Philip B Terrill
SYNOPSIS: SP 4 Philip Terrill (promoted after captured), a rifleman from Headquarters Battery, 1st BN 92nd Artillery and SFC James Salley JR. an advisor from Advance Team 22. MACV, were part of an integrated observation system team and were taken captive together on 31 March 1971 after Fire Support Base 6 on hill 1336 was overrun by elements of the 66th NVA Regiment. The support base, including an ARVN camp, was located in Kontum Province. Liberation Radio and Hanoi Radio broadcasts in early April 1971 and a Quan Doi Nhan Dan article appearing in July 1972 referred to this battle and the capture of the American Advisors. In 1973, 591 Americans were released, but Terrill and Salley were not among them. SGT. David F. Allwine, who was released, stated that he had been held with SFC Salley in captivity when Salley died on July 15, 1971. He said, he had helped to bury SFC Salley in Laos. The loss site and the location of the POW camp in the tri-border area (Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam). According to Allwine, Salley told him that SP4 Terrill had been seriously wounded and had died on the trail only four days after his capture (4 April 1971).
Authors Note: When 591 Americans prisoners were released in 1973, Terrill was not among them. SFC Sally's death was officially acknowledged in January 1973 by the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) of South Vietnam, with his day of death as August 15, 1971. The PRG, however, never acknowledged SP4 Terrill's death, nor has Vietnam returned either of the men's bodies. There is no question that the Vietnamese have knowledge of Terrill, by any standard, Terrill and Salley are POW's until either they or their bodies are returned home. More tragically, thousands of reports have been received convincing many authorities that scores of Americans remain alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.
Bright light Report June 17, 1995
In our possession is a bright light report. It is of interest that the date of the report is redacted, no doubt to protect National Security. We can tell the report was issued prior to July, 1972 as that is the date a typed comment was added to the report The comment made by Maj. C.W. Watson, states "specifics of Physical Descriptions Do Not Tally, however Geographic Location, Date Of Capture And Racial Derivation Indicates This Is Almost Certainly Name and Name Lost 31 March 1971." This 7/3/73 memo puts them in "Category B."(NOTE: National Alliance of Families for the Return of Missing Servicemen World War II, Korean War, have supplied this information, we thank them for all they have done for our Brothers, Fred Stella)