Johnnie Parrish
I would like to know the REAL TRUTH
Sat Aug 26, 2006 22:37

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Please register my e-mail
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 18:19:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: Johnnie Parrish

Dear APFN, Please register this e-mail  as well as the Both are active. I am enclosing an article about my brother Frank CollinsParrish, who was on his second tour of Viet Nam when on January 16, 1968, he was reported MIA and later KIA. Also another attachment is a citation AWARDED for his honest work in helping others. Very official, not a 'gimmick' like Jessica Lynch. After having read her book:"I am a soldier, to" and then running across a couple day past about her being pregnant and going to marry someone other than the soldier mentioned in the book. I am greatly disappointed in our Government for such actions as some persons carry on in the name of HONOR. I also am a veteran of WW2 having been drafted for the duration and six months, during the final days of that conflict.

I would like to know the REAL TRUTH about the Jessica Lynch story.


Johnnie Parrish

Remains Returned (see text)

Name: Frank Collins Parrish

Rank/Branch: E7/US Army Special Forces

Unit: Company D, Detachment A-411, 5th SFG

Date of Birth: 19 September 1931 (Big Springs TX)

Home City of Record: Cleburne TX

Date of Loss: 16 January 1968

Country of Loss: South Vietnam

Loss Coordinates: 102755N 1060838E (XS252570)

Status (in 1973): Missing In Action

Category: 1

Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground

Refno: 0990

Other Personnel In Incident: Earl R. Biggs (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 with the assistance of

one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,

correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated

by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.


SYNOPSIS: On January 16, 1968, SFC Earl Biggs and SFC Frank Parrish were serving

as advisors to a Vietnamese strike force. That morning, they departed with a

camp strike force company from Phuoc Tay on a search operation extending east of

the camp. At 1215 hours, about 16 miles northwest of My Tho, Vietnam, the strike

force was ambushed by Vietnamese communists. Later that afternoon, two companies

were inserted into the same area to look for survivors.

Search efforts were continued until January 18 without the recovery of Biggs or

Parrish. CIDG and LLDB survivors reported that the Viet Cong captured and

summarily executed both Biggs and Parrish. Both men were classified Missing in

Action. The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded the classification to

include an enemy knowledge ranking of 1. Category 1 indicates "confirmed

knowledge" and includes all personnel who were identified by the enemy by name,

identified by reliable information received from escapees or releasees, reported

by highly reliable intelligence sources, or identified through analysis of

all-source intelligence.

On January 17, 1972, remains were reported in the vicinity of the action which

were determined to be those of SFC Parrish. These remains were recovered and

identified in June, 1973 and returned to Parrish's family for burial. Parrish's

brother, Johnnie, thought the forensic evidence was inadequate.

Government forensics experts had based their identification of Sgt. Parrish on

three pieces of evidence: (1) the remains had been found near where St. Parrish

had been ambushed; (2) photographs of Parrish supposedly corresponded with

x-rays of the skull, even though the skull had neither jawbone nor teeth; and

(3) medical equipment like that which Sgt. Parrish carried was found near the

ambush site.

The Pentagon informed Johnnie Parrish that he could accept it or reject it, but

the identification was final. It was "concrete proof." Parrish's parents

accepted the identification, and eventually, Johnnie Parrish did also, however


After American involvement in Indochina ended in 1975, reports relating to

Americans missing in Southeast Asia began to be received by the U.S. Government.

There have been reports of other remains having been exhumed by local farmers,

but no confirmation has been possible of their identity. These reports have been

tentatively correlated to several cases of missing Americans.

On Friday, December 29, 1989, members of Frank Parrish's family met with

government officials (a military man named Cole and a civilian named Manning)

who explained that an error had been made in 1973. Newly recovered remains

returned by the Vietnamese to U.S. control had been positively identified as

those of Frank Parrish. At the same time, the remains of Parrish's partner, SFC

Earl R. Biggs, had been recovered and identified. The family was shown new

forensic data, including dental records. This time, Johnnie Parrish felt assured

that the identification had been accurately made. The officials explained that a

meeting would be held in Washington the following Tuesday, following the holiday

weekend, to record the family's acceptance of the new remains identification and

to establish a timetable for exchanging the remains. Johnnie Parrish requested

that he be kept fully informed, and was assured that he would be.

On Saturday, December 30, John Parrish drove from his home in Joshua, Texas to

the Rose Hill Cemetery in Cleburn to visit his brother's grave. He photographed

the grave.

On New Year's Day, 1990, John Parrish again drove from his home to Rose Hill

Cemetery for a funeral ceremony for an old friend. After the ceremony, Parrish

decided to again visit the gravesite of his younger brother. What he found there

shocked and angered him. His brother's grave had been opened and the remains

removed. He had not been informed.

Parrish immediately drove to the Crusier-Pearson-Mayfield Funeral Home and was

told that the grave had been opened because they had needed to prepare the

gravesite for his brother's body, which would be buried at 1:00 the following

day. Parrish was once again shocked and angered that he had not been told.

January 2, 1990, on the day of the supposed meeting to determine a timetable for

exchange of remains, Frank Parrish was buried in his home state of Texas. On

January 3, 1990, the U.S. announced that remains returned by the Vietnamese

during 1989 had been positively identified as being those of SFC Earl R. Biggs.

No public mention was made of the newly-identified remains of Frank Parrish.

Further investigation revealed that neither the U.S. Government nor the funeral

home had obtained proper exhumation and transportation permits to remove and

transport the remains from Frank Parrish's grave. Over a holiday weekend, the

government had secretly and illegally removed the body, and had not notified the

family as promised. Had John Parrish not investigated, Frank Parrish might have

been buried without his family present. Critics began using terms like

"grave-robbing" in relation to the Parrish case.

In the Parrish case, the 1973 identification was hastily and incorrectly made.

Other similar cases support criticism that the U.S. Government is making

positive identifications, sometimes upon the flimsiest of evidence, in order to

more quickly resolve the issue of the more than 2300 Americans missing in

Southeast Asia. In this case, the family was further grieved by the inept

conduct of the government in notifying them of the exchange and burial schedule.

Of the greatest concern, however, is the fact that, for 17 years, the U.S.

Government had considered Frank Parrish "accounted for." Therefore, even if a

first-hand live sighting report had been received that Parrish was alive, it

would have been discredited on the basis that he was dead. The government had

"concrete proof."

Tragically, reports of Americans still held in captivity continue to flow into

the U.S. intelligence community. Many officials who have seen these largely

classified reports are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still alive in

Southeast Asia, still prisoners of a war that most Americans would like to put

behind them.

Many fear the books are being closed on Americans who are alive. If so, what

would they think of us for allowing it to happen? How many would serve the next

time their country called them if they knew they could be abandoned?


U.S. Government Caught Robbing Grave of Vietnam Veteran to Hide Its

Mistake in Identification of Remains

For U.S. Veteran News and Report, March 1990

By Paul Warren

Johnnie Parrish always wondered whether that was really his brother, Army

Master Sgt. Frank C. Parrish, buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Cleburne,


When the Army returned Sgt. Parrish's remains for burial in May, 1973,

more than five years after he was reported captured in a Viet Cong

ambush and summarily executed, Johnnie Parrish thought the forensic

evidence a bit flimsy.

The forensic "experts" had based their identification of Sgt. Parrish

on three pieces of evidence: (1) the remains had been found near where

Sgt. Parrish and his Vietnamese strike force had been ambushed; (2)

photographs of Sgt. Parrish supposedly corresponded with X-rays of the

skull, even though the skull had neither jawbone nor teeth; and medical

equipment like that which Sgt. Parrish carried was found near the

ambush site. "But my mother and dad and everybody else accepted,"

Johnnie Parrish told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Eventually, Johnnie

Parrish also accepted it, however reluctantly. "The thing that hurt me

is that in 1973, the Pentagon said to me, `You can accept or reject

it, but this is final. This is concrete proof,' and I didn't like the

attitude," Johnnie Parrish said.

Then, in early January this year, Johnnie Parrish drove from his home

in Joshua, Texas, to the Rose Hill Cemetery to attend a funeral

ceremony for an old friend. After the ceremony, Parrish decided to

visit the grave of his younger brother. What Johnnie Parrish discovered

at his brother's gravesite shocked and angered him. His brother's grave

had been opened and the remains removed.

Johnnie Parrish had accidentally stumbled onto a government-endorsed

grave robbery. The U.S. government was trying to hide a mistake it made

17 years earlier when it incorrectly identified the remains of Sgt.

Parrish. They were trying to hide it from the Parrish family and hide

it from the public. Without the proper permits, without telling anyone

in the family, the government had come in and robbed Sgt. Parrish's

grave and sent the remains to Hawaii. "Man, I am as mad as a wet toad,"

Johnnie Parrish said after viewing the desecrated grave, chastizing

employees at the Crusier-Pearson-Mayfield Funeral Home in Cleburne,

which handled Sgt. Parrish's burial and the exhumation of the remains.

Johnnie Parrish had been warned by the funeral home in December, 1989,

that the government may have made a mistake in identifying his

brother's remains. Parrish requested that he be kept informed of the

progress of the case and was promised by funeral home employees and an

unidentified government official that he would be. But the next thing

Johnnie Parrish heard about his brother's case was when he looked into

the empty grave.

The government began furiously backpedaling on the Parrish case when a

Pentagon informant leaked information to the U.S. Veteran News and

Report about the mixup of remains and subsequent attempts to cover up

the mistake through grave robbery. According to information obtained by

U.S. Veteran News and Report, the U.S. government obtained neither the

permit required for exhumation of the remains originally believed to be

those of Sgt. Parrish nor the permit necessary for transportation of

the remains. "The Army is under the impression that all necessary state

requirements would be met by the funeral home," said Major Lois Faires,

a spokeswoman for the Pentagon. Officials at the

Crusier-Pearson-Mayfield Funeral Home refused to comment on the case.

But Johnson County Clerk Robby Goodnight confirmed that neither the

exhumation permit nor the transportation permit had been obtained.

Faires said the mixup in remains was unusual. "This is extremely rare

that something of this nature occurred," she said. Faires told the Fort

Worth Star-Telegram that she knew of only one other case in which the

wrong remains had been sent for burial.

But Ted Sampley, chairman of Homecoming II, said he knows of at least

10 cases in which it has been proven that the wrong remains were sent

for burial. "And we don't know how many they have managed to hide,"

said Sampley.

Perhaps the most infamous case of an incorrect burial involves Marine

Sgt. Ronald Ridgeway, one of nine Marines the government thought it had

buried in a mass grave in St. Louis in 1968.

Ridgeway was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines,

stationed at Khe Sanh on Feb. 25, 1968, when his unit was ambushed by

North Vietnamese regulars while on patrol just outside the base.

Although the ambush site was within view of the base, Ridgeway's unit

was pinned down by heavy fire and attempts to reinforce it were driven

back by the NVA. When the Marine units finally were able to break

contact and return to base, they had to leave their dead behind. It was

several days before the Marines could attempt to recover their dead

because of heavy enemy activity.

When they were finally able to get into the area, the Marines found

that repeated harassment and interdiction fires had badly scrambled the

remains of their fellow Marines. They recovered what they thought were

the remains of nine dead Marines, none of whom could be individually


Among them, according to the government forensic experts, was Ridgeway.

Those sets of remains were combined with the remains of nine Navy men

who had died in a separate incident and were interred in a mass grave

in St. Louis. But, on Jan. 28, 1973, nearly five years after he

supposedly was buried, Ridgeway was repatriated from a North Vietnamese

prisoner of war camp.

Ridgeway had come back from the dead, much to the chagrin of the U.S.

government. Although the relatives of seven of those Marines believed

buried in St. Louis found little hope in Ridgeway's return, the wife of

one of them, Ruth Brellenthin, thought it entirely possible that her

husband, Lance Corporal Michael Brellenthin, might have escaped with


For five years the government refused to give Mrs. Brellenthin

information about Ridgeway's whereabouts so she could question him

about the incident. When she finally found him on her own, it was 1978,

10 years after the ambush. Ridgeway told her he had not seen Michael

Brellenthin during or after the ambush. But an intelligence report

obtained by Mrs. Brellenthin indicated that in late February, 1968,

approximately 20-30 U.S. POWs were sighted near Khe Sanh.

According to the report: "Source observed several of the PWs wearing

`strange caps.' He described this cap as olive drab in color and made

of cloth. Caps described resemble the USMC fatigue cap." Yet, the U.S.

government continued to state unequivocally that LCpl. Michael

Brellenthin had been killed in action because Ruth Brellenthin could

not prove otherwise.

Although the government lacked evidence that Michael Brellenthin was

dead, its assumption that he was dead outweighed Mrs. Brellenthin's

assumption that he might be alive. "The attit

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