Mary sends us links to the obituaries of James R. Albertson who told his family wild-ass stories about being a POW in Vietnam. She says that after checking the various POW lists, he doesn’t appear on any of them;
Dad was taken prisoner, and he was beaten so badly prior to arriving at his first camp that he has no recollection of what occurred after the Viet Cong surrounded him. He woke to find that many of the others had urinated on him, and in his open wounds. From there they forced him to do things like play Russian roulette, they shot others as he watched… they pried off his finger nails with bamboo sticks. They put him in the Chinese water torcher [sic] table…. and to describe some of his more difficult collections:
Further along his time as a POW, they placed him and 6 others in a bamboo cage that was submerged in a river. Only about 6 inches of air separated them from the top of the cage. The cage was tall enough that you could not stand on the bottom. Your only choices were to swim or hang on to the bamboo door on top. Their cage was guarded 24/7, and if you started to hang onto the top of the cage they would take the butt of their AK-47s and smash your fingers until you let go. Dad said one of them had a finger cut off because he was too weak to let go, and the soldier’s constant beating on his hand caused his finger to be amputated. Then after the first few guys died (which they did not remove bodies from the cage) the mice started showing up and taking bites at those dead and undead in the cage. Dad was the only one to make it out alive. He was able to use some of the dead to help stand so he didn’t have to tread water. They were in that cage for about 2 weeks he said. Their feeding time consisted of rice being thrown into the water for them.
Sounds to me like he watched too many Vietnam movies. A cursory search for those five Purple Hearts he claims he had turned up nothing, not that it means anything since databases aren’t complete, but, you’d think with five of them, one would show up;
So that throws his two Bronze Star Medals “for bravery” into question, too.
Of course, his son says that POW Network calling out his father is because his missions in Vietnam were all classified. Ho-hum. What could possibly be classified about being a POW? The enemy had him, they knew they had him, so how would it be a secret?