Base near Pearl Harbor, grew from the Army's Saigon mortuary that handled U.S. dead in Vietnam, and is now widely regarded as the world's best forensic lab. Its experts in skeletal analysis and forensic dentistry conduct "blind" exams to make sure no case is unduly influenced by prior information _ a crucial factor in preventing mistakes.
Because many remains are old and fragmentary, the process often lasts months. More than one person has been identified from a single tooth _ Vietnam being the first U.S. war in which dental records existed for all military personnel.
Mitochondrial DNA drawn from remains goes to the Armed Forces DNA Identification lab in Rockville, Md., for comparison with family samples. This method is used in more than half of CIL's cases and would figure in many from ground zero, as it has in the past.
COMMENTARY by Andi Wolos, AII POW-MIA:
CIL at JPAC is already under-budgeted, over-tasked, under-manned and out of space. They cannot lay out the remains they have in storage now for lack of space. Their new facility is years away from realization, there is a 10-year backlog on recovery operations in LAOS ALONE.
The North Korea JFAs have been on hold for a year. JPAC has a limited number of teams, already assigned to specific regions for recovery. It takes years to plan searches, excavations and recoveries. During and after the Christmas Asian Tsunami emergency recovery operation, NOT A SINGLE POW-MIA IDENTIFICATION WAS MADE for months because everyone was doing something else. If the USG and its people want JPAC/CIL to become global forensic recovery specialists, then they better make damn sure this unit gets a heck of a lot more funding, more people, a new massive facility and be willing to pay for it.
Retasking JPAC/CIL for any operation other than emergency relief and POW-MIA recovery and identification will only prolong the frustration, pain and uncertainty that has plagued POW-MIA families for 15, 30, 50 and 60 years. WW II families receive regular contacts from European citizens with crash site locations and artifacts, but JPAC is overwhelmed, the families wait. Vietnam and Laos make JPAC's life difficult at best with a decade backlog for recovery in one country alone, the families wait. Nothing is happening in Korea, the families wait. The LSE facility has been BRAC'd... JPAC, DPMO, CIL and AFDIL do not have magic wands or crystal balls... there are finite resources and time constraints. The POW-MIA families have waited too long for answers. To diminish or divert the limited resources that are supposedly dedicated to this nation's 'Highest National Priority' is unacceptable.
If Congressional leaders wish to stand on the remains of fallen Americans and grandstand, then they better be willing to put their money where their mouth is and get JPAC more resources.
Board of Directors and Staff:
National Chair - Irene Mandra, Family Member
Treasurer - Gail Stallone, Family Member
Secretary - Emma Skuybida, Family Advocate
Membership Chair - LuAnn Nelson, Family Member
Cold War Advocate - Charlotte Mitnik, Family Member
Washington Liaison - Frank Metersky, Korean War Veteran
Korean War Historian - Irwin Braun, Korean War Veteran
Research and Outreach - Debbe Petro, Family Member
Newsletter Editor - firstname.lastname@example.org