Col. Ted W. Guy, 4-18-29 to 4-23-99
SRO at the Plantation was Air Force Lt. Col. Ted Guy. The combative Guy had been downed in Laos on March 22, 1968. He was captured after shooting it out with some North Vietnamese soldiers, killing at least two of them. After capture he had been subjected to all the tortures which by this time the Vietnamese were routinely inflicting on their American prisoners. He had spent the next thirty-seven months in solitary confinementfirst at the Plantation, then in Vegas, on to D-1, and back to the Plantation on November 25, 1970. He remained isolated, but was now in a cell from which he was able to at least see other Americans. He did not always like what he saw. Among the fifty-odd prisoners were some of the most disgustingly obsequious Americans in Guy's knowledge, men who could not seem to snap to attention fast enough when a Vietnamese approached, who bowed and scraped to their captors in the most servile fashion.
The feisty Guy was sickened at this and, in his isolation, frustrated at being unable to provide the kind of leadership that might get it stopped.
The men with whom Guy was primarily concerned were a small group who were showered with all sorts of favors and special treatment by the enemy. They were free from early morning until late at night to do much as they pleased in their corner of the yard. They visited at will with one another, played basketball, exercised in other ways, seemed free to bathe whenever they wished, and sunned themselves, eventually acquiring nice suntans. While the quantity and quality of the food most of the prisoners now were receiving was much improved over what they had been getting at D-l, it was poor fare compared to what these eight were to receive as time passed: thermos jugs full of steaming coffee, sugar, and condensed milk; ample supplies of eggs, beef, pork, and fish; cigarettes, fruit, candy, and, occasionally, beer. These men gladly accepted this preferred treatment. Guy would later identify them as Robert Chenoweth, Alfonso Riate, Michael Branch, John A. Young, and Abel Larry Kavanaugh.
In April, 1971, Guy got his first cellmate, Army Maj. Artice W. Elliott, a Green Beret officer who had been captured at Pleiku on April 25, 1970. Elliott had also observed these men and had come to the same conclusion as Guy. Other prisoners watched, too, and now referred to the five as the Ducks, for the way they would scamper to and follow Vietnamese bearing goodies.
During the first half of 1970 at the Plantation, it seemed to Ted Guy that prisoners were on the camp radio all the time, propagandizing for the enemy. Most spoke in strained voices and used Communist jargonit was clear they had not written the stuff and were speaking under duress. But the propaganda material issuing from the Ducks was far from halfhearted. It was also heard over Hanoi's "Voice of Vietnam" and the Viet Cong's clandestine "Liberation Radio." Typical was a May 14, 1971, memo signed by "Michael P. Branch, deserter," which was broadcast to American GIs in South Vietnam. The memo advised, "I've joined with a group of captured servicemen who are against the war in Vietnam." This group, said the memo, sought to "put pressure on Mr. Nixon to end the war immediately." The way to do this, the memo advised GIs, was
"Together with a squad, platoon or company, refuse combat or just botch up all your operations." The memo also urged GIs to desert and told them to "get in touch with the local people who will notify the Viet Cong. They will get you to a liberated area and then they will help you to go to any country of your choosing." The memo gave assurances that no harm would befall any who opted for this course of action, explaining, "I know this for a fact, for I chose this way of getting out of the war three years ago...." The memo did not explain how it was that "Michael P. Branch, deserter" had, oddly enough, chosen to go to jail in North Vietnam. ~-~
The five delivered many such offerings over the camp radio. In
postrelease interview John Young claimed credit for "only thirtythree," explaining that Cheese vetoed "quite a few" he thought to be "too strong." Among the Young creations Cheese apparently did not judge "too strong" was one that flabbergasted most of the Americans who heard it. In this one, delivered in late June, 1971, Young confided that "Sergeant First Class Brande at Langvei Special Forces camp told me that he was probably the only man to kill fifteen VC with fifteen rounds from his M- 16 rifle. These men all had their hands tied behind them and were on their knees."
No one was more surprised at this revelation than Brande. Brande hotly denies that he ever did any such thing. He says he did not know Young prior to capture, that he had never served with him prior to Langvei, that he spoke to him only once at Langvei, briefly and casually, and that he certainly never confessed to Young that he had committed a cold-blooded, multiple murder.
Young insists Brande admitted the murders to him back in Portholes, the jungle camp. He claims that the information had "upset" him, that he had remonstrated angrily with Brande, but that all he had received in return "was a smile." Young says his prison camp confession on Brande's behalf was made "not in an attempt to discredit him, but to bring it out that Americans are doing it. . . as a man, I don't think it's in him, but he was taught and forced to do stuff like that. . . just like me."
Most of the Americans who heard Young's allegations thought that, regardless of Brande's guilt or innocence, it was inappropriate that such charges be broadcast in the middle of an enemy prison camp.
Brande himself was so fearful for his life that he thought it imperative to escape. He figured he might as well die while trying to save himself as to simply wait for the enemy to execute him.
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 10:42:08 EDT
Subject: POW Col Theodore S Guy
I understand that you are the President of the National POW/MIA
organization, so am hoping that you can help me. I learned of you
via a message that was sent to clarify the "behavior" of Jane Fonda
In that message was the most distressing news that Ted Guy is
now deceased. For years I have wanted to contact him to tell him
how proud I was to have had the chance to know him and serve in the
same Air Force with him.
I knew the colonel when he was a LtCol, and then was with him
only briefly. You see, we were partners on the trek through survival
school at Fairchild AFB in April of 67. He was commander of our,
as I remember, 10 or 12-man element. During our stay together in
the field, I fell ill and was unable to keep any food down. Even
aspirin wouldn't stay in me. Col Guy took me as his special
"project" and made himself my partner when it came time to be
raided by the "enemy" and we broke into two-man teams. I can
only remember two days of thinking over and over and over again
that "I can make it to that next tree". Col Guy was so supportive.
He stayed with me all the while. At one point he asked if I wanted
to turn myself in at the hospital tent, to which I responded "Hell, no,
colonel. I made it this far, I'm going on". "He responded "Good for you.
Let's go." He never lost patience, so when he came back from Viet Nam
and pushed for bringing some POWs to trial, I could only think that they
must have done something truly out of line for him to have lost patience
For many months now I've had a letter to him sitting on my desk, but I
couldn't bring myself to send it. (I learned through the Afterburner, the
newsletter for retirees, that DP would forward letters from retirees to other
retirees.) However, after what he'd been through, my AF experience
seemed embarrassingly lacking in sacrifice. My letter seemed almost
too casual and cheery as I recounted the years since we'd been in survival
school together. I wanted him to know what a positive influence he'd been on
me, and that the sickly "kid" he'd nurtured through that school had turned
(I was an A2C when I met LtCol Guy and was just finishing two years of
schooling in preparation for what turned out to be a career as a russian
linguist, flying recce of the
Soviet Union - therefore my "visit" to Fairchild. I retired in '86 as a
CMSgt with 21 years of service.) My Viet Nam experience consisted solely of
56 hours flying aboard an RC-135 in the Gulf of Tonkin supporting the B-52s
during Linebacker II.
What made it difficult to attempt to correspond with Col Guy was that my
own brother, Richard "Rick" Hentz, is a POW/MIA whose status is officially
listed as KIA. Rick was an army vietnamese linguist flying recce on an U-21,
when the plane was hit by a SAM on Mar 4, 1971. I still can't think of the
sacrifices of men like Rick and Col Guy without tears, so I buried those
thoughts for many years. Now I am saddened to learn that I've waited too
long to tell Col Guy how much I admired, respected, and appreciated him.
Please forgive the long-winded story. I'll now get to the bottom line. If
possible, I'm hoping you will at least be able to tell me where Col Guy is
at rest, so that I may pay my respects.
I'm glad you can't see me now. A Chief is not supposed to cry.
Thank you in advance for whatever help you can offer.
1113 Parkside Ct
Neenah WI 54956-3657
eMail Ron Hentz
Steve Long - NAMPOW net, writes:
Sadly Col Ted Guy has flown his last mission. A strong, compassionate
patriot has left our ranks. Never one to say anything but what he believed
in, he will long be remembered for taking stances with no compromises. He
was a fiery competitor who was an inspiration to those served with him.
The Lulus were expelled from Hanoi after the songfest at Camp Unity in '71.
We returned from Camp Briar Patch to Hanoi five months later and were
interned in The Plantation. Sequestered incognito in the Corncrib next to
Col Guy, we quickly established comm with him and learned of the less than
favorable circumstances that existed at the Plantation. At that time, the
Plantation was inhabited by the unfortunate POWs who were captured in the
south and eventually marched north. Unfortunately, there existed a group of
12 enlisted POWs named the Dirty Dozen who had fallen victim to the camp
propaganda and were not resisting the NVA attempts to exploit them. In fact,
we quickly learned that attempts to communicate with the Dirty Dozen were
dangerous. Former platoon mates of some Dirty Dozen members had suffered
greatly because of stories the Dirty Dozen had related to the V. Our
presence aided Col Guy's ability to communicate with others in the camp and
he immediately grasped the opportunity to provide the leadership and guidance
for resistance at the Plantation under these difficult circumstances.
Because of his position as SRO in the Plantation, the V set him up to take
the rap for a phony note "found" by the V in Feb of 72. While the US press
was claiming improved conditions for the POWs, Col Guy took a vicious beating
for seven days in the Big House at the Plantation. Half dragged by the V
back to the Corncrib, the crippled Col Guy immediately responded to our taps
after we had cleared the area. Setting aside our condolences, he quickly
directed us to resume our communication with rest of the camp and to double
the camp's resistance to the V's propaganda. No compromise.
His leadership was a cornerstone of morale of those of us were fortunate
enough to have served with him.
His personal battles were not over when we returned. Guided by his beliefs
and principles, Col Guy never abandoned his promises he had made to his
Plantations subordinates that his would pursue justice and self-obligations.
Outspoken and firm, he never forgot the real sacrifices were made by those
who never came home.
On a personal note, I have often said at gatherings that one reason I chose
to continue my career in the military after a disappointing first assignment
was because of the leadership and role models that I had in prison. Col Guy
was one of the best.
A Tribute to Former Vietnam War POW Ted Guy
by U.S. Senator Bob Smith
April 29, 1999
In the Senate of the United States
TED GUY, AN AMERICAN HERO
MR. SMITH of New Hampshire: Mr. President, I rise today to pay
tribute to Retired Colonel Theodore Wilson Guy, United States Air
Force, from Missouri. Ted Guy, nicknamed "The Hawk" by those who
knew him best, was a genuine American hero. He was best known for
having sacrificed his freedom for his country as a U.S. POW during the
Vietnam War, but aside from being a hero, he was also a husband,
father, brother, and a friend to many, including myself. Last Friday,
April 23, 1999, he passed away only six-months after discovering
symptoms associated with Leukemia.
I will always remember Ted Guy for the encouraging faxes and e-mails
he used to send to my office, especially during the investigation
conducted by the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs which I
co-chaired in the early 1990s. I gained strength from the inspiring
messages of this true American hero. Ted felt very strongly that our
Government needed to do more to account for his missing comrades from
the Vietnam War, and he traveled at his own expense to Washington D.C.
to the halls of Congress to make his point.
Ted was right to be concerned about our Government's handling of the
POW/MIA issue. And with his support, and the support of his fellow
veterans and family members of POWs and MIAs, we've made significant
progress in opening the books, declassifying records, and pressing
foreign governments for answers over the last decade. However, as Ted
continued to maintain up until his last days with us, there is still
much work to do with our accounting effort, and I, for one, am
committed to seeing this issue through, in part, because of people
Let me say to the youth of America, if you want role models to aspire
to, they just don't come any better than men like Ted Guy.
Ted joined the Air Force in 1947 and served his country as an Air
Force fighter jock for the next 26 years. He served in both the
Korean and Vietnam wars, flying the F-84 in the Korean theater of
operations, and the F-4 in the Vietnam theater. On March 22, 1968,
while attacking an automatic weapons position near the
Vietnamese/Laotian border during the battle of Khe Sanh, Ted's plane
was shot down, and he was captured by communist forces.
Ted was subsequently marched up the Ho Chi Minh trail, and then held
in several POW camps in the Hanoi area, to include the infamous Hanoi
Hilton. He was brutally tortured by the North Vietnamese, to the
point where he would pass out from severe beatings. He was also
forced to spend nearly four years in solitary confinement.
When he was finally removed from solitary confinement, he was put in a
prison with more than a hundred other U.S. military and civilian
prisoners. He became the senior officer among them and was
responsible for maintaining order, chain of command, and the code of
conduct among his fellow POWs.
His leadership and guidance helped his fellow POWs survive their
ordeal. Many of them referred to themselves as "Hawk's Heroes" in
honor of Ted Guy.
To the code of conduct, Ted added his own personal code that consisted
of two points. The first point was to resist until unable to resist
any longer before doing anything to embarrass his family or country.
The second point was to accept death before losing his honor.
Ted once said "honor is something that once you lose it you become
like an insect in the jungle. You prey upon others and others prey
upon you until there is nothing left. Once you lose your honor, all
the gold in the world is useless in your attempt to regain it."
Mr. President, Ted never, never lost his honor. What an inspiration he
was to all Americans.
He leaves behind his wife Linda of 26 years, his four sons and two
step daughters. He has touched so many more people, however, with his
unselfish and patriotic sacrifices for America and his heartfelt
concerns about efforts to account for his missing comrades from the
Vietnam War who never made it home. I was proud to call him a friend,
and I will miss him.
As with other POWs, Ted used a tap code in Hanoi to communicate
through the walls with other POWs. It was an alphabet matrix, five
lines across, five lines down. Ted used to end his messages by
tapping the code GBU for "God bless you," and CUL for "see you later."
Today, I'd like to end my tribute with the same message to Ted, "GBU,
Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that tributes to Ted Guy from
his son, his POW/MIA supporters, and his dear friend and fellow POW,
Swede Larson, be entered in the record immediately following my
remarks, along with the obituary carried in his local paper.
Thank you, Mr. President.
A TRIBUTE TO TED GUY, SR. FROM HIS SON, TED GUY, JR.
On Friday, April 23rd, my dad passed away. Col. Ted Guy was a man of
tremendous conviction, determination and patriotism. As his son, I
would like to share with you a picture of my Dad you might not have
been aware of. Please read this as a tribute from a son to his Dad.
It was a little over six months ago that Linda alerted me to the fact
that Dad was not feeling well and he would be undergoing some tests.
The test showed the seriousness of Dad's illness. I knew Dad would do
everything he could to fight the cancer, as his five year experience
in POW camp had provided a glimpse of his determination. However, my
concern became that he would finish well. To finish well would be to
be right with God. To be right with God would be to understand and
accept God's word, the Bible. To accept God's word would be to
receive Jesus Christ as one's savior.
When I visited with Dad shortly after Christmas, I gave him a copy of
the book "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. On the cover of the book I
had written, "Dad, I desire more than anything in life that you would
spend eternity with me in heaven. I ask you to read this book with an
open mind as it is written by a 'wanna be' fighter jock, C.S. Lewis."
Prior to giving this book to Dad, we had had discussions about Jesus
Christ, but Dad felt he was pretty much a self made man and could make
it on his own. But when your Dad is dying, you tend to again go the
extra mile as my greatest concern was where would he spend eternity.
I am so pleased to report that Dad read the book. As he was fighting
the cancer, his loving wife, Linda, would read from "Mere
Christianity" to Dad every night before he went to bed. In addition,
I gave Dad an audio cassette about the "proof of Christ." About two
months ago, Dad called me and said he had listened to the tape and "it
made a lot of sense." He also told me not to worry as he and God were
going to be O.K.
Throughout these past four months, I have had the great privilege of
seeing Dad do everything he could to beat the cancer. I believe he
received outstanding care. I also believe the love and care shown Dad
by Linda in helping him fight the cancer is a real example of loving
and serving at its very best.
I have also seen Dad's heart towards God change. This change was
reflected not only in what he said to people about the things of God,
but this change was also reflected in the warmth and love he expressed
to so many in his last days. He understood the love of Christ and the
beauty of Christ's gift on the cross. But more than understanding, he
accepted the gift of God through his Son Jesus Christ.
My wife, Rita, and my sons, David and Jeremy, will miss Dad. David
and Jeremy will miss fishing with Granddad as well as being the only
two people on the planet that could humble him. (A 4 and 5 year old
have that amazing ability.) We are so proud of the great American he
was, the lives he touched and the causes he fought. His legacy of
patriotism and determination will live on, we promise.
While we are proud, we are also very thankful. We are thankful Dad
received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Perhaps, the Lord has placed
dad in a place of great need in having cancer. A place where dad
could completely understand his need for Jesus Christ. If I could say
one thing to my dad, it would be:
"Dad, you served, you fought, but most of all, you finished well. I
am proud to be Ted Guy, Jr." Knowing my Dad, he would have wanted you
to know he died with peace in his heart. He knew he was loved and
cared for; but more than anything, he would want you to know he knew
the love of God.
POW-MIA INTERNETWORK TRIBUTE TO TED GUY
Re: Colonel Ted 'Hawk' Guy Passes
Date: April 25, 1999
From the flight lines of Korea and Vietnam, to a cell in the Hanoi
Hilton, to the hallowed halls of Congress... Ted Guy never failed to
speak his mind, do his job and command respect, awe and admiration
from all who crossed his path.
And now he has passed on to a final freedom and peace.
After duty in Korea and stateside, he was transferred to Vietnam where
he bailed out over Laos after one of his bombs prematurely exploded
and was captured by the North Vietnamese. From the jungles of Laos,
Ted was marched to Hanoi, repeatedly exposed along the way to Agent
Orange. Upon reaching the Hanoi Hilton, he spent 3 years in solitary
confinement and upon release to the general population, assumed his
role as Senior POW Officer (SRO).
He was badly beaten, tortured and as a result of extreme mistreatment
during captivity, he was retired shortly after his release during
Ted rallied family members, activists and Ex-POWs the same way he
rallied his men... With compassion, strength and passion. He openly
spoke of his confinement, the politics of POWs and was a resounding
voice of reason in an unreasonable issue and world.
The continued saturation of Agent Orange took its final toll... Ted
was diagnosed with Leukemia as a result of AO exposure and within a
scant 6 months, passed from this world.
There are no words to express how much he is respected and how much he
will be missed. His voice may have been silenced, but his message will
In closing he always signed his letters and emails to us with the POW
tap code, GBU and CUL, and we were and we did... and we will, one day.
May your flight be swift and the winds carry you high Ted
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF POW/MIA FAMILIES TRIBUTE TO TED GUY
It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing, on April
23rd, 1999 of Korean and Vietnam War Vet and former Vietnam Prisoner
of War -Col. Ted Guy. For those unaware, Col. Guy was with us, from
the very beginning of the Alliance. He spoke at our first forum back
in July 1990. When our website started (www.nationalalliance.org), he
agreed to write the forward for our Vietnam Pages.
Col. Guy was a strong supporter of the Live POW issue. He was never
afraid to speak his mind and he stood by his convictions.
All of us in the POW/MIA issue will miss him. We have lost a dear
friend and our POW's have lost a strong advocate.
A MESSAGE FROM COL "SWEDE" LARSON, FORMER POW -HANOI VIETNAM
It is with deep regret, that I inform you of the death of Col. Ted
Guy. He passed away today, 23 April 1999, from complications
associated with Leukemia. He only lived 6 months from the time of his
first symptoms. He is survived by his wife Linda, two step daughters,
four son's, and a brother.
Since most of you did not know Ted, and a few misunderstood him, I am
going to ask your indulgence, and tell you a little about him, since I
was his very close friend for 44 years.
We first met at Luke Air Force base in 1955 as young Captains
instructing fighter gunnery. He had previously completed a combat tour
in Korea, flying F-84's. He and I had three things in common. We both
loved to fly, party, and fish. Over the years we stayed in close
touch, and after his retirement, we fished together many times.
He was assigned to South Vietnam in F-4's while I was in Thailand
flying out-country missions, in F-105's. When he showed up in Hanoi, I
couldn't fathom how he had gotten there. After we were released, I
learned that he was shot down during the battle at Khe Sanh, bailed
out and captured in Laos by the North Vietnamese (they were never in
Laos! -yah, right!). On the second day of his capture while he was
starting his walk to Hanoi, he was heavily sprayed with Agent Orange.
In the ensuing days, he walked through many areas that had been
As he was captured in Laos, he was kept away from the rest of us and
spent his first 3 years in solitary confinement. He was then put in
with the 100 plus, Army and civilian prisoners and was the Senior
Officer. He had his hands full with a group of very young,
non-motivated and rebellious enlisted men. Unlike our group, (after
the death of HO), he was badly treated by his captors, almost up to
our release. He was badly beaten during this time for acting as SRO
and on one occasion, suffered severe head injuries, which several
years later resulted in his being medically discharged from the
service. He had been on the "fast track" prior to shoot down, and had
been promoted to Lt. Col. below the zone. To my knowledge, he was the
only POW promoted (to 06) below the zone while a POW. Those
concussions he suffered forced his early retirement.
He was not an active member of our group, primarily because he did not
know or serve with any of us in Hanoi. He also felt that even though
our group elected to be non-political, we should have made an
exception and taken a prominent stand as a potential powerful lobby
group, to demand a full accounting of the MIA's. He was an individual
of deep loyalties, and a boundless love of his country and flag. He
stood up tall against those he felt were in the wrong.
His medical specialists felt that his Leukemia was a direct result of
his repeated heavy exposures to Agent Orange. The Veterans
Administration however, in their infinite wisdom felt otherwise, and
denied his emergency claim for Agent Orange disabilities. (Hence no
DIC for his wife).
He ended up loosing a promising military career and suffered an early
end to his life, in his service to his country. I shall truly miss
him. Thanks for your indulgence.
OBITUARY FOR TED GUY
Theodore Wilson Guy, 70, of Sunrise Beach, Missouri, died April 23,
1999, at St. Marys Health Center.
He was born April 18, 1929, in Chicago, a son of Theopholus W. and
Edwina LaMonte Guy.
He was married October 18, 1973, to Linda Bergquist, who survives at
A 1949 graduate of Kemper Military College, he served as a pilot in
the Air Force until his retirement in 1973 as a colonel. A veteran of
the Korean and Vietnam wars, he received a Silver Star, the
Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air
Medal and a Purple Heart. He was a POW for five years in Laos and
After his retirement from the Air Force, he became National Adjutant
for the Order of Daedalians.
In 1977, he became associated with TRW, assigned to Iran as Senior
Tactical Adviser to the Commander, Iranian Tactical Air Command.
He was a member of St. George Episcopal Church, Camdenton.
Other survivors include: two sons, Ted Guy Jr. and Michael Guy, both
of Phoenix; two stepdaughters, Elizabeth Thannum, Los Angeles, and
Katherine Roth, Chicago; one brother, Donald Guy, state of Alabama;
and three grandsons.
Services will be at 3 p.m. Friday at St. George Episcopal Church. The
Rev. Tim Coppinger will officiate. The remains were cremated.
Inurnment, with military honors, will be at a later date in Arlington
National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
Memorials are suggested to the Leukemia Society of America.
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