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The Vietnam-Era Prisoner-of-War/Missing-in-Action Database

Subject: Vietnam-Era Unaccounted for Statistical Report

CURRENT AS OF: September 18, 2001

BACKGROUND: The Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Service, and the Department of State report the current numbers of Americans who are unaccounted for in Southeast Asia:

AMERICANS UNACCOUNTED FOR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

COMPONENT
COUNTRY OF LOSS

VN VS LA CB CH TOTALS
ARMY 9 479 105 28 0 621
NAVY 275 90 28 1 8 402
MARINE CORPS 23 195 16 8 0 242
AIR FORCE 217 163 254 18 0 652
COAST GUARD 0 1 0 0 0 1
CIVILIANS 1 20 12 5 0 38
TOTALS 525 948 415 60 8 1,956 *

PURSUIT STATUS

FURTHER PURSUIT 207 481 357 42 4
1,091
DEFERRED 65 111 28 3 1 208
NO FURTHER PURSUIT 253 356 30 15 3 657
TOTALS 525 948 415 60 8 1,956

VN = VIETNAM, NORTH VS = VIETNAM, SOUTH CB = CAMBODIA

CH = CHINA LA = LAOS

* INCLUDES 459 AT SEA/OVER WATER LOSSES

ACCOUNTING FOR U.S. PERSONNEL: The Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii reports that since 1973, the U.S. has accounted for 629 Americans from Southeast Asia.

AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR POST-1973

REPATRIATED BY:

VIETNAM 452 *
CHINA 2 **
LAOS 152
CAMBODIA 23
TOTAL 629 ***

NOTES:

* 34 remains from the Official Died in Captivity Lists provided by the Vietnamese in 1973.

** 2 ashes returned from China.

*** 4 remains were recovered and turned over to the U.S. by indigenous personnel; 1 from North Vietnam and 3 from Laos. They are included in the country count.

U.S. GOVERNMENT EFFORTS: Since the fall of Saigon in 1975, the U.S. Government has acquired 21,792 reports possibly pertaining to Americans in Southeast Asia:

SUMMARY OF REPORTS

FIRSTHAND LIVE SIGHTINGS 1,914
HEARSAY SIGHTINGS REPORTS 4,856
CRASH/GRAVE SITES 5,262
DOGTAGS 9,760
TOTAL 21,792

a. Of the 1,914 firsthand reports received since 1975, 1897 (99.11%) reports are resolved:

  • 1,319 (68.91%) reports were equated to Americans who are accounted for (i.e., PW returnees, missionaries, civilians jailed at various times for violation of Vietnamese codes).
  • 45 (2.35%) reports were correlated to wartime sightings of military personnel or pre-1975 sighting of civilians who remain unaccounted for.
  • 533 (27.85%) reports were determined to be fabrications.

b. The remaining 17 (0.89%) unresolved firsthand reports represent the focus of the U.S. Government analytical and collection efforts:

  • 16 (0.84%) pertain to Americans reported in a captive environment.
  • 1 (0.05%) reported sighting of an American in a non-captive environment (i.e. working as truck drivers; married with Vietnamese family).

c. The following timeline presents an overview of unresolved firsthand sightings by the year of the sighting:

TIMELINE: UNRESOLVED LIVE SIGHTING REPORTS

Pre-76 76-80 81-85 86-90 91-95 96 97 98 99 00 01
Total
16 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17
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