On the afternoon of October 30, exactly seven months after the fall of Saigon, a Royal Air Lao twin-engine DC-3 landed at Bangkok, Thailand. Aboard were fourteen persons, including seven missionaries and one of their children, who had been held captive by the Vietnamese Communists since the second week of March. They were accompanied on the flight from Hanoi by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Prince Sadruddin Khan of Pakistan. Khan and his aides had spent months negotiating their release.
Standing in a light drizzle to greet them were a dozen friends, mission officials, and 17-year old Geraldine Mitchell, daughter of Mrs. Betty Mitchell, one of the returning missionaries. Mrs. Mitchell’s husband Archie, a Christian and Missionary Alliance hospital administrator, had been taken captive with two other missionary workers in 1962, and he has not been heard from since then.
Also on hand were a number of embassy officials, including the ambassadors of the United States, Canada, the Philippines, and Australia, plus a bevy of newsmen.
There were shouts of greeting, hugs, and kisses when the released captives, looking a bit undernourished, deplaned. Mrs. Mitchell broke into tears on being reunited with her daughter (see photo, this page). She told reporters she had been unable to learn anything about, the fate of her husband.
The other missionaries in the group were Richard Phillips and his wife Lillian, John and Carolyn Miller and their six-year-old daughter LuAnne (see photo, page 50), and Norman and Joanne Johnson (see April 11 issue, page 31). The Millers served with Wycliffe Bible Translators; the others were members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA).
In addition to the missionaries were Paul ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 63+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more