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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #1  
Old 27 Feb 09, 06:10
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NVA and VC Prisoners of War

I have a question for all the Vietnam vets out there.

With all the talk about Gitmo and such going on today I was wondering what happened to enemy POW's captured in Vietnam?

After the initial capture and field interrogation what happened to them? Since the US was not technically at war with a foreign power what happened to NVA prisoners? Were captured VC turned over to the South Vietnamese government? Were there any POW camps run by American forces and where were they located? What happened to NVA POW's at the end of the war?

Thanks for any info.
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  #2  
Old 27 Feb 09, 06:25
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NVA and VC POW camps were run by the South Vietnamese, the largest was located at An Thoi on Phu Quoc Island off the coast of Kien Giang Province in the Delta with 35,000 inmates. I guess they were kept until freed in 1975, although I believe there were some prisoner exchanges during the war between North and South.


(An Thoi POW camp)
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Old 27 Feb 09, 06:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain General View Post
I have a question for all the Vietnam vets out there.

With all the talk about Gitmo and such going on today I was wondering what happened to enemy POW's captured in Vietnam?

After the initial capture and field interrogation what happened to them? Since the US was not technically at war with a foreign power what happened to NVA prisoners? Were captured VC turned over to the South Vietnamese government? Were there any POW camps run by American forces and where were they located? What happened to NVA POW's at the end of the war?

Thanks for any info.
We/11th Inf Bde had a POW collection cage, enclosure. I know little about it. They did have one escape attempt in the year I was there. Clouds of CS gas over the whole LZ at time trying to drive him out of the old tunnel system that was up under our mountain. FNG nailed him with an M 79 as he tried to get out through the perimeter wire during the night. At least that is how the last part of the story went. I got pic's of the gas.
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Old 27 Feb 09, 06:56
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And what about Chien Choi's?... I've red that some of them later served with American units as a scouts. Is that truth?
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Old 27 Feb 09, 07:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonierat View Post
I guess they were kept until freed in 1975, although I believe there were some prisoner exchanges during the war between North and South.
A major exchange took place in 1973, pursuant to the Paris Peace Accords.

Sometimes the US preferred to keep the (mostly DRV's) captured personnel from the RVN, as in the case of North Vietnamese PT boat crews. They were kept at a USN facility in Da Nang. RVN had no access to them. They were released by the US in an exchange arrangement with the DRV without any part of the RVN. There might be more of such cases.
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Old 27 Feb 09, 08:18
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Thanks for the answers guys.
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Old 27 Feb 09, 09:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Przemyslaw View Post
And what about Chien Choi's?... I've red that some of them later served with American units as a scouts. Is that truth?
Yes. Some of them were very effective too !
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Old 27 Feb 09, 10:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Przemyslaw View Post
And what about Chien Choi's?... I've red that some of them later served with American units as a scouts. Is that truth?

The correct word is Hoi Chanh, who had defected under the Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) program (more than 100,000 NVA and VC defected). Some became Kit Carson Scouts, others were versed in the ARVN.
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Old 27 Feb 09, 11:05
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Quote:
The correct word is Hoi Chanh, who had defected under the Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) program (more than 100,000 NVA and VC defected). Some became Kit Carson Scouts, others were versed in the ARVN.
Thanks, that's what I was thinking about. I've red so fancy stuff about them and just wanted to be sure.
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Old 27 Feb 09, 12:15
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Some of these were very effective Kit Carson Scouts. Others, while serving in this capacity became under suspicion. I heard of some who were bad and were shot in the field by American/ARVN forces.

Any prisoners we captured were usually wisked off by huey to be interrogated.
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Old 03 Mar 09, 16:09
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i have heard of vietnamese serving with the us troops as scouts
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Old 31 Mar 12, 21:15
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Those poor bastards......

As a LOH pilot (flying an OH6A) in the Americal AO in 1969, I frequently landed in LZ's or field locations to pick up VC or NVA POW's. They always had a sand bag over their heads, tied around their necks. They were tossed into the back of my LOH, their hands tied behind their backs. I flew them to a base and handed them over to the ARVN's....never to the U.S.. I always thought .....those poor bastards. I am sure they'd have been better treated by U.S. forces.
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Old 07 May 12, 06:47
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Since Chuck (Captain General)addressed this post to all"Vietnam vets"here's my knowledge on the subject.
"A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails and then asks you not to kill him."W.Churchill.
No nva were allowed to surrender to the men of Bravo 1/3.Any of you armchair generals that read so much about this war have a statistic on the number of Americans found dead with their arms tied behind their backs during the war?We fought this way because this is the way our enemy fought.Captured Marine grunts were not as lucky as the highly valued U.S. air crews once under enemy control.Some of our men were tortured before they died.We never did any of that,but senior men saw to the task of shooting prisoners themselves,it went with the rank and it was an obligation, something that had to be done,out of respect for our dead.
Where the nva deserters that we used as Kid Carson scouts came from,I have no idea.We were ordered to treat them as equals but when their turn for patrol,op/lp or ambush came around we could never find them,not that we looked very hard for them. Hard to hide inside a defensive perimeter,they were good at it.A technique they must have perfected while they worked for the other side.I never did figure out where they were after nightfall.I suppose you could say we had the last laugh on them when we bugged out. ALL deserters are good for nothing ,my opinion.

ps QUOTE BY ALTUS(them)"PURSUANT TO THE PARIS PEACE ACCORDS
quote by hankwill,that's a good one,keep them coming joker!
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Old 07 May 12, 08:08
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Taking prisoners was quite rare only because of the nature of gorilla warfare. Usually, we detained suspects who we handed over to the Vietnamese. If we did capture any enemy troops, it was because they were too badly injured to escape on their own. Those were often quite dangerous to extract as they were often booby trapped.

One exception was the two Chinese we captured on one patrol. They were promptly flown out to destination and fate not disclosed.

The other is when a three man position ambushed a sampan on the river at 2 in the morning. The survivor, with no place to run or hide, decided to surrender. Being 1,000 meters from the nearest friendly forces after dark in a very hostile area of the Iron triangle, no one wanted to add to that risk by taking prisoners.

And, yes, you bagged their head so that they couldn't see where they were at.
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