MIA Facts Site

Index to articles
Former USMC Private
Robert R. Garwood

The MIA Facts Site contains a number of articles that deal with the somewhat complicated saga of former USMC Private Robert R. Garwood.  The shortest version of the story is that Garwood was captured by North Vietnamese forces in 1964; after his capture he agreed to cooperate with the Vietnamese; he carried a weapon and operated with Vietnamese forces against US forces.  When US prisoners were returned at the end of the war (1973), Garwood elected to stay in Vietnam where he lived freely until he returned to the US in 1979.  Garwood was court-martialed and found guilty of collaboration and of hitting an American prisoner.  He served no jail time.  Since the mid-1980's, Garwood has had some degree of support among a few "MIA activists" who argue that he was a prisoner of war who was not released (not true) and that he encountered several hundred American POW's who were not released in 1973 (not true).

This page provides links to all the articles on the MIA Facts Site dealing with Garwood as well as links to other Internet sites with information about Garwood.

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Official report on Garwood's collaboration, court-martial, conclusions, and lessons learned

In early 1993, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) requested a report on Garwood's history -- his capture by the North Vietnamese, his collaboration, return to the US, court-martial, and activities after his conviction.  This report was compiled from the official record and was published in June 1993.  I have a copy of the ASD/C3I report and it is reproduced here in its entirety.  The report is long, so, I broke it into five sections.

 Garwood:  Section I  1965 - 1969
Garwood:  Section II Garwood in North Vietnam:  1970 - 1979
Garwood:  Section III Garwood's return to the US:  1979
Garwood:  Section IV Garwood's court-martial and afterward: 1981 - 1985
Garwood:  Section V Court-martial aftermath; conclusions, lessons learned; 1986 - 1993
Garwood:  Section VI This is NOT a part of the official report.  This article is my own compilation of Garwood's claims to have seen US POW's in Vietnam after 1973.  More details are in the section below titled "Garwood's 'live-sighting' claims."

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Garwood's "live-sighting" claims

In 1985, following several meetings with US Congressman Bill Hendon, Garwood told several phony stories claiming that he encountered US prisoners of war who were held in Vietnam after 1973. 

The following table is a menu linked to each of Garwood's claimed sightings of US POWs in Vietnam after 1973.  Click on the link to read the claim and the analysis.  Information in parentheses indicates variations in the stories that Garwood told.

 Overview of Garwood's "live-sighting" claims This article is an introduction to Garwood's claims of having seen US POW's in Vietnam after 1973

Thach Ba Lake and the Island Fortress

Garwood claimed that he saw  (20, 30, 40, 30 - 40, as many as 60 )    US POWs in      ( September 1977, October 1977, mid-December 1977, March 1978 )      at an installation on an island in Thach Ba Lake, NW of Hanoi.

Yen Bai rail crossing -- the boxcar sighting

Garwood maintains that he saw 30 - 40 English-speaking POWs  exit a train containing numerous boxcars of South Vietnamese prisoners.  He claims that he was (100 yards away, 200 yards away, very close to) the boxcars housing the Vietnamese and US POWs.

Bat Bat Prison

Garwood claims to have seen approximately 20 US POWs in the Bat Bat prison complex during the summer and fall of 1973, after Operation Homecoming.

17 Ly Nam De Street

Garwood claims :  (1) to have seen an individual with ". . . a bearded face, deep sunken eyes, and thinning hair . . ." peering at him from a room at 17 Ly Nam De Street; (2) to have heard the voices of several men who he "later confirmed to be Americans" at the same address.  (Take your pick of (1) or (2); the story varies from telling to telling.)

3 Duong Thanh Street

Garwood claims that he saw the same bearded face here that he had seen at Ly Nam De Street three months earlier.

Gia Lam Airport Warehouse

Garwood claims that he saw five or six US POWs at this facility who were stacking, loading, and unloading material at various times between 1973 and 1979.

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Miscellaneous articles in which Garwood is involved

The following section contains links to articles in which Garwood appears.  These articles are all part of the Garwood story and they reveal the deception, falsehoods, and misrepresentations that surround Garwood and of which he is a part.


The Hendon Connection.  In 1984-85, Garwood became associated with then-US Congressman Bill Hendon.  Hendon was then, and remains, one of the principal persons spreading the phony argument that US POW's were abandoned in Vietnam after the US withdrawal in 1973.  Upon is return to the US, Garwood stated that he knew nothing about other Americans in Vietnam.  Hendon met with Garwood and together they cooked up several phony stories -- listed above in the Garwood "live-sightings" section.  This article is my personal conspiracy theory involving Hendon and Garwood.  My views are shared by others who know Hendon and Garwood.


Spite House.  Author Monika Jensen-Stevenson published a book titled Spite House in March 1997.   She claimed that this was the true, untold story of Garwood.  In fact, Spite House is filled with lies, half-truths, and misrepresentations.    Garwood and one other individual are the only sources for the book.  In Spite House, Jensen slanders several other Americans who were POW's and who had contact with Garwood while he was collaborating with the North Vietnamese.  Jensen was sued for slander; she paid a monetary settlement to those she slandered and she admitted that book was made up only of Garwood's claims  This article contains the details of the suit and its outcome, including links to documents supporting the charges of slander against Stephens, and, an admission by Stephens that Garwood was her sole source.  (NOTE:   Jensen also is the author of the pseudo-history Kiss The Boys Goodbye that is filled with untruths, myths, and fabrications about the issue of US MIAs in Southeast Asia. ) 


A very sad personal story.   Garwood has had numerous relationships with women; every such relationship has ended with the woman being emotionally destroyed while Garwood moves on to another conquest. 

US investigators working in Vietnam turned up several reports of Garwood's philandering from Vietnamese who had contact with Garwood.


While Garwood was under loose confinement at Camp LeJeune, NC, awaiting court-martial, one of his USMC guards died in a motorcycle accident.  Garwood convinced the man's widow to allow him to move in with her, thus beginning a relationship that lasted a few months.  The lady involved now has nothing but contempt for Garwood.


Garwood eventually married the half-sister of a soldier who died in captivity.  She later died of cancer.


I have been contacted by two men, both in Mississippi, whose wives fell victim to Garwood's lies.  Both women left their husbands for Garwood and later found themselves abandoned and emotionally destroyed by him.  The following table contains links to the personal story of one of these men whose wife left him for Garwood.  This is a long, involved story and includes details of Garwood's criminal activity in the town of Gautier, MS -- which was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina, 29 August 2005.  The individual who wrote this story obviously suffered a lot of pain as the result of Garwood breaking up his marriage.

 My Encounter With Robert Garwood, Part I
My Encounter With Robert Garwood, Part II