Six American missionaries—three men and three women—died at the hands of Viet Cong terrorists during the Tet lunar New Year offensive in Viet Nam. The slayings occurred at Ban Me Thuot, some 150 miles northeast of Saigon. They are thought to have been carried out January 30 and 31 (see account on page 16).
The Viet Cong also took at least two American missionaries captive.
The dead were:
• Miss Ruth Wilting, 42, of Cleveland, Ohio.
• The Rev. Robert Ziemer, 49, of Toledo, Ohio.
• The Rev. C. Edward Thompson, 43, and his wife, Ruth, 44, of New Kensington, Pennsylvania.
• Leon Griswold, 66, and his daughter, Carolyn, 41, of White Plains, New York.
All served under the Christian and Missionary Alliance, an 81-year-old evangelical denomination that gives top priority to foreign missionary work.
Several buildings on the CMA compound at Ban Me Thuot were destroyed during the Viet Cong attacks.
The two Americans seized by the Viet Cong were Henry Blood, of Portland, Oregon, and Miss Betty Olsen, of Nyack, New York. Miss Olsen is a nurse whose services presumably were deemed valuable to the Viet Cong.
Freed by the Viet Cong was Mrs. Marie Ziemer, whose husband was killed. Mrs. Ziemer was wounded but not seriously.
Only about three days before the attack, the three Ziemer children and the five Thompson children had left Ban Me Thuot for a boarding school in Malaysia.
Dr. Nathan Bailey, CMA president, said that although the Viet Cong marauders had invaded a number of South Vietnamese cities, only the missionaries in Ban Me Thuot were victimized. “Word from the State Department indicates that all of our other missionaries are considered safe,” Bailey said. CMA missionaries have been serving in a number of areas of South Viet Nam.
Missionaries in ...1
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