In the 1960’s the United States sent hundreds of Vietnamese commandos into North Vietnam, and then documented the men as dead even though they managed to survive captivity, and buried the story “under a shroud of secrecy” for years. At least 200 of the agents survived capture, torture and imprisonment, and are living in the United States, and they believe that 88 of their comrades are still in captivity.
The doomed covert operation to infiltrate North Vietnam was known as OPLAN 34-A. It was launched in 1961 by the CIA and taken over in 1964 by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to the documents obtained by the NY Times, the United States trained the commandos, dropped them into North Vietnam, then began crossing their names off a classified payroll list one-by-one in December 1965. Many of the commandos were Roman Catholics who had fled the Communist North in the 1950s and knew the local dialects.
Some of the documents describe deaths among a commando team code-named Scorpion. However, Radio Hanoi announced — and the CIA recorded — that the group was captured alive in June 1964. Many were imprisoned under unspeakable conditions. Nevertheless, the CIA declared the men dead and paid their families $4,000 apiece in death benefits.
In His Own Words
by Tai-Moc – Prisoner of war 1963 to 1982
Our group of Lost U.S. Army Commandos, started spying for the CIA in 1960, and began to parachute small teams of Viet Nam. Cover agents in to North Viet Nam.
By 1964 the Pentagon was certain these men had been killed Capture or “Turned” to work for north and began sending new agent in to North Viet Nam.
By 1968 some five hundred agents had been Lost in the north. Their Families were told they were dead. Twenty years later, more than 500 of these agent were released From North Viet Nam, Prison of wars. The surviving former Commandos, Some imprisoned for up to 30 years.
In January 27, 1973, the PARIS Peace accords were signed and the mutually agreed upon Cease fire went in to affect all involved in the Viet Nam war. Will be Repatriated the commandos now expect an early return home. With orders to make new clothes for their Repatriation, each prisoner was to receive two sets of clothes.
Beginning in March 1973, American prisoners held in the North Viet Nam were turned over to American Officials at Hanoi, and flown to “Clark” Air Base in the Philippines. American “P.O.W.” Returns Home.
The Commandos were not Repatriated the war was over. After we heard the bad news that the Commandos could not return home, we went on a hunger strike for two weeks. Are the Commandos, the tall frogman was ripped open his shirt and yell “Go ahead shoot me, shoot me.”
After the hunger strike was over, the entire Commandos Contingent was divided in two barracks A & B. We prepare to transfer to a new location. The Commandos began to settle in at sub-camp of the barracks of central prison. Later we were transferred in to the punishment cell. We suffered days of hard with long working hours. We also suffered long term Isolation and starvation because all the food was rationed.
In September 1973, almost 700 of Female prisoners arrived there, we live together in the camp. And the Commandos can marry one of the Female prisoners if they wanted to.
More than two hundred of the former Commandos have been resettled in the United States. As well as hundreds of widows and orphans of those who died. Most of these people want to lease in Viet Nam.
Thank you to the United States Government Support, they resettled in the United States. They are the most recent the group of the Lost U.S. Army Commandos receive membership to the national “Special Forces Association”. On behalf of the “Lost U.S. Army Commandos”, we would like to thank you for your support.