Vietnam is a time in our history that has many mysteries. Why were we there in the first place? Why didn’t we win? But one of the most impending questions is what happened to many of the soldiers who came up missing?
They were listed as dead. But, we try to keep better records than that. We know how many we sent over there and we have a list of their names. If they didn’t come back, someone was tasked with finding out what happened to them.
Of course, sending a guy to a unit in Vietnam was one thing. That was fairly easy to track if he was Killed In Action. But, we had a lot going on in Vietnam. There were highly sensitive operations being carried on by the CIA. That makes record keeping a little difficult when certain personnel are noted as not even being there. Of course, they were.
But, our records don’t show that. And some of our soldiers were caught up in the mess when they came up missing. There was no paper trail. If they weren’t there to being with, how do we keep track of what happened to them? That’s where this story begins.
It Begins With A Missionary On A Mission
Christian Missionary, Tom Faunce had gone to Cambodia to do some good work. He was helping locals dig wells. What he heard in the rumors that were circling the village got his curiosity stirred.
Who Was Living In The Jungle
Tom Fuance had served in the Army himself. So, when he heard about a POW who had been living in the jungle since the Vietnam war, he had to investigate. Did the man not know the war was over? What was the circumstance that kept the POW in the jungle for that long?
He Had To Track The Man Down
It can’t be hard to track a man down in the village of Laos, which is where it was rumored the POW had been living. The village isn’t that big. But, the POW could still be in hiding. His mental capacities could be totally broken down and he might not have any grip on reality that the war had been over for quite a few decades.
It Was One Of Those Sensitive CIA Operations
The soldier Faunce was looking for had been a CIA operative. Very much a soldier in the Army, but he was serving in a task force to search-and-destroy targets in Laos and Cambodia. Then one day, his helicopter was shot down.
He Was Finally Found
Most men ejected from the helicopter. But, Sgt. 1st Class John Hartley Robertson was trapped inside. He was captured by the Vietnamese and tortured in a bamboo cage for a year. It was after that when he was sent to the North Vietnam Army prison.