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Our leaders purposely left around 150 Americans behind. In all probability they were hidden away in the large limestone cave systems in Laos. This is the position of the League of POW/MIA Families. If you just do the ratio analysis based on how many American Aircraft were shot down over North Vietnam, and how many POWs those shoot downs produced. Then the number 150 POWs for Laos, appears pretty valid based on losing around 350 aircraft over Laos and 1,000 in North Vietnam. Plus there were POWs captured in South Vietnam, and brought back over the border, MACVSOG operators captured on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and CIA air and ground operations guys captured in Laos. Early in the war most POWs were taken back to North Vietnam, but later this didn’t happen.
The overwhelming American political imperative was, to just get to hell out of Vietnam as quickly as possible. I imagine, Nixon thought he could get them out later, but “Watergate” made sure later never came for Nixon or the POWs.
The North Vietnamese probably looked on them as a little insurance policy, and when the need for insurance ( for what ever purpose ) ran out. Well these POWs, then became a potential embarrassment and liability. They were simply disposed of out in the vast jungle of Eastern Laos. May god rest their souls.
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