|Rewind the past searches
August 2012, Father Father did their once a year tour, trying to assist Vietnam vets, in locating their lost relatives.
Armed with 7 cases from Vietnam veterans or their relatives, mostly based in Ho Chi Minh city and Bien Hoa.
Its not easy to locate an lost person after 40 years. The area had changed, people too. Many had moved away, others killed during the was,been arrested or simply cease to exist.
Some areas had been taken over from new people from the north, that for many had an very hostile mentality toward those that was working with the Americans, during the war.
For many of those veterans, time had taken their part of their life, lost memories, bad health and simply aging made it even harder to find an lost child.
We had put up 6 of those cases, with informations on each case, photos and the outcome of the search.
Case: James Raymond Reischl
Name: James Raymond Reischl
Day of birth: 1947
Branch of duty: Airforce
Unit: 1876 Communication Sqt
Time of duty: 07/1969-07/1970
Place of duty: Tan Son Nhut Ab
Occupation: Administrative specialist
Name: Linh Hoa
Year of birth: 1950
Note: They met in october 1969 in a bar in Plantation road,she were working as a waitres
Search story: Jim did hes search already in the area around the old Plantation road, so we had some basic informations about the area and the people living there.
Most people living there now, had moved in after the fall of Saigon. Few wish to help, they came from the north and shared no good feelings toward those that been in touch Americans or had children with them.
Our search didn't give us anymore evidence, in locating Linh Hoa. Below are an old photo of James & Linh Hoa and photos that we took of our search for Linh Hoa.
Case: William "Bill" Wilson
Name: William Robert Wilson
Day of birth: 08.02.1948
Branch of duty: Army
Unit: 221st Photo
Place of duty: Long binh
Time of duty: 04.1970 to 07.1971 and 10.1971 to 05.1972
Name: Lai Thi Nguyen
Day of birth: 1951
Place of birth: Saigon
Name: Lai Nguyen
Day of birth: 11. 11.1971
Note: Father rented a house for the his wife and child in Gia Dinh,last contact was in march 1975.
Search story: Based on updated informations from William, then we were able to reach the area, where he used to live with Lai during the war.
Starting up on the main road, hitting the shops where older people had their daily works. Many questions, showing photos and waiting time gave us the smoking gun. An older women took us to the house building, where William and Lai had their apartment.
The gate to the building was closed down, and noone lived in there. The goverment had confiscated the whole place and the former owners had left, to an unknown destination-
We meet the neigborns across the road from Williams building, and they were happy that William was thinking about them. But they had no idea about what happend to Lai and their daugther.
Conclusion on the search, are that we found the right place, but the mother and child had left just before the fall of Saigon.
We are thankfull for all the help, we got from the local people in the area.
Below are an map, where the house of William are placed and photos from our search in the area.
Case: Bishop Barnes
Name: Bishop Barnes (photo)
Day of birth: 1948
Branch of duty: Airforce
Unit: 377th Transportation Co
Occupation: Repair man
Time of duty: 1969-70
Place of duty: Saigon
Note. He used stay in "Soul Alley" after daily duty.
Note: she used to live across the 3rd Field Hospital. Her Parents lived in Cambodia
Name: Chedo (Soundlike)
Search story: Michelle Barnes send the case, on behalf of her father Bishop Barnes. He used to served close the Tan Son Nhut Ab and used to hang out in the known area "Soul Alley ", with hes Cambodian girlfriend. That area were based close to the 3rd Field hospital
Based on those pieces of info, we went to area where 3rd Field Hospital used to be, today its an Army museum, across that and huge park and besides that an sportsarena.
We knew the search would be an mission impossible. To find an Cambodian women, with just an soundlike name, and child with just an soundlike name and in an area, where the main part of the population used to women from Cambodia, mixed Vietnamese and african women and African American Gi's that hide out from their own military, basically awols.
Our trip took us around the area of the 3rd Field hospital, most people living there now , had been moving in from the north and had so far no interest in what in the past.
Almost giving up, we enter an small street coffee shop and met an older women. She used live in the area and knew the way around.
What she knew, was that many African Americans men used to stay in the area and many of them had children with women in that area. In the end of the war, she assist the US goverment in collect all those children, and flying them to the USA, for adoption.
The conclusion in this case, are that in cases like that, with little or no info of the mother and child and of the area of living, chance of finding the lost person are "0".
Below here, are an old photo of Bishop Barnes, map of the area and photos of our search in the area
Case: Brian Zingsheim
Name: Brian Zingsheim
Day of birth: 1942
Branch of duty: Army
Occupation: Office clerk
Place of duty: Long Binh
Time of duty: 1968
Note: He used to served in Long Binh Camp and met hes girlfriend in the village of Codigo, where she used to live. They had an relationsship, and after he came back to USA, he was told he fathered an child.
Name: Mai Pham
Search story: The area of Codigo didn't really exist in the mindset of Father Founded, before reciving the case from Brian Zingsheim. It was rather an exotic code name.
But an look on the internet showed an different reality. Codigo was an village up to the Saigon river, where the big ships ofloaded their food, arms, trucks and other things related to the US military, it was very close to the Long Binh Camp.
With the basic search done on internet, goole maps and a lot of questions/ answers, we headed for the Codigo village.
Wasn't really an big deal finding Codigo, crossing the big brige over Saigon river and turning left toward the riverside.
End of road !!!! Thats it, we can see the harbour, where the ships still offload, more peacefull means. On the left side was an small village with shops, coffee shops and small houses and on the right side and road with bigger houses on the other side.
As usally we hit the first and best coffee shop, runned by an older women. After som chit chat about life in general, we got to the issue.
Suprise the older women knew about those women, being with the American military men, and she also had photos and info of those women in her scrap book.
By sharing our photo of Mai with hers, we could locate the right person. She was among all those women, from the village, that had been with the Americans.
More and more people turned up and with huge crowd tailing us as we turned inside Codigo village, to find out if Mai still was present in the village.
The older women came with more older people, and they took us to the house, where Mai and Brian used to share the time in.
Soon the whole population of Codigo was turning up and with the continue guide of the older women and her friends, our journey in to the past ended in front of an little house.
An old frail women opened up the door. she saw the photos of Mai and smiled. It was her sister !!!
So I knew we got the right person and we all jumped up and down in happines. The mission impossible, but we made it.
Below here are photos of our search trip.
Case: Harry Setser
Name: Harry Edward Setser
Day of birth: 1946
Branch of duty: Airforce
Occupation: Radio Repair man
Time of duty: 1968-71
Place of duty: Vung Tau Airfield
Name: Mui Sy Vong
Occupation: Bar girl
Note: She used to live in 18 Nguyen Trai Street/Tran Hung Dau st, she had and friend named Yeng. They worked in the "Night bar"
Name: Nha Sy Vong
Search story: We only had little informations and the old photo of Larry and Mui, and the usally google map. We had to find the old bar area, where Mui used to work