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Wrong Nguyen Van Tuoi?

Nguyen Van Tuoi

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During subsequent interviews with Tuoi, attempts will be made to resolve those areas still in questions In this interview Mr. Tuoi revealed a long standing relationship with McKinley Nolan and provided a rather extensive insight into the handling of prisoners and-the recovery of U.S. remains by COSVN prior to and following the fall of South Vietnam.The Bureau of Enemy Propaganda (Cue Dich Van),to which Tuoi was assigned since the location of responsibility for U.S. prisoners of war and more recently the location of.U.S. remains.Currently heading this bureau in Hanoi is Colonel Vo Van Thoi, a 58-year old native of Kien Boa, with whom Tuoi has been in frequent contact over the years.3. Tuoi recounted his most recent meeting with Colonel Vo Van Thoi in early 1979 at Saigon.As an aside, Tuoi mentioned that all remains recovered in the north were air-related casualties that occurred in the north.None were from the south.Colonel Thoi was still recovering from injuries suffered in an auto accident in late 1978 and is now living with his family in Saigon at 114B Hong Thap Tu Street (now called So Viet Nghe Tinh St.),.Tuoi feels that Colonel Thoi will soon retire and his deputy Le Dien will assume the Bureau Chief duties. 4. Tuoi himself had gone north in l954 (he would have been l7 at the time).He was assigned to the Bureau of Enemy Propaganda in 1961 and sent south in 1965 to take a post with that agency in COSVN.While there he worked with about 19 American POWs.The one he recalls most vividly was Doug Ramsey, a civilian, who Tuoi thought was the ranking member of the group.One other was a captain but Tuoi could not recall his name.Tuoi was present at two POW returns in the south.One took place in 1969 when three American POWs were turned over. (One of the three was a Negro soldier who had been badly injured in the back of his head.) In 1973 Tuoi also represented COSVN when the rest of the U.S. prisoners in the south were released.Tuoi stated firmly in this interview that all American POWs held in the south were turned over at that time that there was no possibility that some had been withheld in the south without his knowledge.He said that he was at the level where such decisions were known.He did say, however, that orders previously received from Hanoi telling them to recover and turn over U.S. remains during this same turnover were rescinded at the 11th hour with no explanation.Later he was told this was due to Paris Accord ceasefire violations by the U.S.Tuoi learned later, however, that the provinces in the south proved incapable or unwilling to carry out this order and it was recinded to avoid embarrassment.Tuoi repeatedly stated that many U.S. gravesites in Tay Ninh were destroyed beyond hope by B-52 bombing of the graveyards.Largely represented in these graveyards were casualties of the U.S. First Infantry Division.When asked again if ha wee absolutely certain that all U.S. prisoners of war in the south had been returned in 1973 and none captured subsequent to 1073 were still being dug held, Tuoi said he guaranteed that all prisoners of war had been returned from the south.He stated that he had no knowledge of any still being held in the north but could not rule that out because it was outside hisarea of responsibility.He was reluctant to give an opinion on whether or not there were still prisoners in the north, but finally said that it would be inconsistent with orders issued by Hanoi at that time. 5. Asked about American deserters, Tuoi recounted the case of a black American who deserted from the U.S. First Infantry Division in Tay Ninh during 1968.His half-Cambodian girlfriend, later his wife, had been instrumental in causing hls desertion.Tuoi said the soldler'a name was "Kinley Nolan" (later he pronounced it "McKinley"), and he had been used by Tuoi's outfit in the preparation of propaganda leaflets containing Nolan's picture and a letter over Nolan's signature.Tuoi said Nolan stayed in the area camps TB-21 and TB-22 [corrected-handwritten B-20 TB20] in the Katum area of Tay Ninh for the first few years after he rallied.Although Nolan was used in propaganda efforts to proselytize American soldiers to the communist side, Tuoi said he did not bear arms or participate in operations against American units.Nolan's primary activity was to raise pigs, chickens, and vegetables,all of which he did very well, according to Tuoi.He was also respected for his strength and boxing ability.Tuoi said that Nolan and Ramsey had seen each other in these two camps but never spoke to each other.During the offensive against COSVN in 1970, Tuoi and his unit evacuated into Cambodia, along with the entire headquarters, until the withdrawal of the American and GVN troops.Tuoi and others did assist Nolan by delivering letters from him to the U.N. in Hanoi and the "Sihanouk Commission", but no result was forthcoming from these efforts, according to Tuoi.Tuoi and others did assist Nolan by delivering letters from him to the U.N. in Hanoi and the "Sihanouk Commission", but no result was forthcoming from these efforts, according to Tuoi.6. In answer to questions about American gravesites, Tuoi told several stories.The first was of an incident in October 1968 when a U.S. Special Forces soldier with light brown skin led a group of helicopter-inserted ARVN in a sneak attack on his unit.An ambush using claymores had been set up on the approach route and a security force laid in wait.The American and seven ARVN Rangers were killed.All bodies were deposited in a B-52 bomb crater and covered with dirt.This attack occurred on the border at approximate coordinates XT4591, and followed a B-52 strike which had killed over 20 men in Tuoit's unit.Tuoi recalled that the American was wearing a good military watch with chrome setting and black face. 7. Another incident he recalled happened in that same area in August of 1968.A helicopter which had apparently been hit elsewhere and was maneuvering wildly crashed and burned near Tuoi's position.One pilot in flight clothes and helmet had managed to get out, or was thrown out of the aircraft, but died of burns before Tuoi reached him.Any other crew members were either burned to ashes or had fallen from the aircraft elsewhere.This occurred at about noon but Tuoi could not pinpoint the date.This pilot was caucasian of average height.Severe burns made other identifying description impossible.Tuoi said this pilot was properly buried and that the grave was marked, but subsequent B-52 strikes destroyed this and all other graves in the area. 8. Tuoi expressed the hope that his name would not appear on any reports shared with the communist government, fearing reprisals to his relatives.He is asking for political asylum in the United States since his communist Reference: 179-025 FROM: JCRC-LNE 27 December 1979 SUBJ: Refugee Report, Comments From Former Viet Cong Major TO: Commander, JCRC Barbers Point, HI 96862 1. Mr. Nguyen Van Tuoi (Boss #TG212C, Barracks 13), a 41 year old native of Tay Ninh, was interviewed at Pulau Galang, Indonesia, on 16 December 1979.Mr. Tuoi was a former Viet Cong Major, having worked for the VC for 25 years.For about 20 years he had been partially responsible for "POW affairs and propaganda".Tuoi had been a VC Captain from July 1972 to June 1976, then a Major in the Security Police until January 1977. Tuoi could not report on the former or new locations of the prisoners, or on the number of prisoners involved.He speculated that the prisoners may have been taken to Kontum, Pleiku, or Darlac, regions which Hanoi thinks are "safe".Tuoi also said that Colonel Thoi indicated that these prisoners were high-ranking, or were related to various American VIPs.Specifically mentioned was a relative of Averell Harriman. (Tuoi reported he had heard of an alleged conversation between Mr. Xuan Thuy and Mr. Harriman some years ago in Paris.Again, Tuoi did not know how many remains or where they were being kept.Tuoi said it was his understanding that these remains had been accumulated by the Vietnam Red Cross and that they had been gathered only from the area of North Vietnam. 3. Tuoi stated that he knew that after the agreements made in Paris in 1973, no remains had been repatriated from the south.He also knew there were many Americans killed in the south and that these remains were left in the villages where they had been originally buried.Tuoi himself knew the location of the graves of three Americans burled near Katum in northern Tay Ninh Province where he lived during much of the war with the Americans.These graves were of three Americans, two white and one black, who had led an attack into his area after a B-52 strike some years ago.Tuoi said that if he had access t

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