THREE CAPTURED U.S. PILOTS, QUANG BINH PROVINCE; HON CO ISLAND AS POSSIBLE U.S.

Created: 8/22/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

: NORTH VIETNAM (NVN)

DATE OF INFO

INH Province;as

6 -

OFf PACES VSFETEKCE"

AND PLACE?) OF ACQUISITION : SAIGON, Vietr

SOUF.CE:

ource observed three. pilot3 escorted by VINKLINH security escortsne-day stay in VAN LA Hamlet, LUONO NINH Village,

QDANG NINH District, QUANG BINH Province, "KVNi'beforo tho group headedource provided a* description cf tho^threo prieonors vho appearod Ln good condition except for swollen feet (kept barefooted* to prevent their escapej and one American who had twistedwhile gettingerryboat, while workingactory Inource overheard what he believed to be an intentionally Indiscreet donveraation among seme cadres-who stated that Americans were detained at HON CO, an island located aboutilometers from the coast near HO XA Township in the VTJffi. LINH area, to prevent tbo island from being bombed. Source recalled an earlier discussionoldier who had eaid he had been on HONaland and had soon Coanunist Chinese engineers supervising tho construction of caves thereA

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Early one Sunday in,ecurity police escortsthree American piLuCbveral days earlier in VINH LINH) arrived in VAN LA Hamlet. LUOMO BINH Village, QUANG BINH Province, where Source had come to visit his aant.

Source describsd tho er ranking and olderears of age)etcrs tall, weighed aroundilograms, , had baldinp blond hair; blueookarrotooked intelligent,d very straight posture. Another was aboutears of age,0oll, thin, weighing aroundilograms and had brown hair and eyes- hu was the only one of three who did not have four or five days' growth of heard. The thirdnan whd had hurt-his knee was aboutears of6 meters tali, weighed aboutilograms,ound facetraight noso and had balding black hair and blue eyes.

The security escorts reported to the hamlet chief who arbitrarilyouse as shelter for the prisoners and their escorts. Nonhostile crowds began to gather around this house to view the prisonors whose escorts stayed in the house. By noon the owner of the house complained to the hamlet chief about the damage to his garden caused by the curious viewers. The prisoners and their escorts were then taken to an open conference shook in this same hamlet. The escorts remained outside. They left that evening and continued north.

From the outside looking into the shack. Source saw one American lyingunk while the other two were sitting on chairs. The Americans wore one-piBce mud splattered dark grfcuoutfits which bore no insignia. They had no hats, and their feet were Sare and badly swollen. Although they did not appear injured, all looked sad and thoughtful and occasionally spoke quietly to each other. While Source was watching, one of the escorts brought in three bowls of chicken and rice soup which the Americans refused to eat. This same escort then brought three manioc cakes one of which was eaten by the man lying on the bunk while the other two men pocketed their cakes. ecurity escort told Source that the prisoners had been shot down several days earlior but did nbt mention the number of aircraft involved Since the capture the group had been walking only at night to avoidby enemy aircraft and by day had sought shelter at the nearest village. Source knew of no otherrisoners had passed through his village. The prisoners were shoeless to prevent escaoe and their arms had been bound behind their backs while on tho march". At the tine of capture they we-re in good physical condition. Several days after caDture while gettingerryboat one of the Americans hod fallen and twisted his knee. He wasane and his arms hero no longer bound. This was the American whom Source had observed lying on the bunk. Their clothes were mud splattered from trying to conceal themselves after parachuting. Source did not inquire as to disposition or destination of the Americans. Source did not observe the escorts conversing with the prisoners ao assumed the escort3 did not sppak English.

In early? Sourceonversation at the factory in which he worked. Three cadres who were talking about the detention of American prisoners saicricans fee-re3 HON CO, an island located aboutilatteter?hs ^oostO XA Township in the VINH LINH area. This island is clow to the Demilitarized Zone, and it was believed that the prisoners wore heldo prevent the enemy from bombing the island. It seemed to Source that the cadres were intentionally indiscreet in discussing whereprisonersJ oc-.ted. Source then recalled an

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earlier discussionoldier who had been on HON CO who had said he had seen Communist Chinese engineers supervising the construction of caves on the island This soldier did not mention the purpose of these caves nor did source knowelationship existed between the caves and the fact that the prisoners were kept there.

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