Long Lost Vietnam POW May Still be Alive According to Wife

David Hrdlicka captured by enemies when his plane was shot down.
David Hrdlicka captured by enemies when his plane was shot down.

David Hrdlicka lived in Minnesota and was a member of the United States Air Force. He went to St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minnesota in 1952. When the Vietnam war began, he was sent to Vietnam. His fighter jet was shot down on May 19, 1965.

His wingmen watched Hrdlicka parachute safely to the ground; however he was instantly captured by enemy troops. What happened after he was captured still remains a mystery.

Various branches of the US Government has Hrdlicka listed as Missing in Action, Prisoner of War, and even Killed in Action.

Jason Davis from CBS 5 was able to locate David Hrdlicka’s wife, Carol, at home in rural Kansas. She believes that her husband is still alive and is still held as a prisoner of war.

Carol has dedicated her entire life to find out what happened to her husband. She feels it is a possibility that he may have a wife and family in Laos or Vietnam after all these years. Regardless, she wants to know the truth.

David’s Alma Mater haven’t forgotten him either. There is a special MIA flag flown at the entrance to the school in his honor.

The St. John’s Preparatory School has set out to find out the truth of David Hrdlicka. At a class meeting, the class accepted the challenge to find out the status of Hrdlicka. The class has brought awareness to others about the tragedy surrounding Hrdlicka’s POW status. The government still will not release information regarding Hrdlicka that will give Carol any piece of mind.

In the fall of 2013, Jerry Streeter, a former class mate of Hrdlicka, were featured in a new story that aired on Veteran’s Day on Minneapolis’ FOX9. The story focused on the closeness of the students, pasted and present, and their determination to find out what happened to the POW.

David Hrdlicka isn’t the only Vietnam POW who is still unaccounted for. According to Let Freedom Ring, Inc. David is only one of several POWs that may still be alive and held in Vietnam. There have been sitings of several of the POWs and messages that have been stomped into the grass by the prisoners.

These pleas for help has largely been ignored by the US government. The image below was taken in 1988 but it took four years before the DIA investigated the image where USA can be seen stamped into the grass.


When they concluded their investigation, the government state that a villager’s son “admired the shape of the letters he seen on an envelope and stamped them into the ground.” The letters ‘USA’ were stamped 12 feet high, and were visible by the air. That certainly does not seem like something a child would do out of admiration.


Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE