Thirty-four prisoners of war from Vietnam were flown to freedom at Clark Air Base in the Philippines on Monday (5 March).
Thirty-four prisoners of war from Vietnam were flown to freedom at Clark Air Base in the Philippines on Monday (5 March). There were thirty United States prisoners, two Filipinos, and two West Germans, one of them a woman. Fraulein Monika Schwinn had worked as a nurse in a West German Roman Catholic charity mission until her capture near Da Nang in 1969. All thirty-four had been captured by the Viet Cong. During captivity, they had been taken north to Hanoi where on Monday they were handed over to the U.S. Air Force.
The Philippines' President Marcos and his wife Imelda made a special trip to the air base to welcome home the two Filipinos -- civilians who were working for the U.S. Government at the time of capture. They were greeted by their wives and families on return.
The returning U.S. prisoners included Army Captain, Stephen Leopold who acted as spokesman for the group. He thanked the U.S. Government and people for securing their release. Army Warrant Officer, Roy Ziegler, arrived home a widower. During his five years in captivity his wife died....in 970. Another soldier was Staff Sergeant Bill Baird who emerged from the aircraft supported on his crippled legs by crutches.
Two more releases of U.s. servicemen are scheduled. U.S. officials said 274 military personnel were still to be freed, including seven held in Laos.
SYNOPSIS: Prisoners of war from Vietnam were flown of freedom at Clark Air Base in the Philippines on Monday.
The Philippines' President Marcos and his wife, Imelda, made a special trip to the air base to welcome two Filipino civilians who were released with the Americans and two West Germans.
First off the aircraft was Army Captain, Stephen Leopold, unofficial spokesman for the group. He said they were grateful to the United States Government and people for securing their release.
Two more releases of U.S. servicemen are scheduled and officials say 274 military personnel are still in captivity. Medical officers said the former prisoners were in extremely good health.
One of the West German prisoners was a woman....Fraulein Monika Schwinn who had worked as a nurse in a Roman Catholic charity mission until her capture near Da Nang in 1969.
One of the most emotional moments of the prisoners' arrival was when Staff Sergeant Bill Baird emerged on the aircraft ramp supported on his crippled legs by crutches. The crowd applauded him loudly as he struggled down the aircraft steps and into a waiting ambulance. He was captured by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam during a battle in May 1968. The crowd kept up a constant chant of, welcome home, throughout the arrival.
One of the U.S. prisoners, Army Warrant Officer Roy Ziegler, arrived a widower...his wife had died in 1970 during his five years in prison camp.
The two Filipinos were the last to step off the aircraft. They were working for the Voice of America radio relay station in Hue province when they were captured in the 1968 Tot offensive. Both men wept as they were greeted by friends wives and families.