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ABC World News interviews three ex-POWs on the occasion of NAMPOWs' 40th anniversary of freedom
May 19, 2013 | Vanity

Posted on 05/19/2013 12:19:49 PM PDT by Mach9

American prisoners-of-war held by communist North Vietnam during the years between 1965 and 1973 will celebrate their 40th year of freedom as a result of the release engineered by Pres. Nixon in 1973. The Nixon Library, on the occasion of both the 100th anniversary of the president's birth and the 40th anniversary of the formal dinner he hosted in May 1973 for recently returned American POWs, will recreate that dinner at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA, on May 24. Hundreds of still-living POWs will attend, and several have already been interviewed by Diane Sawyer to air during the week of May 20. The first such interview will air on ABC World News (check for local stations) at 6:30 p.m., EDT, Monday, May 20 (repeated at 6:30 p.m. on May 27th, Memorial Day).

Guy Gruters, former USAF fighter pilot, airline pilot, IBM executive, and one of the three POWs interviewed by Sawyer, has recently completed a book about incarceration and the development/significance of religious faith, recounting the faith-based heroism of the several MOH recipients from the communist-run camps: LOCKED UP WITH GOD (forward by Col. George E. [Bud] Day) available now on Amazon Kindle.

TOPICS: Announcements; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: vanity
Bound to be a great read, the best motivational speeches anywhere.
1 posted on 05/19/2013 12:19:49 PM PDT by Mach9
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To: Mach9

We now buy products from Vietnam.America should have embargoed Vietnam for about 75-100 years,just as payback for what they did to our guys who were POWs.

2 posted on 05/19/2013 12:23:00 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: Farmer Dean

I don’t think so. We were wrong about them being allied and sponsored by the Chinese. The 2 countries going to war 4 years later would suggest that we may need them again.

3 posted on 05/19/2013 12:30:05 PM PDT by DIRTYSECRET
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To: Farmer Dean

Speak to two Johns: Kerry & McCain.

4 posted on 05/19/2013 12:35:30 PM PDT by Mach9
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To: Mach9
Gone, but NOT forgotten...

MIA 13-December-1968

Name: Morgan Jefferson Donahue
Rank/Branch: Major/US Air Force

Unit: 606th Special Operations Squadron,
56th Special Operations Wing
Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
Date of Birth: 02 May 1944
Home of Record: Alexandria, VA
Date of Loss: 13 December 1968
Country of Loss: Laos

Loss Coordinates: 170100N 1055900E (XD055824) Click coordinates to view (4) maps

Status in 1973: Missing In Action

Category: 2

Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: C123K "Provider"

Other Personnel in Incident: Thomas M. Turner (rescued); Douglas V. Dailey; John S. Albright; Joseph P. Fanning; Samuel F. Walker, Jr.; and Fred L. Clarke (all missing);


SYNOPSIS: Though it had been declared obsolete in 1956, the Fairchild C123 Provider was was one of the mainstays of tactical airlift in the Vietnam War. In 1962 the Provider was fitted with special equipment to spray defoliants. Later, it was modified with a pair of J-85 jet engines which increased its payload carrying capability by nearly one third. The first of these modified C123s arrived at Tan Son Nhut on 25 April 1967, and this venerable old aircraft proved to be among the hardest working aircraft throughout Southeast Asia. The C123K differed from other C123 models in that it had the addition of auxiliary turbojet engines mounted in underwing pods. While this addition did little to increase the speed of the "Provider", it added greater power for quicker climbing on takeoff, and power for maintaining altitude.

On 13 December 1968, 1st Lt. Thomas M. Turner, pilot; 1st Lt. Joseph P. Fanning, co-pilot; 1st Lt. John S. Albright, II, navigator; then 1st Lt. Morgan J. Donahue, navigator; SSgt. Douglas V. Dailey, flight engineer; TSgt. Fred L. Clarke, loadmaster and SSgt. Samuel F. Walker, Jr., loadmaster; comprised the crew of a C123K aircraft, call sign "Candlestick 44." Their night Forward Air Control (FAC) mission was to guide several B57B bombers onto a convoy of enemy trucks traveling along Routes 911 and 912. These routes were cut through the rugged jungle covered mountains approximately 2 miles north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), 14 miles northwest of Ban Namm, 18 miles southwest of Ban Loboy, 35 miles northwest of Muang Xepon and 26 miles southwest of the Lao/North Vietnamese border, Savannakhet Province, Laos. Additional data places the loss approximately 47 kilometers northwest of Xepon, 3 kilometers east of Ban Kok Nak and Route 411, and 1 kilometer southeast of Ban Pa Dong.

This area of eastern Laos was considered a major artery of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. When North Vietnam began to increase its military strength in South Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had done during the war with the French some years before. This border road was used by the Communists to transport weapons, supplies and troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and was frequently no more than a path cut through the jungle covered mountains. US forces used all assets available to them to stop this flow of men and supplies from moving south into the war zone.

Flying at an altitude of no more than 2000-3000 feet, the Provider crew's mission was to spot enemy truck convoys traveling along the trail, then to drop flares to illuminate the area for the accompanying bombers to attack. As the navigator responsible for monitoring the infrared detection device, Morgan Donahue laid on his stomach in the underbelly of the Provider to observe the situation through an open hatch. Weather conditions at the time were clear with a half moon, ground fog, no wind and no cloud ceiling. At 0300 hours, as the crew of the C123K guided a B57B, call sign "Yellowbird 72," onto an enemy convoy, the FAC was jolted by a blow to the top of their aircraft in the aft section by the overhead bomber as it approached the target. Major Thomas W. Dugan, pilot; and Major Francis J. McGouldrick, co-pilot; comprised the crew of Yellowbird 72. 1st Lt. Turner, stunned by a blow to the head and lost consciousness as his aircraft lost power. Because of its glider configuration, the C123K did not fall straight to the ground, but drifted lazily in a slow flat spin that lasted several minutes.

During his post-rescue debriefing, Thomas Turner reported: "Yellowbird 72 made either one or two passes over the target and received no ground fire while Candlestick 44 maintained position in our quadrant at altitude. While the bomber conducted its strikes, I began a run to our left in order to stay in our own quadrant, yet be able to scope to clear the previous strike (to observe the bomber's attack pass and its pull off of the target). Just as we rolled out straight and level, I looked out the window and saw the strike area. The next moment there was an explosion and the aircraft was out of control. I was knocked unconscious for several moments. When I came to, I turned in my seat and could see the co-pilot's seat was empty and fire was coming into the cockpit from the fuselage area. I turned to the left and opened the window, then unbuckled by seatbelt. I looked out at the wing tip and could see the wing tip and that the left engine was still running. The next minute I was out and clear of the aircraft. I pulled the "D" ring when clear to deploy my parachute. On my descent I saw another parachute below me and 2 or 3 fires on the ground. At that time I was unaware of the other aircraft's fall, and didn't know if it was one of the fires on the ground or not." 1st Lt. Turner went on to say: "I landed safely in a treetop where I remained until search and rescue (SAR) personnel rescued me at dawn. I did not hear any of the other crewmen come up on the radio, and I understand that the only beeper the SAR aircraft heard was mine."

Members of other aircrews provided additional information about this loss incident. One witness stated he saw a steady stream of enemy anti-aircraft artillery fire aimed in the direction of the aircraft just before the large explosion caused by the collision. Several other witnesses reported there was a large explosion that broke the aircraft into three parts shortly after the initial explosion.

After plucking Thomas Turner out of the tree, aerial SAR personnel continued to search for the other crewman in the rugged jungle covered mountains. Because this area was under total enemy control, no ground search was possible. At 0900 hours on 15 December, the formal SAR effort was terminated when no trace of the remaining crew could be found. At that time John Albright, Morgan Donahue, Douglas Dailey, Joseph Fanning Fred Clarke and Samuel Walker were listed Missing in Action. Likewise, no trace of the B57B crew was found and they were also declared Missing in Action at the same time.

Over the years numerous reports filtered through the intelligence community regarding the crew of the Provider including National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted enemy radio communications correlated to at least 3 of the missing men. In 1974 a Laotian refugee who escaped reported having observed an American prisoner thought to have been a member of this aircrew who had been moved to the caves near Tchepone where he was held during the 1968 to 1970 timeframe. This American was later transferred to another location unknown to the refugee. Another intelligence report received shortly after the loss incident indicated that Morgan Donahue suffered a broken leg in the mishap and was believed to have been taken to a communist holding area near Tchepone after capture. Several reports referring to "Moe-gan" or "Mr. Moe-gan" have been received by military intelligence since the end of the war. Frequently this prisoner is referred to as "the animal doctor" because he is being used as a veterinarian to treat sick and injured animals. These reports have come directly from refugees to the Donahue family as well as through US government agencies.

From 1981 to 1984, the Special Forces Detachment, Korea (SFDK) was charged by President Reagan with the responsibility of collecting live POW information throughout Southeast Asia. SFDK was commanded by Major Mark Smith, himself a returned POW from the Vietnam War. Through his efforts, and those of team Intelligence Sergeant Mel McIntire, an agent net of 50 agents was established, specifically in Laos. This intelligence net resulted in Major Smith compiling a list of some 26 American POWs by name and captivity location with Morgan Donahue being one of them. In April 1984, Major Smith received a message from one of his agents specifying that on 11 May three US Prisoners of War would be brought to a given location on the Lao/Thai border. The only prerequisite was that an American be on the Thailand side of the border to receive the men. When this information was reported up his chain of command, Major Smith's team was ordered not to leave Korea, to destroy all documents pertaining to LIVE POWs and they were sent back to the United States 6 months early. According to Major Smith and SFC McIntire, they believe Morgan Donahue was one of those three Prisoners who could have been returned on 11 May 1984. This documented information was provided to the United States Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in sworn testimony on 28 January 1986.

In June 1987 and again in August of that year, the Donahue family was given intelligence reports tracking their youngest son's movements from a POW camp in Kham Kuet, Khammouane Province, Laos in the spring of 1987, then to another camp in the Boualapha District of the same province that August. These reports were only a few weeks old at the time the USG obtained them, yet intelligence personnel marked them "routine" and made no effort to act upon the information. One of these reports stated that the POW had been a crewman aboard a C123K aircraft and gave its serial number. When government analysts finally evaluated the report, they discovered that the aircraft number was actually the missing navigator's father's home zip code instead of the aircraft's number. The Donahue family believes this is clearly a message from Morgan Donahue.

The crew of the C123K are among the nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Like this aircrew, many of these men were known to be alive on the ground. The Laotians admitted holding "tens of tens" of American Prisoners of War, but these men were never negotiated for either by direct negotiations between our countries or through the Paris Peace Accords which ended the Vietnam War since the Laotians were not a party to that agreement.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American POWs remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Aircrews in Vietnam and Laos were called upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.
Morgan J. Donahue graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1967.

5 posted on 05/19/2013 12:40:57 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Farmer Dean; Mach9

A local sporting goods store, Scheels, sells clothes made in Vietnam and other commie places. I will not set foot in there for any reason.

Regarding Kerry, didn’t he mention once he was in Vietnam?

6 posted on 05/19/2013 2:00:06 PM PDT by redfreedom (The spineless RINO's have made themselves irrelevent and lost the country for us.)
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To: FReepers

Click The Pic To Donate

Support FR, Donate Monthly If You Can

7 posted on 05/19/2013 2:07:13 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: Mach9

Maybe these honorable men would use the occasion to tell what went on with John McCain in Hanoi. He’s not talking, and made it a point to seal his POW records for all time.

8 posted on 05/19/2013 2:12:34 PM PDT by DPMD
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To: Mach9; annieokie; penelopesire; maggief; Protect the Bill of Rights; thouworm; SE Mom; Nachum; ...
Special ping for SPECIAL PEOPLE. This deserves more attention. Remember our POWs. Please.
9 posted on 05/19/2013 6:40:26 PM PDT by MestaMachine
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To: MestaMachine

Until they all come home.....

That you so much for the Ping Mesta.

10 posted on 05/19/2013 6:47:12 PM PDT by KC_Lion (Build the America you want to live in at your address, and keep looking up.-Sarah Palin)
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To: Mach9

Operation Homecoming, Feb 1973

"Riamh nár dhruid ó sbairn lann!"

Genuflectimus non ad principem sed ad Principem Pacis!

Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah 49:1 KJV)

11 posted on 05/19/2013 6:53:30 PM PDT by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Michael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: Mach9

I’d have told ABC, “You weren’t there for us during the war but you were there for Hanoi Jane and for John Kerry; don’t try wearing patriotism on your sleeve now!”

12 posted on 05/23/2013 6:17:21 AM PDT by NRA1995 (I'd rather be a living "gun culture" member than a dead anti-gun candy-ass.)
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To: NRA1995

And you’d be right! And that’s exactly the way I felt when the POWs came home and were sought after all day, every day, for interviews. Where were they when torture was finally revealed? Certainly not trying to hold the commies’ feet to the fire. No, it was much better to denigrate the South Vietnamese and American soldiers. All those atrocities! (Sen.) Jim Webb chronicled those “atrocities” long before he ran for office. Does any American not involved in the Vietnam War know that there were twice as many atrocities in half the time in WWII? No. Does anyone know that the bar for defining “atrocity” was raised considerably (meaning that more actions qualified as atrocities) after WWII? Of course not. Why not? Because the media never approved that information. What’s the punishment? So far—nothing.

13 posted on 05/27/2013 6:30:50 PM PDT by Mach9
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To: Mach9
I don't know much about the Vietnam POWs except for McCain...and another story.A story about a young Navy enlisted man stationed aboard a ship in the Tonkin Gulf.It seems that this kid (19 years old IIRC) was blown overboard one night and nobody realized he was gone for hours.A Vietnamese fisherman found him and turned him over to authorities and he wound up in the Hanoi Hilton with mainly Navy and Air Force officers.The kid had a prodigious memory and somehow managed to memorize the names and other info of hundreds or POWs at the Hilton.It seems he was offered "early release" for some reason by the Commies and he was gonna refuse it.However,a senior officer (can't recall the name,Navy I believe)...knowing the treasure trove of info he had memorized...*ordered* him to accept and he did.When he got home he gave the Pentagon an enormous amount of info on conditions there along with the hundreds of names he had memorized.IRRC he was viewed with suspicion at first by military brass when he got home until he convinced them that he was *ordered* to accept early release.

Great,great story IMO.

14 posted on 06/04/2013 8:34:50 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: Gay State Conservative

The Navy “corpse-man” was Doug Hegdahl; and the Naval officer who ordered him to go home was Dick Stratton (the constant bower in the early films released by the NV). He and others helped Doug memorize the names he’d bring back to the U. S. Indeed a terrific story. But only one of many.

15 posted on 06/04/2013 11:20:34 AM PDT by Mach9
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To: Gay State Conservative

16 posted on 07/19/2015 7:04:38 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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