What Can We
The complete text of the most exhaustive assessment ever done
of the cases of Americans missing in Southeast Asia.
Even before the end of the Vietnam War, the military services and the Pentagon were
asking just what could we realistically expect in terms of returning to US control men who
were missing in Southeast Asia. We knew that some would return at the end of the war
when POWs were released. In fact, the Vietnamese had released a few men from
time to time during the war.
The real question dealt with those who were not prisoners, but who were dead. We
knew that we would be able to recover some remains from battlefields, crash sites, and
graves. There were two questions we could not answer: How many men can we
expect to recover? When and how do we determine that a man is not recoverable?
For many years, US MIA accounting efforts were crippled by not having access to the old
battlefields; by not having access to the Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian records;
and by not being able to interview former enemy personnel who had had contact with
Americans who were now missing. WE knew that the answers that we sought were not in
some files in Washington, but that they were in Southeast Asia.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the countries of Indochina opened up to US
on-the-ground search efforts. Now (January 1998), we have had almost a decade very
increasingly full access the the old battlefields, to records, and to former enemy
personnel. From these sources, we are finding more and more information that allows
us to either recover a man's remains, or to make some determination as to his fate and
whether or not his remains are recoverable.
While looking at individual cases is the most important part of accounting for missing
men, there is a real need to step back and look at the aggregate situation. That is,
based on what we know now that we did not know earlier, just what can we really expect to
find as the search for missing men continues? How many, and who are they, that we
will never recover? How many, and who, do we think we have an excellent, a moderate,
or a not-so-good chance of recovering?
And, before anyone thinks that this is an idle analytical exercise, please
reconsider. I believe that the cruelest treatment that can handed to the family of a
missing man is to continue to foster their hopes -- hope that he is alive, or, hope
that, if he is not alive, we can find him. It is this point that the MIA enthusiasts
seem to be blind to. By continuing to claim that men were abandoned, by continuing
to trumpet that this or that old soldier is out there looking for the live ones, the
enthusiasts raise hopes where there is none. In October 1990, Senator Jesse Helms
stood on the U.S. Capitol steps and stated that he had information that, "in 30, or
60, or 90 days" an American prisoner of war would be freed. How many families,
knowing that there was no hope, still kindled a small spark, only to have it dashed --
again. In the summer of 1994, Mark Smith (Major, USArmy, retired), himself a
returned POW, claimed to have knowledge of the whereabouts of 527 American prisoners --
all alive. How many families may have fallen for that groundless story?
So, what does all this have to do with this article? In 1994, the Defense
POW-MIA Office (DPMO), working with the Joint Task Force -- Full Accounting
(JTF-FA) (the field element operating in Southeast Asia) and the US Army Central
Identification Laboratory (CILHI) (click here to read about
their work), started the most exhaustive review ever done of what we know, what we need to
know, and what we can conclude about the men missing in Southeast Asia. The results
of that study were published on 13 November 1995. The entire study is reproduced
below. The material below the rainbow line is the text of the DPMO study, Accounting
for the Unaccounted in Southeast Asia.
The conclusions of this study are realistic and are a major contribution
to the effort to account for our missing in Southeast Asia.
This review is the most exhaustive assessment conducted into accounting for all U.S.
service members lost during the war in Southeast Asia. Analysis shows virtually no
possibility of recovering remains for some cases.
Volume 11, Number 1
Accounting for the Unaccounted in Southeast Asia
Text of "A Zero-Based Comprehensive Review of Cases Involving Unaccounted for
Americans in Southeast Asia," a DoD report to Congress and the nation, prepared by
the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs, released on
Nov. 13, 1995.
In 1993, President Clinton announced that his administration would pursue four
priorities as part of its efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting for its
missing in action from the Vietnam War. These priorities are:
|Concrete results from efforts by Vietnam to recover and repatriate American remains;|
|Continued resolution of discrepancy cases;|
|Further assistance in implementing trilateral investigations with Laos; and|
|Accelerated efforts to provide all POW/MIA-related documents that will help lead to
genuine answers. The administration has reported separately to the Congress on the
significant progress which has been achieved in all four of these areas. We will continue
to seek additional, tangible progress from Vietnam in these priority areas.|
In our effort to leave no stone unturned in achieving the fullest possible accounting, the
administration decided to undertake a zero-based comprehensive review of all cases
involving unaccounted-for Americans in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia resulting from the
Vietnam War. This comprehensive review represents the first time such an exhaustive
assessment has been conducted. It assesses each case, weighing all related information,
including data collected through recent on-site American investigation and research in
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. We have found that for any case, it is exceedingly difficult
to predict the extent to which evidence of knowledgeability by Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia
about some aspect of a U.S. loss could lead to an accounting of the individual.
The conclusions derived from this review allow us to focus our understanding on individual
cases, provide the basis for a sound investigation strategy and define next steps for
achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing in Southeast Asia.
We have already begun incorporating information derived from this review into field
operations in Southeast Asia. Most actions will be carried out in the continuing program
of in-country investigations conducted by the U.S. with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Others
require actions by these three Southeast Asian governments. Some case activity will be
focused on U.S.-based efforts, such as the forensic analysis of remains already
repatriated or the additional research of U.S. records. For those cases where
investigative leads have been exhausted, further investigation must await new information.
Some of our general collection initiatives planned or now under way may yield further
actions. Our analysis also indicates that there is virtually no possibility that we will
ever recover remains for some cases regardless of any future effort put forward by the
U.S., Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian governments.
Information on unaccounted-for Americans is constantly changing as a result of continuing
research, investigative and recovery operations, and identifications. The numbers used in
this report represent the data base on July 21, 1995, the date on which analytic work was
completed. As of that date, there were 2,202 Americans unaccounted for in Southeast Asia:
1,618 in Vietnam, 499 in Laos, 77 in Cambodia and eight in China. Cases involving losses
in China were reviewed, but are not discussed as we are pursuing them separately with the
Fifty-eight analysts assigned to the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Office
in Washington, Joint Task Force Full Accounting in Hawaii and the Central Identification
Laboratory Hawaii independently reviewed all cases and then shared views to reach a
coordinated position on appropriate next steps for further pursuit. The data they reviewed
was based on circumstances of the incident, wartime and postwar collection by the U.S.
government, information uncovered through the joint investigative process and data turned
over by the Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian governments.
Americans became missing or were killed under a wide range of circumstances. Losses
include downed aviators, soldiers known to have died on the battlefield but whose remains
were not recovered due to enemy action as well as people drowned while crossing a river
but whose remains could not be found.
There are also a small number of individuals who were lost while in U.S. custody (they
disappeared from their unit or were lost while off duty in Vietnam, for example). There is
no indication these individuals voluntarily disappeared; the assumption is that they met
with foul play, although the circumstances and location of their loss remain unknown.
There is another group of cases in which individual remains were known to have been
destroyed, for instance, in an aircraft crash or in ground loss-related explosions, but
these individuals are still considered unaccounted for because their remains could not be
Finally, there is a small number of cases in which the individual is known to have died
and his remains were in U.S. custody at one time, but then were lost. Examples of this
latter category include remains falling off an evacuation helicopter as the aircraft
received hostile fire or having mistakenly been taken and buried by allied forces.
Wartime efforts to collect information on U.S. losses began, where possible, with
investigations by U.S. and allied forces in Southeast Asia at the time of the incident
(ground searches of the loss area, investigations among the local population and recovery
efforts at known crash sites and graves). During the war and in the years following, the
U.S. maintained efforts to acquire additional information on these cases, interviewing
enemy POWs, U.S. and allied former POWs, and postwar refugees. We also continued to
collect information from foreign media and other sources.
By the beginning of joint investigations in Vietnam in September 1988, in Cambodia in 1991
and in Laos in 1992, we had collected information on 60 percent of the cases. In only
about one-third of these, or 20 percent of the total cases, did this new information
significantly increase our understanding or ability to pursue new leads.
Since July 1992, as a result of joint operations with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our
continuing archival collection effort has yielded much information that we can correlate
to cases of unaccounted-for individuals. We have also learned that information originally
thought to correlate to specific losses was not related to the case. In addition, we now
judge that we can no longer automatically assume that previous archival correlations
indicate additional information can be produced today.
The joint investigation process in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia has allowed us for the first
time to investigate the cases of all individuals except those lost far at sea. With the
assistance of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, we have found significant information through
the joint investigation process for 38 percent of the cases of Americans who are still
In Vietnam, we have investigated all of the 1,169 in-country losses at least once. We have
also investigated 35 percent of the over-water losses. In Laos, we have investigated 97
percent of the 499 losses; the remainder is scheduled for future investigation. In
Cambodia, we have investigated 100 percent of the cases at least once.
While some of these cases have been investigated only once, many have been investigated as
many as seven times. Even "off-the-scope" cases have been investigated at least
once at their last known location. We have investigated on both sides of the borders
between Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. We have also conducted trilateral investigations in
Laos, in which Vietnamese witnesses provided firsthand information on U.S. losses.
The cases in which we have not found significant information comprise a wide variety of
losses. In many instances, failure to find new or significant case information is not
surprising. Some involve off-the-scope losses, and neither the U.S. nor, apparently, the
countries where the losses occurred know where to begin to investigate. Others occurred
where there were no local witnesses, for instance, in areas controlled by U.S. forces, in
remote jungles, in contested battlefields or at sea. In addition, witnesses are often very
difficult to locate today. In the years since the war, many Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodians
who might have provided information have died or moved. Others are unidentified Vietnamese
soldiers who witnessed a battlefield loss but were not native to the area and have long
since returned home.
In addition to joint investigations, the Southeast Asian governments have provided
information on 831 individuals (38 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). The
information on 506 of these individuals (23 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia)
provided new information or leads that enabled us to move the case investigation forward.
Vietnam, which, since 1973, has turned over information on 551 Americans still unaccounted
for in Vietnam, 215 in Laos and 11 in Cambodia, has shared the results of its own
investigations on captured, missing or killed Americans; provided copies of wartime
records on POWs, aircraft downings and other engagements in which Americans became
unaccounted for; and turned over records of deaths and burials, and photos from the
archives of the Vietnam News Agency, museums, and wartime Vietnamese media reports. They
have also facilitated our access to Vietnamese military historians, authors and
researchers as well as museums and other collections of data, weaponry and material.
Laos has provided information on seven loss incidents involving 20 individuals, none of
which has led to case resolution. The Lao government has steadfastly refused requests to
review their wartime archives or to interview military veterans and political officials.
Consequently, we only interview local villagers, most of whom were not in the loss areas
during the war.
Cambodia has provided data on 20 Americans lost in that country. This information has come
principally from wartime periodicals in the Cambodian national archives. We judge it
unlikely that many useful governmental records survived the Khmer Rouge. Magazines and
books of Vietnamese origin found in the Cambodian archives contain information on 13
Americans lost in Vietnam. Cambodia has provided access to former Khmer Rouge military
leaders and officials, who provided useful information.
In addition, all three countries have cooperated in the investigation of possible
sightings of live unaccounted-for Americans in Southeast Asia. Since 1991, Vietnam has
facilitated the investigation of 96 reports by persons alleging to have seen live
Americans held in that country. We have been unable to associate any of these reports with
missing Americans. The Lao and Cambodians have each permitted nine joint live-sighting
investigations. None of these investigations has surfaced any information relating to
unaccounted for Americans.
The most important finding of this comprehensive review is the identification of specific
"next-step" actions. In many cases, these next steps are precisely that: next,
but not necessarily final. They do not represent an exhaustive array of all the avenues of
investigation that might be required to resolve a case. They do represent what is
considered the best next step to move a case toward resolution.
This process is evolutionary. For some cases, next steps have been identified, but
implementation is contingent upon activity currently taking place. For others, we
anticipate new leads will develop out of ongoing investigations. The Department of Defense
will continue to evaluate all new leads to ensure those actions that could lead to the
fullest possible accounting are pursued.
The review distinguishes the type of actions for each case. The first -- further pursuit
-- are those where we have specific next steps to pursue in the investigative process. For
some of these, the lead is a single action; in others, several different approaches are
necessary. The second group -- deferred -- includes cases where we have exhausted all
current leads. We must defer further investigation of these cases until additional leads
are developed. The final set -- no further pursuit -- involves those cases where we judge
no actions by any government will result in the recovery of remains.
The comprehensive review identifies further investigative leads for cases involving 1,476
individuals (67 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). Actions have been identified
for 942 (58 percent) of the individual losses in Vietnam, 470 (94 percent) of the losses
in Laos, 61 (79 percent) of the losses in Cambodia and three of the losses in China.
Our review also allows us to characterize whether these specific actions should be pursued
through joint action, U.S. action or Southeast Asian government action. (In the following
discussion of the types of actions, the numbers total higher than 1,476 because multiple
actions have been identified for some cases.)
Joint activity with the relevant Southeast Asian government: actions on cases involving
741 individuals (37 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). Such activity involves
further in-country investigation, detailed loss-site surveys, full-scale site excavations,
joint archival research, witness interviews or other joint effort. Many times, joint
activity may be all that is required. In some cases, however, another form of
investigation may also be taken concurrently with the scheduled joint efforts.
U.S.-based research, analysis or other collection: actions on cases involving 423
individuals (19 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). The most prominent example is
the forensic analysis of previously recovered remains, which is undertaken at the U.S.
Army Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii. This includes the emerging technology of
mitochondrial DNA, which offers promise for identifying remains that cannot be identified
using traditional forensic techniques. Other U.S.-based initiatives involve research into
American combat records to clarify loss coordinates or battle details and interviews with
American observers to the incident.
Vietnamese, Lao or Cambodian government activity: actions on cases involving 464
individuals (21 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). In 342 of these individuals'
cases, actions by a Southeast Asian government have been identified as necessary for
further investigation. For the remaining 122, similar actions have been identified for
pursuit in tandem with joint or U.S.-based pursuits. These leads are complex and varied in
scope, requiring action at the local, technical or higher levels. The actions fall into
|Group 1: applicable to 75 of these 464 individuals. These are cases where we have
concluded that based on central government knowledgeability at some point in the past,
there is the greatest possibility that Southeast Asian government actions could help us to
account for individuals. In many cases, evidence suggests that the respective government
instigated a formal remains recovery operation or that the respective government could
identify the individual or individuals cognizant of the disposition of an American's
remains. This conclusion is further supported in some cases by documentary evidence or
testimony by foreign government officials and local witnesses indicating specific remains
were recovered by the central government, but were never turned over.|
For other cases, partial remains were recovered and turned over to CILHI, but are
unidentifiable without additional information. It must be emphasized that we cannot be
certain that the Southeast Asian government involved can provide additional information
due to the loss of records, death of relevant persons and other factors. We have no
evidence that information is being deliberately withheld.
|Group 2: applicable to 389 of the 464 individuals. For these cases there is a lesser
possibility that a Southeast Asian government has further information that could lead to
further investigative steps. In these cases, the information we have is generally not
sufficient to allow further U.S. or joint investigation unless the Vietnamese, Lao or
Cambodians provide additional or clarifying information. Examples include documents that
credit specific military units with the shootdown of U.S. aircraft, evidence pointing to
the presence of unaccounted-for Americans in certain hospitals and testimony by Vietnamese
villagers identifying other Vietnamese (who have yet to be found) as witnesses in
possession of key information. We expect that although most leads will result in further
activity, some may lead to case resolution.|
In the cases of 159 individuals (7 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia), our
analysis indicates that all investigative leads have been exhausted and, currently, no
further avenues of pursuit can be identified. Although the investigation of these cases is
not complete, we require additional information to develop new leads.
Based on a thorough review of all available information, our analysis indicates that 567
individuals (26 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) perished and regardless of any
future effort by the U.S. government and the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia,
their cases cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains. Examples include
service members killed in explosions that destroyed their remains, aviators whose planes
ditched at sea far from land and who were not recovered, persons who were buried on river
banks that have since eroded, others who drowned in flooded rivers and were swept away,
and individuals who were buried in areas where the topography has changed significantly.
Although we have concluded analytically that these individuals perished and their cases
cannot be resolved through the repatriation of remains, this assessment does not
immediately close these cases. Based on the review results, we recommend that the
secretary of defense establish a review board to review independently each case. When
appropriate, the findings of that board will be forwarded to the relevant service
secretary for a final determination whether to continue U.S. government efforts to account
for these individuals.
As the final step in our review process, we examined our next steps in the context of
those cases which the U.S. government has highlighted in talks with the Vietnamese, Lao
and Cambodian governments. The next steps for cases discussed in Secretary of Defense
[William J.] Perry's Feb. 17, 1995, report to the Congress include Vietnam -- special
remains and photo cases; priority discrepancy and fate not confirmed cases; and priority
discrepancy, death confirmed; Laos -- priority discrepancy and Viet-Lao border cases;
Cambodia -- priority discrepancy cases.
Special remains cases: In August 1993, the U.S. government presented the Vietnamese with a
list of 98 individuals (4 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) for which we had
evidence indicating the Vietnamese had knowledge of an American's death and the
disposition of the individual's remains. This list was representative of, not
all-inclusive of, these cases. The evidence of Vietnamese knowledge used to select the 98
individuals falls into four categories:
|Photographs depicting the remains of Americans who were killed and whose remains were
|Official Vietnamese graves registration documents which list the names of Americans
killed in various provinces, but whose remains have not yet been repatriated;|
|Cases of Americans officially reported by the Vietnamese government to have died while
in captivity, but whose remains were not repatriated; and|
|Instances where it has been reliably reported that remains have already been recovered,
but the remains have not yet been repatriated. As of July 21, 1995, four of the 98
individuals have been accounted for through the return of identifiable remains. We assess
that cases involving 80 of the remaining 94 individuals require further investigation. The
investigations of five other individuals must be deferred until new leads are developed.
For the nine remaining individuals, we believe they perished and no amount of effort will
succeed in the recovery of their remains.|
Photo cases: This group of cases focuses on combat photos from Vietnamese files showing
deceased American personnel and material in Vietnamese custody. Many of these were given
to Vietnam in two so-called "photo books"; one by [former] Secretary of Defense
[Richard] Cheney, [former] Secretary of State [Lawrence] Eagleburger and Gen. [John W.]
Vessey [special U.S. presidential emissary to Hanoi for POW/MIA affairs] in 1993 (23
individuals); and another by Sen. [John] Kerry in 1993 (71 individuals). Once duplications
between the lists are removed and accounted-for individuals are subtracted, these two
photo books include 77 unaccounted for Americans (3 percent of those missing in Southeast
Asia). All but 10 of these 77 individuals also appear on the special remains case list
and/or the last known alive cases list.
We have determined that 66 of these 77 individuals require further investigation. The
investigation of three other individuals must be deferred until additional information is
developed, and we believe the cases of eight individuals cannot be resolved through the
repatriation of remains.
Priority discrepancy cases: The priority discrepancy -- also known as last-known-alive --
cases are those involving American personnel who were known to be alive, not gravely
wounded and in proximity to the enemy at the time of their loss. Of the original 296
individuals meeting this definition who were lost in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Of those,
269 individuals (12 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) remain unaccounted for,
and fates have yet to be confirmed for 154 (7 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia).
|Vietnam: Of the original 196 last-known-alive individuals in Vietnam, one is a foreign
national and 25 have been accounted for through the return and identification of remains.
Of the remaining 170 Americans, DoD has confirmed the deaths of 115, and the fates of 55
are still under investigation. To pursue the fullest possible accounting for all 170
individuals, we have identified the following next steps: The cases involving the 55
individuals all require further investigation. Of the 115 whose deaths have been
confirmed, our review found that the cases of 90 individuals require further investigation
and that the cases of 15 individuals cannot be resolved through the repatriation of
remains. We have deferred further investigation on 10 individuals because we have no leads
|Laos: Our assessment of the last-known-alive cases in Laos involving 81 individuals
indicates that all warrant further investigation.|
|Cambodia: One individual originally identified with a last-known-alive case in Cambodia
has been accounted for by the return of identified remains, reducing the number from 19 to
18. The assessment of the remaining cases reveals that further investigation is necessary
for 17. We have no leads to pursue in the 18th case. Viet-Lao border cases: We have
presented the cases of 49 individuals (2 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) to
both Vietnamese and Lao officials. A list of these individuals was first given to Vietnam
in 1992. Of the 49 names appearing on the list, 43 also appear on the Lao priority
discrepancy case list. The remaining six individuals were addressed separately in
Secretary Perry's Feb. 17 report as losses associated with Laos. We believe that all 49
require further pursuit.|
Resolution of such difficult cases as died-in-captivity, over-water, and off-the-scope
cases has been, and will continue to be, a major challenge for our accounting effort.
Died-in-captivity cases: At the conclusion of Operation Homecoming in 1973, the military
services -- or in the cases of civilians, the Department of State -- identified 97
Americans as prisoners who did not come home. At about the same time, the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam in the north and the provisional revolutionary government in the south
provided lists that altogether named 59 unaccounted-for Americans said to have died in
captivity. The two lists were combined, and 15 duplications were removed to create the
Removing the names of the 76 Americans who have been accounted for since 1973 leaves 65
unaccounted-for Americans (3 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia). These
individuals have long been a focus of U.S. investigation because available evidence
indicates that the Vietnamese and Lao governments should be able to help provide
information on their remains.
As a result of joint investigative work and information from the Southeast Asian
governments, we have confirmed that seven graves are no longer locatable due to their
remote location, the passage of time or changes in topography. In 57 cases, however, we
believe recovering identifiable remains is still possible. Work on one case must be
deferred until additional information is discovered.
Over-water losses: There are 470 unaccounted-for individuals (21 percent of those missing
in Southeast Asia) who were involved in at-sea losses: 449 in Vietnamese waters, 15 in
Cambodian waters and six in Chinese waters. These include aviators whose planes crashed at
sea, persons who perished when their vessels sank, those who fell or were swept overboard
and a few swimmers swept out to sea.
Most of these losses were not known to the Indochinese governments, and our analysis
indicates the individuals involved perished and their cases cannot be resolved through the
repatriation of remains. After reviewing the cases of every over-water loss, 366
individuals were determined to have been lost at sea, and their remains are not believed
to be recoverable. This number includes five of the six over-water losses in China. The
cases of 96 individuals, most of whom were lost near shore or an enemy maritime force,
merit further investigation. Investigation of the cases of eight individuals lack any
leads to pursue.
Off-the-scope cases: 308 individuals (14 percent of those missing in Southeast Asia) were
never heard from again after embarking on long-range ground or air reconnaissance missions
or after their aircraft were last seen visually on radar heading toward a given target.
This type of loss is referred to as off-the-(radar) scope because the location and
circumstances of loss are still unknown. Some of these cases are also over-water losses.
Many of these cases will be very difficult to investigate because we do not know where to
focus our efforts. However, we will continue to investigate the cases for 215 of these
individuals. For 39 individuals, we have no leads to pursue and must defer further action.
Our analysis indicates we cannot resolve the cases of 54 individuals who perished in
incidents far at sea.
This analytic review represents the first time the U.S. government has assessed all
information and material collected since the war's end. Our analytic judgments are based
on the evidence, as well as on Southeast Asian cultural and historical practices and
operational realities. The results provide a basis for a comprehensive work plan to
forward systematically the accounting process.
These results will be presented to the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in late
November by the presidential delegation headed by Deputy Secretary for Veteran Affairs
Hershel Gober, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kent
Weidemann, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs James Wold and
representatives from the National League of Families and veteran service organizations.
Our conclusions and judgments have allowed us to identify the best next steps to move
cases toward resolution. There is no certainty, of course, that every case will ultimately
be resolved. Many of these actions are already incorporated in JTF-FA's work plan. In some
cases, investigative steps have already been completed and assessed. We will continue to
analyze results as they become available and reassess cases based on those results.
The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Office will contact primary next-of-kin for
all Americans lost in Southeast Asia who remain unaccounted for via letter through the
service casualty offices to advise them of the impact of this review on their specific
case. In all cases, information pertaining to individual cases will be shared with the
families before it is made available to the public.
Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information
Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense
(Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes;
bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be
reprinted without permission. Defense Issues is available on the Internet via the World
Wide Web at http://www.dtic. mil/defenselink/pubs/di_index.html