A U.S. senator visited a site south of Hanoi on Saturday he said matches a prison camp described in a report of Americans held captive after the Vietnam War.
Sen. Bob Smith, R.-N.H., also visited a prison camp west of Hanoi and met with Vietnamese officials helping in the search for 2,253 U.S. servicemen still unaccounted for in the war.Smith said the trip to Camp Me, about 30 miles south of Hanoi near the town of Phu Ly, was a key part of the trip. A prisoner at the camp in 1981 reported seeing 10 Americans, all wearing rust-colored striped uniforms.
Smith said the prisoner's sketch of the camp showing a nearby river, the number of prison cells, and grid coordinates checked out closely with what he saw himself.
"It all fit," he said. "What we did was increase the credibility of the source."
But at Binh Da, 12 miles west of Hanoi, camp commanders denied any knowledge of Americans held after the war. A prisoner had claimed he saw 70 to 80 Americans there in 1979, Smith said.
Former Marine Robert Garwood, the trip's star witness, stayed behind in a hotel Saturday, citing safety reasons. Garwood was court-martialed in 1979 for collaborating with the enemy.
On Thursday and Friday, Garwood led Smith and his group on trips to three locations where he says he saw American prisoners after the war ended in 1975.