Three American pilots set free by the North Vietnamese met the world's press in Hanoi on Sunday (17 September)...
GV Relatives waiting in room in Hanoi
SV Mrs Gartley & Mrs Charles
SV POWs up to microphone
CU Gartley PAN TO Charles & Major Elias
CU Gartley introduces himself & wife smiles
GV & SV Press conference (3 shots)
CU Gartley & mother
CU Mr. Mrs Cherles
"Film was set up in Hanoi on Sunday for the ceremony. There were many television lights, cameras and microphones. In the front row were Mrs Minnie Lee Gartley of Florida there to see her son, you'll see her in a minute....and Mrs Olga Charles of San Diego there to meet her husband. Then the three American airmen came in....first Navy Lieutenant Mark Gartley, the Nevy Lieutenant Norris Charles and Airforce Major Edward Elias, whose family decided it would be best not to travel to Hanoi. Her is part of what Gartley had to say:"
GARTLEY: My name is Markham Gartley. the news of this release has been a complete surprise to me. I feel this is a unique and very emotional situation for myself and my family...(SPEECH IN NORTH VIETNAMESE FOLLOWS)....
That's the North Vietnamese official who read the release order. Later there was a press conference for the foreign journalists invited to Hanoi, and for the North Vietnamese who were there in large numbers. The North Vietnamese wanted maximum international publicity for the release...and they got it. Lt. Gartley, his mother and the anti-war activist David Dellinger - Dellinger and others had come form the United States to organise the release - with all the happy people in that room, the happiest-looking was surely Mrs Charles, whose husband had been a prisoner since last December."
Initials SGM/0147 SGM/0127
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Three American pilots set free by the North Vietnamese met the world's press in Hanoi on Sunday (17 September)...and delighted relatives who had flown out form the United States to meet them.
The captured fliers - Lt. Markham Gartley, Lt. Charles and Major Elias are the first prisoners-of-war to be released by North Vietnam Since 1969.
On being set free they were allowed to spend Sunday night in a Hanoi hotel with their families. Earlier at a conference organised by their former captors, they also met press, radio and TV reporters form all over the world. An N.B.C. representative sent this report (alternative commentary provided overleaf):
SYNOPSIS: Relatives of three captured American pilots wait excitedly in a Hanio room on Sunday for the release of the men. Among them, Mrs Minnie Lee Gartley, of Florida, to greet her son, and Mrs Olga Charles, of Son Diego, to see her husband.
These were the first prisoners-of-war to be released by the North Vietnamese since nineteen-sixty-nine. And the world's press was there to see them go free. first to come forward was Lieutenant Markham Gartley, followed by Lieutenant Norris Charles and Major Edward Elias. Gartley introduced himself to waiting reporters;...
The North Vietnamese wanted maximum world-wide publicity for the occasion...and they had no trouble in attracting attention to the event. All three prisoners said they were humanely treated during captivity, and that news of their release came as a complete surprise. After the formal ceremony of freedom, they were allowed to spend Sunday night in a Hanio hotel with their relatives.