Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 94
    (4/10/02 7:52:42 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All M.I.A.s
    In the news the last few days their have been stories that one of our navy pilots who was shot down during the Persian Gulf war might be still held in Iraq. This got me to thinking about the whole MIA issue, with Vietnam, Korea, China(with POWs from the Korean war) and the former USSR (with POWs from the Vietnam and Korean wars, and WW II prisoners who were held by the Germans and Japanese and then "liberated" by the USSR).

    I can understand why these countries might hold prisoners and not tell the U.S. If they captured some one who had advanced technical knowledge they would not want the U.S. to know that this information was compromised. But I don't know why they would hold people for 25 years or more. It is a sad, horrible fact that it would be easier for these monsters to kill our the POWs after they have tortured them and extracted all the info they can for them.

    This is on going hell for the families. Never knowing if their loved ones are dead or worse off than dead.

    It seems like the Navy pilot, who was shot down in Iraq, is being used as a bloody flag by some extreme right wingers to fan the flames of war against Iraq. If we have cause to attack Iraq, so be it. But the facts behind this case are weak.

    I remember reading that percentage wise we had fewer MIAs in Vietnam than in World War II. I understand that it is hard to accept the loss of a loved one, and harder still when there is no clear cut confirmation. But bodies burnt up in aircraft crashes, or lost at sea or in rotting jungles may never be found. A few years ago the wreckage of a WW II bomber was found in Belgium. It had crashed in the mud and been missing for over 50 years. The bodies were identified. Belgium is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and yet an aircraft lay missing there for 50 plus years.

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3351
    (4/10/02 10:56:01 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: M.I.A.s
    Yeah, 17th, but some of it is pretty understandable, especially about the percentages...

    Alot of the MIAs from WWII were from the Air Corp...a heavy bomber carried 10 men, and in a 600 plane raid with the pretty typical 10% loss rate that was 600 men going down...

    An average of anywhere from 2-5 would get out of a plane alive, even the "catastrophic" explosions that witnesses would say "nobody could have survived, no chutes observed..." Some even road down peices of aircraft that might "float" down...and there were no "beepers" on the harnesses to let potential rescuers other planes in the air let them know where they were...

    But unless somebody saw a chute, they were automatically listed as MIA, if not KIA, only confirmed names through the Red Cross and other sources got listed as POWs...and alot of the fighting was over rough country like in Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia...and if a partisan group on either side say in Yugoslavia executed an airman, or sold them to the Germans or Russians, they would never be heard from again...

    Plus the World Wars were fought over a large area of the earth's surface, in all kinds of terrain, from jungle to islands to deserts to mountains, to oceans, etc...whereas most wars since have been contained in relatively pretty small areas....

    Another interesting point is forensic medicine, especially DNA testing...we may NEVER have another "unknown soldier" to put in the tomb...identification lowers the MIA percentage even more...

    But as to why they keep them? Who knows, really, hostages? To sell? To humiliate? Slave labor? To brainwash? For experiments?

    But, the last FRENCH MIAs that the NVA/VC had were SOLD back to the French, quietly, on both sides, in the 1970s...over twenty years after the last French troops left Vietnam in 1954...and some of them were still alive! Just this last fact makes me wonder if any of ours in Vietnam may still be alive, especially now that we know many "undocumented" US "MIAs" from Korea were transferred alive to Russia and were never seen again...but were seen alive YEARS after the war ended....

    And what about the 200,000 German troops that surrendered at Stalingrad? Only about 5000 survived the war...and the years of Siberian captivity AFTER the war too....

    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 95
    (4/11/02 7:29:23 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del French POWs of the Indo-China war
    Polish I never heard the story of the French Soldiers held by the Vietnamese until the 70's.

    Of all the personnel to hold after the Persian Gulf War why a Lieutenant Commander? I'm sure he was a skilled and knowledgeable pilot, but what is so special about him(other than to his friends and family, and those of us who care about all our service men)?

    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3377
    (4/12/02 1:00:27 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: French POWs of the Indo-China war
    I've heard that from several sources, can't remember the book, but it was during the time when 'POW/MIA" was still a big thing after the war, before we all "forgot about them..."

    And also I remember an article about it in SOF around that time too...

    NOTHING would surprise me, one of the problems we have is trying to reasonably explain or understand actions of unreasonable people....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"