Bischoff, John Malcolm, SFC

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Sergeant First Class
Last Service Branch
Medical Corps
Last Primary MOS
910.10-Medical Corpsman
Last MOS Group
Medical Department (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1960-1961, 910.10, B Company, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Service Years
1947 - 1961


Special Forces
Sergeant First Class


Four Service Stripes



Three Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
South Carolina
South Carolina
Year of Birth
1929
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Phillip Hanners (GA) to remember Bischoff, John Malcolm, SFC.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Mountain Rest, SC
Last Address
Greenville, SC

Casualty Date
Apr 22, 1961
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Location
Laos
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Panel 1E, Line 3

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne Combat Advisor


 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family RegistryNational League of POW/MIA Families
  2016, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2020, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2020, National League of POW/MIA Families

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Combat Medical 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
8th Army7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)MAAG Laos
  1952-1952, 5657, Korean Support Command, 8th Army
  1960-1961, 910.10, B Company, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1960-1961, 910.10, MAAG Laos
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1952 Korean War/Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
  1952-1952 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
  1961-1961 Operation White Star
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
 
Name: John Malcolm Bischoff   
Rank/Branch: Sergeant First Class/US Army   
Unit: Advisor, B Company, 
Field Training Team-59, 
7th Special Forces Group,
6th Bataillon d'infanterie (Lao) 
 
       
       
Date of Birth: 18 July 1929 (Greenville, SC)   
Home of Record: Mountain Rest, SC  
Date of Loss: 22 April 1961   
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 185521N 1022827E (TG240150) 
Click coordinates to view  (4) maps
 
Stayus in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered  
Category: 1  
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground  
Other Personnel In Incident: O. Roger Ballenger (released 1962); Gerald M. Biber and Walter H. Moon (missing)   


REMARKS:  PROB KIA N AMBUSH AFT OVRUN
 

SYNOPSIS:   White Star mobile training team missions, code name HOTFOOT, included training and advising allied personnel in military tactics and unconventional warfare programs at 5 Regional Training Centers. Theoretically, these Special Forces teams were pulled out of Laos in October 1962 as a result of an agreement reached in July that required all foreign military personnel to leave Laos. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) blatantly continued to do business as usual in Laos thereby rendering that agreement useless. That forced American personnel to either retreat to the Chu Porn Mountains with Gen. Vang Pao's Meo tribesmen or return to civilian clothing to work undercover.
 

At various times during the 1950s and early 1960's, Special Forces advisors were forced to pose as members of the US Embassy, Program Evaluation Office (PEO) in Laos or the Combined Studies Group (CSG) in Vietnam. Either of these euphemisms strictly translated CIA. Under the auspices of the agency, White Star personnel trained 100-man Meo "Auto Defense de Choc" - shock teams - who were dispersed throughout the highlands to raid and ambush communist Pathet Lao forces. At other times they were the "eyes and ears" of MAAG, gathering intelligence and reporting on the progress of the allied troops they were advising. By July 1962, Operation White Star reached its peak strength of 433 uniformed Special Forces personnel.
 

This period of civil war and military coups in Laos resulted in major objectives being taken by Kong Le and his Paratroop Battalion. Kong Le had himself been a graduate of the CIA-sponsored Philippine scout and ranger school and had announced that he was fighting the corrupt royal government headed by Prince Souvanna Phouma. Kong Le found support from the Soviets, who assisted him in defeating Gen. Phoumi Nosavan's countercoup forces at the capitol city of Vientiane in December 1960. Pathet Lao troops were airlifted by the Soviets to take the Plaine des Jarres region in March 1961. Although Gen. Nosavan and Groupement 12 of the new Forces Armees de Laos continued to chase Kong Le and his troops, they were not successful in regaining the Plaine des Jarres.
 

In early March two Pathet Lao battalions drove Groupement 12 back toward Vang Vieng. Then Capt. Walter Moon's four-man Field Training Team FTT-59, MAAG, which was a split A-Detachment code named Team MOON, was based at Ban Pha Home, Xiangkhouang Province, Laos. Ban Pha Home was located roughly 30 miles north of Vang Vieng.
 

On 22 April 1961, Capt. Walter H. Moon, battalion commander; SFC John M. Bischoff, team medic; Sgt. O. Roger Ballenger, demolitions sergeant; and Sgt. Gerald M. Biber, radio operator; were American advisors to the 6th Bataillon d'infanterie (Lao). While on a mission near Phou Tesao in rugged, jungle-covered mountains approximately 15 miles north-northwest of Vang Vieng, 33 miles due west of Long Tieng, and 63 miles north of Vientiane, the 6th Bataillon d'infanterie (Lao) was ambushed by a heavy and accurate enemy artillery barrage. The communists rapidly flanked them. Capt. Moon radioed that the battalion was completely cut off, the perimeter defenses were collapsing and the Pathet Lao were quickly overrunning their positions. Shortly afterward, Capt. Moon was taken prisoner.
 

SFC John M. Bischoff, Sgt. Gerald M. Biber and some Royal Lao soldiers jumped aboard an armored car that was heading south on Route 13 in an effort to breakout. According to Lao survivors, they crouched behind the turret, but the car came under heavy grenade attack. Sgt. Bischoff fired a machine gun from the vehicle until he was shot through the neck and killed. Sgt. Biber, who already been wounded, was thought to have been killed by stick grenades thrown against the armored car. The vehicle was halted and its crew captured. Sgt. Roger Ba.
 

llenger escaped through the jungle and linked up with small group of Royal Lao soldiers. Seven days later, as they continued to evade enemy troops, they found a boat and were going down river when they were surprised and captured by the Pathet Lao. Sgt. Ballenger remained a Prisoner of War in the massive cave complex, which also served as the Pathet Lao headquarters, at Sam Neua. On 15 August 1962, after the Geneva Agreements on Laos were signed, Roger Ballenger was released to American control. This same cave complex at Sam Neua where Sgt. Ballenger was held is the same extensive complex where scores of American prisoners were known or believed held both during and after the end of the Vietnam War.
 

Capt. Moon tried to escape twice during his confinement, and on the last attempt was wounded in the chest and head. According to Sgt. Ballenger, Walter Moon's head injury caused him to become mentally unbalanced. After several months of persecution, Capt. Moon was reportedly executed on 22 July 1961 in his prison quarters at Lat Theoung by a Meo guard and a Pathet Lao officer. The Pathet Lao have consistently denied knowledge of Walter Moon, Gerald Biber or John Bischoff.
 

In 1984, Colonel James "Bo" Gritz, a highly decorated retired Special Forces officer, traveled to Southeast Asia in search of American POWs. He brought back documents and a photograph of Capt. Moon from Laos and gave them to the US Government. Walter Moon's wife positively identified the photograph and his signature. Upon analyzing the photo, our government experts stated the photograph was made 6 May 1961, two weeks after Walt Moon's capture in spite of the fact that he was normally clean-shaven and the photo showed him wearing a full grown beard.
 

These documents were taken from a collection of some 250-300 documents, held by the Lao People's Army, that pertain to American POW/MIAs. While the Defense Intelligence Agency claims to have full knowledge of this collection, according to former Congressman Stephen Solarz, our government refuses to demand this information from the Lao government.
 

Whether or not Gerald Biber and John Bischoff survived the ambush on 22 April 1961 is unknown. Walter Moon, however, was a well documented, confirmed Prisoner of War whose remains - if he is in fact dead - could easily be returned to this country.
 

These men are among the nearly 600 Americans who disappeared in Laos. Many of them were known to be alive on the ground. The Laotians admitted holding "tens of tens" of American Prisoners of War, but these men were never negotiated for either by direct negotiation between our countries or through the Paris Peace Accords which ended the War in Vietnam since Laos was not a party to that agreement.
 

If dead, Gerald Biber, John Bischoff and Walter Moon have a right to have their remains returned to their families, friends and country.

 
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Comments/Citation


FINAL MISSION OF SFC JOHN M. BISCHOFF: The early 1960's marked a period of civil war and military coups in the country of Laos which resulted in major objectives being taken by Kong Le-Pathet Lao communist forces. Kong Le had himself been a graduate of the CIA-sponsored Philippine scout and ranger school and had announced that he was fighting the corrupt royal government headed by Prince Souvanna Phouma. Kong Le found support from the Soviets, who assisted him in defeating Gen. Phoumi Nosavan's countercoup forces at the capitol city of Vientiane in December 1960. Pathet Lao troops were airlifted by the Soviets to take the Plaine des Jarres region in March 1961. Although Gen. Nosavan and Groupement 12 of the new Forces Armees de Laos continued to give chase to Kong Le and his troops, they were not successful in regaining the Plain of Jars.

In early March two Pathet Lao battalions drove Groupement 12 back toward Vang Vieng. Capt. Walter Moon's four-man Field Training Team FTT-59, MAAG, of the 7th Special Forces Group was attached to the 6th Bataillon d'infanterie (Lao) at Ban Pha Home, about thirty miles north of Vang Vieng. On April 22, 1961, the battalion was subjected to a heavy and accurate artillery barrage and was rapidly flanked at Phou Tesao. Shortly after the battalion commander announced that they were cut off, the perimeter collapsed and the Pathet Lao quickly overran the battalion positions. The team's commander, CAPT Walter Moon, was captured in the initial attack. SFC John M. Bischoff (the medic), SGT Gerald M. Biber (the radio operator), and some Laotian soldiers jumped aboard an armored car, heading south on Route 13, in a breakout effort. According to Lao survivors, they crouched behind the turret, but the car came under heavy grenade attack. SFC Bischoff fired a machine gun from the vehicle until he was shot through the neck and killed. SGT Biber had already been wounded and was apparently killed by stick grenades thrown against the armored car. The vehicle was halted and its crew captured. SGT Orville R. Ballinger, demolitions sergeant, escaped through the jungle and linked up with some Lao soldiers. They found a boat and were going downriver when they were surprised and captured by the Pathet Lao seven days later.

SGT Ballenger were eventually released in August 1962. CAPT Moon tried to escape twice during his confinement, and on the last attempt was wounded in the chest and head. According to Ballinger, Moon's head injury caused him to become mentally unbalanced, and after several months of persecution, he was executed in his prison quarters at Lat Theoung by a Meo guard and a Pathet Lao officer on July 22, 1961. The Pathet Lao consistently denied knowledge of Moon, Biber or Bischoff after the war ended. [Taken from pownetwork.org]

   
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