What Happened to American POWs Kept Behind After the Korean War

A Lithuanian-American POW Named "Joe" in a Soviet Prison?

Send Your Clues to: investigator@kpows.com

A Lithuanian who had been imprisoned in the Soviet Gulag told US investigators he had been in the infamous Karaganda prison camp with an American POW from 1954-55. See the report below. We have seen no record that American investigators followed up on this report by acquiring Soviet prison records, scrubbing the files of missing Americans who fit the details and conducting outreach to the families of the missing. It's possible they did -- but history shows it's also quite possible that no substantial investigation was launched.

The prisoner claimed to be an American Air Force major captured during the Korean War. His first name was "Juozas," or "Joe" in English. He was an energetic inmate who loved the game of "motoball," a type of soccer played with a large ball and motorcycles, the former Lithunian inmate told US investigators. "Joe," said to speak Lithuanian with a slight accent, also gave English lessons to the other inmates. He was sent to a different prison in 1955.

The Lithuanian source even sang a tune he said "Joe" had taught him so many years before: "Once there lived a Capta (Captain) brave, and he crossed the ocean wide. Fifteen times he tried to sing, sharks would catch him on the side."

While a few foreign inmates in the Gulag pretended to be Americans, the evidence is overwhelming that US aviators and other American prisoners were taken from Korea to the Soviet Union, and this is not the only report associated with the Karaganda camp complex. Evidence also suggests the communists singled out Americans with Eastern-bloc ethnic backgrounds for special treatment.

Was the Lithuanian source telling the truth, and was he told the truth by his fellow inmate? Was "Joe" really an American who was never returned home? Pls send us any clues at: investigator@kpows.com