POW Hrdlicka’s Story


On May 18, 1965 Col. David L. Hrdlicka was an Air Force pilot flying an F-105 jet aircraft as lead pilot on a mission over northern Laos. His jet was hit by ground fire and David was forced to eject, parachuting into a valley near a village. As his parachute deployed, his wingman watched him descend and saw him captured as he landed. Native villagers gathered up his parachute and led him away captive. He was taken to the Pathet Lao headquarters at Sam Neua. A short while later, a reserve helicopter pilot landed in a neighboring village and learned that David had been turned over to Pathet Lao soldiers. David’s capture in Laos was published in a North Vietnamese newspaper, “Quan Doi Nahn Dan”. Then a Vietnamese broadcast the contents of a letter claimed to be written by David and the broadcast was transmitted by Radio Peking as well. Pravda, a Russian newspaper, published a photograph of David. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) included this report in its agency’s “Post-Capture Photograph” album positively identifying Hrdlicka as the captured pilot. Ivan Shchedrov, correspondent for the Pravda newspaper, interviewed David on several occasions in captivity. David was present at a dedication ceremony in 1969 of a cavern, which was an underground city called Hotel “Friendship” near Sam Neua, where he was seen by two Russian correspondents. David has been well documented alive and in captivity. There has been no credible evidence that David has died which the government agencies admit to the fact they have no evidence that David died. There have been live sighting reports on David in the 1990s.

In 1996 Attorney Arnold Beizer, President of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. made a trip to Jerusalem Israel on my behalf to interview another former Russian correspondent, Ivan Loboda, who had been present at a dedication ceremony held in 1969 in the caves at Sam Neua. The US Government had made no attempts over the years to interview Mr. Loboda or Ivan Shchedrov. It became evident the US Government was not doing the investigation on David’s case.
There has been a voluminous amount of credible evidence such as, live sighting reports, intelligence reports, satellite imagery, and testimony by General Eugene Tighe over the years proving that live American servicemen survived in captivity after the war. However, the US Government has chosen to ignore all the evidence and bury the truth. John McCain has sat on committee’s over the years that have had evidence presented concerning live men and as a committee member was able to question individuals like General Eugene Tighe, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, as to why they believe men were alive after the war. Gen. Tighe stated, because of the amount of intelligence concerning live servicemen coming across his desk.

In 1992 during the Senate Select Committee Hearings on POW/MIAs, Senator John Kerry Chairman of the Committee and Senator John McCain, a committee member, did everything to keep the truth from coming out and ignored the evidence. Three former Secretaries of Defense testified that men had been left behind but Kerry and McCain chose to turn the blind eye to that testimony and much more.
The US Government, John McCain, and John Kerry have been obstructionists keeping the evidence and the truth from the American public and the families for years. If there is nothing to hide then declassify all the POW documents and let the American public make up their own minds as to the real truth.