Monday, May 25, 2009
Sombre Memorial Day article about my deceased POW Dad
A local Loudoun County historian recently interviewed my Mother. When we lived in Saigon, Gustav Crane Hertz, my civilian Dad was captured by the Viet Cong. He died in captivity.
Throughout the ordeal, my mother prayed to Our Lady of Ransom, the merciful Virgin to whom many begged for freedom from the Moors around the time of the Crusades. The feast day of Our Lady of Ransom is September 24, ironically the reported day that my father succumbed to malaria.
Through a quirk, I learned very recently through a letter-to-the-editor in Vietnam Magazine and some personal exchanges of email, that a brave Colonel led a failed attempt in the Vietnam jungle to rescue my father. By the time the these experienced soldiers got the permission and necessary supplies, it was too late. My father's camp had moved. At the time, our family did not know of Colonel Carvell's efforts. It would have only added to our anguish to hope for a rescue and hear of its failure. After learning this almost 40 years later, I was able to express my gratitude to Colonel Crash. I wonder too, how many other efforts of so many individuals went unnoticed on my father's behalf throughout the military and government agencies.
Below are extracts of the Life Magazine story on my dad.
[If you click on each photo, you should be able to read the enlarged text. Then use the 'back' button on your browser to return to the smaller size.]