About this Collection
This database grants access to U.S. government documents related to American military personnel unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. These files provide information on the treatment, location, and condition of U.S. service members missing in action.
Many of the original files have been digitized, although some are only available as microfilmed copies. To access these documents, please contact the Library’s Microform Reading Room.
One report in the most recent set of documents details information from interviews concerning REFNO 1636, regarding a U.S pilot who crashed in northern Cambodia in June 1970 and remains unaccounted for. In the late ’70s, a Cambodian farmer recovered a large bone fragment from aircraft wreckage found in Kratie Province. According to several local sources, the farmer ground bits of the bone into powder to be used for medicinal purposes. He allegedly used the bone for a year, before placing the remainder in a small cloth inside the roof of a cow shed on his property; the remnants were later placed under some debris following the dismantling of the shed. However, multiple excavation efforts failed to locate the bone. For more information, please follow the link to S154-004 061444Z Mar 20_Exact Location Where Cambodian Discard a Bone_REFNO 1636_Redacted
The title of this collection is "Correlated and Uncorrelated Information Relating to Missing Americans in Southeast Asia." It consists of a database of more than 160,000 metadata records designed to assist researchers in searching and accessing original U.S. Government documents pertaining to U.S. unaccounted-for personnel from the Vietnam conflict. The U.S. Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), formerly the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), declassifies these documents and releases them to the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress for metadata tagging and posting them online for public access. The Vietnam War dates from November 1955 through April 30, 1975. The items in this Collection date from this period and, since the search for the unaccounted for is still active, are still updated quarterly.
Title X of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, commonly referred to as the “McCain Bill,” required the Secretary of Defense to make information related to the treatment, location, or condition of U.S. personnel who are unaccounted for from the Vietnam War available to the public in a “library-like location within a facility within the national capital region for public review and photocopying.” A research entity within the Library, the Federal Research Division (FRD), was selected for this task.
The Library has maintained online access to the metadata and most of the original records via this database since 1994. For some of the oldest metadata records, however, online access to the original document may not be available. In order to see the original records not available online, contact the Library of Congress Microform Reading Room at 202-707-4773 to obtain access. Be prepared to provide the Reel number and Page numbers of the document you wish to obtain. The database was last updated on March 16, 2023. It contains 163,736 records with 162,538 records having accompanying PDFs and 1,198 records with no accompanying PDFs.