| Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs:
Smith 324 Compelling Cases - South Vietnam
Senator SMITH's 324 Compelling Cases
Kurt C. McDonald
On December 31, 1964, Captain McDonald, a U.S. Air Force pilot, and Sergeant First Class Dodge, a member of the 5th Special Forces Group, took off from Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, in an 0-1F to conduct a visual reconnaissance mission en route to a Special Forces camp in the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. They did not arrive and were declared missing. They were last seen by another aircraft approximately 12 nautical miles northwest of Da Nang while flying over Quang Nam Province.
On the morning of December 31, 1964, one homer beacon was broadcast on an emergency radio frequency, but this could not be correlated to an NRS-8 radio set that Sergeant Dodge was carrying to A Shau to be used in covert operations. A woodcutter reported in April 1965 that during that month he observed two U.S. POWs in Thua Thien Province at a point on the Lao/Vietnamese border. He learned that one of the Americans was a pilot and one was an infantryman. They were said to have been captured in June 1964 and were being marched off to the northwest. In 1966, a report was received from a former North Vietnamese Army soldier identifying a photograph of Sergeant Dodge as an inmate he saw at Hoa Lo Prison. Other reports of sightings of Americans passing through the particular area in which these individuals were lost were placed in their files.
Neither serviceman was ever confirmed alive in the Vietnamese prison system. Captain McDonald was declared dead/body not recovered in August 1982. Sergeant Dodge was declared dead/body not recovered in October 1977.
James H. McLean
On February 9, 1965, Sergeant McLean was assigned as a medic with an American advisory team working with the South Vietnamese Army's 876th Regional Force Company. He was reported captured when their position was overrun by Viet Cong forces and was identified in captivity by an prison escapee who stated Sergeant McLean was suffering from malaria when last seen alive.
Sergeant McLean was carried in a POW status at the time of Operation Homecoming. After the end of hostilities, he was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on his fate.
U.S. field team interviews in South Vietnam in March 1992 located a former nurse who worked at the Phuoc Long Province hospital. She described the arrival at her hospital of an individual corresponding to Sergeant McLean. He arrived at the hospital in April 1965 suffering from severe malaria. He died there approximately ten days after his arrival. The investigation of his loss incident is continuing.
James T. Egan
On January 21, 1966, Lieutenant Egan was serving as Artillery Forward Observer with a patrol element of the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company. Their patrol was fired upon, and after the skirmish, Lieutenant Egan could not be located. The next day Lance Corporal Edwin R. Grissett, Jr. (Case 0236) was also declared missing when he became separated from the same patrol.
In April 1966, information was received that both Grissett and Egan were captured alive from a South Vietnamese Popular Force soldier who had just escaped from Viet Cong captivity. The soldier asserted that Corporal Grissett told him Lieutenant Egan was wounded and later shot by the Viet Cong. Another report was received from a different source that an American with an individual correlating to Corporal Grissett had been shot and killed.
Corporal Grissett was reclassified as POW during the war, but Lieutenant Egan was not. Neither were accounted-for at the end of Operation Homecoming, after which both were declared dead/body not recovered. Corporal Grissett's remains were repatriated and identified in June 1989.
In August 1990, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed eight witnesses concerning the capture of the two Marines. The information they provided did not lead to the recovery of any remains of Lieutenant Egan.
Cecil J. Hodgson
On January 28, 1966, Sergeant First Class Hodgson and other patrol members were on a combat patrol in the An Lao Valley, Binh Dinh Province. They encountered a hostile force and evaded. Following the action the three could not be located and were declared missing.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the three servicemen, and they were not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system. After Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered.
James L. Carter
On February 3, 1966, a C-123 with a four man crew departed the Khe Sanh Special Forces camp on a twenty five minute supply shuttle flight to Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. Four local nationals may also have been on the aircraft. The aircraft never reached its destination and there was no radio contact with either it or its crew. A search of the area failed to result in any evidence of either the crew or the aircraft. Local intelligence assets were used in an attempt to obtain information but nothing was learned. A total of 25 sorties lasting 74 hours over mountainous jungle, including the use of photo missions, failed to locate any evidence of the aircraft.
The four airmen were declared missing. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate. The crewmen were declared dead/body not recovered, on different dates between June 1974 and January 1978, and based on a presumptive finding of death.
Donald S. Newton
On February 26, 1966, Sergeant Newton and Private First Class Wills were members of a long range reconnaissance patrol. They departed their patrol base on a short mission and were never seen again. After their disappearance information was received that two U.S. servicemen had been captured during a firefight. One was killed, and the second, named "Newton," was found wounded and was then captured alive.
Both were declared missing in action. Neither was classified as captured. After Operation Homecoming both were declared dead/body not recovered. Neither of their remains have been repatriated.
In August 1990, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed witnesses in Vietnam who described the ambush of two Americans. One was shot and killed, his body left behind on a river sandbank. The second was taken prisoner. En route to a higher headquarters, the Viet Cong unit found itself having to move to avoid detection from a U.S. heliborne operation. The American prisoner, believed to possibly correlate with Sergeant Newton, was shot and killed to ensure the unit could move and avoid detection. A grave site of the dead American was identified, but no remains could be located. In March 1991, U.S. field investigators interviewed another witness who provided generally similar information concerning the killing and burial of an American which closely correlated to this incident.
William M. Collins
On March 9, 1967, Captain Collins, Lieutenant Peterson and Staff Sergeant Foster were part of a six-man crew providing close air support to a Special Forces camp. Their aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire and crash landed to the north of the A Shau Valley in Thua Thien Province. According to survivors, enemy small-arms fire hit and killed Foster and Collins. A-1E aircraft struck the surrounding enemy positions. Lieutenant Peterson was last seen moving into undergrowth. The survivors called out to Lieutenant Peterson but received no response. Special Forces personnel arrived later that day and found the bodies of Sergeant Foster and Captain Collins but were unable to recover them due to enemy activity. They could not locate Lieutenant Peterson.
Lieutenant Peterson was declared missing. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his fate. He was declared dead/body not recovered in February 1978.
Charles A. Dale
First Lieutenant Dale and Specialist 4th Class Demmon were flying reconnaissance in an OV-1C on June 9, 1965 and were last known located over Vinh Binh Province. They did not return from their mission. They were initially listed as missing in action, although U.S. intelligence began to receive reports indicating they had been captured.
In December 1970, a prisoner identified Demmon's photograph as the picture of an individual imprisoned in a POW camp in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia. This led to his reclassification from missing in action to prisoner of war. Another report was received in March 1971 stating Demon was alive in a prison at Kratie, Cambodia in January 1970. The source was given a polygraph, and there was no indication of deception. Other reported sightings of unnamed Caucasians were placed in Demmon's file as possibly correlating to him, including one in 1966 which placed him in Central Vietnam.
Demmon was carried as a POW at the end of Operation Homecoming. Both Demmon and Dale were later declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on their fate.
In March 1992, a U.S. investigating team in Vietnam attempting to locate witnesses to the loss of the two-man crew interviewed residents of Cuu Long Province, the new name for Vinh Binh Province. They provided information concerning the downing of an aircraft correlating to the OV-1C involved in this incident. Local villagers stated that the aircraft crashed, and the bodies of the aircraft's two occupants washed up on the shore where they were buried by local residents. Efforts to locate their reported grave sites have not been successful to date.
Walter L. Hall
On June 19, 1965, those involved in this loss incident were on board a UH-1B helicopter on a combat operation into a landing zone six kilometers from the town of Dong Xoai, Phuoc Long Province. Their helicopter was hit by ground fire and crashed. Captain Johnson, an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army's 5th Infantry Division, reported to another helicopter in the area that the aircraft's crew and all others on board were dead and his position was receiving incoming enemy mortar fire. There was no further transmission from Captain Johnson after the end of the mortar fire.
A later search of the area failed to produce any sign of the seven servicemen.
In late 1965, a Viet Cong produced film was captured which appeared to depict a portion of the battle at Dong Xoai. The film appeared to show the dead bodies of Sergeant First Class Owen and First Lieutenant Hall. Information was later received from another source that the seven U.S. were killed in this incident, four found in the helicopter and three others at the airstrip. Intelligence reports of unidentified U.S. POWs sightings several months before this incident occurred were received later and were placed in the file of these servicemen. One report associated with the capture of an American at the battle of Binh Gia was placed in Captain Johnson's file, but may have correlated to the capture of another Captain several months earlier.
Captain Johnson was initially reported missing. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide information about his precise fate or the fate of the others. Captain Johnson was declared dead/body not recovered in February 1978.
John R. Schumann
On June 16, 1965, Captain Schumann was serving as the advisor to the Cai Be District Chief, Dinh Tuong Province when he was seen captured by Viet Cong forces. In July 1965, elements of the South Vietnamese Army's 7th Infantry Division captured Viet Cong documents in Dinh Tuong Province which included a photograph of Captain Schumann in captivity. In December 1965, three American POWs released by the Viet Cong confirmed Captain Schumann was in captivity and was still alive. In October 1967, a photograph of Captain Schumann in captivity appeared in the Soviet "Red Army" newspaper in Moscow.
Based on information from American POWs released during Operation Homecoming at the town of Loc Ninh in South Vietnam, Captain Schumann was taken to Tay Ninh Province and held with other Americans. In 1966 he became very ill, suffering from pneumonia and with malfunctioning kidneys. He was with other American POWs when he died at 1330 hours early in July 1966. His body was removed and buried at an unknown location.
Captain Schumann was declared dead/body not recovered, in March 1967. He was listed by the Provisional Revolutionary Government as having died in captivity on July 6, 1966. His remains have not yet been recovered.
During October-November 1992, U.S. investigators with a joint U.S./Vietnamese team in Vietnam located and interviewed a former guard and interpreter at the People's Army of Vietnam B-2 Theater of Operations B-20 prison camp which had confined U.S. POWs. Both sources described Captain Schumann's death at prison camp B-20. The investigators determined the prison camp was leveled and converted into farm land after April 1975 with the result that any facility locations and burial sites can no longer be located.
Richard C. Bram
On July 8, 1966, Staff Sergeant Bram and Gunnery Sergeant Dingwall left their unit at Chu Lai Air Base for a hike in the surrounding countryside. They were last seen in a local hamlet.
Local South Vietnamese police reported on July 8th that the Viet Cong had captured and killed two Americans and then buried their bodies. This report led to a muster of the unit and the discovery that Sergeants Bram and Dingwall were missing. A search of the area in which they were last seen produced hearsay information that the two had been captured, but there was conflicting information on their fate. They were never seen alive again, and their remains were never located.
Both individuals were initially declared missing. In September 1978 they were declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on their survival in captivity, and U.S. investigation teams in Vietnam have been unable to learn anything further concerning their precise fate.
On July 13, 1965, Sergeants Taylor and Gallant were members of Detachment B-52, 5th Special Forces Group, with a Vietnamese reconnaissance patrol which encountered a hostile force 18 kilometers northwest of An Khe, Pleiku Province. Surviving patrol members reported last seeing Taylor assisting Gallant to cover as hostile forces pressed toward them. A search of the area after the engagement failed to locate any trace of them. They were both declared missing in action and, in July 1966, were declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on their final fate.
Jimmy M. Malone
On May 4, 1966, Private Malone was serving as a radio operator with his unit in Tan Uyen District, Bien Hoa Province. His unit, participating in Operation Hastings, had just completed its combat assault and was establishing its position with Private Malone's platoon on the unit's perimeter.
Private Malone was detailed to pick up mail from his weapons platoon. He departed his position along a trail outside of the perimeter but never returned. A search of the area located jungle- boot prints believed to have been made by Private Malone. The impression of the search party was that Private Malone had taken the trail but had made a wrong turn away from his unit's perimeter.
The boot prints were later joined by sandal prints, and they both led to a fortified Viet Cong position. His squad came under hostile sniper fire during their search. The next day another platoon swept the area and located still more foot prints approximately 1500 meters away, but there was no trace of Private Malone.
Private Malone was declared missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs had no information about him. After Operation Homecoming he was declared killed in action/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In June 1984, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center received a report about the recovery of remains in Tan Uyen District, now a part of Song Be Province. The remains and a dog-tag were reportedly turned over to local authorities. This report was placed in Private Malone's file due to the coincidence in loss location.
On March 12, 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese investigation in Thu Dau Mot District, Song Be Province, led to an interview with a former Political Officer from the 4th Artillery Company, 3rd Battalion, Dong Nai Regiment. The officer stated that a reconnaissance element from his unit had killed an American in the area where Private Malone disappeared and that he had recovered one web belt and a .45 caliber sidearm. The soldier was part of an American force which had just come to operate in the area. The body was buried along a trail near a stream in the area. A helicopter later appeared and broadcast an appeal for information about a missing serviceman. U.S. investigator's tended to discredit the account they were offered.
Bennie Lee Dexter
On May 9, 1966, Airman Second Class Dexter departed Pleiku City for Banmethuot City by jeep. He never arrived at his destination, and an ensuing search turned up his jeep on May 11, 1966. Local civilians reported he had been stopped and taken prisoner. There were wartime reports about an American POW in captivity whose circumstances of capture were similar to that of Airman Dexter. One report asserted that he died of starvation in February 1967.
Airman Dexter was carried in a POW status at the end of Operation Homecoming. He was later declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to confirm his fate.
Joint Casualty Resolution Center field investigations in Vietnam during April 1989 led to the interview of witnesses who described Dexter's capture and imprisonment near Banmethuot. The same witnesses stated that he was shot and killed during an escape attempt and that his remains were buried nearby. U.S. investigators were unable to locate any evidence of his grave or remains.
Louis Buckley, Jr.
On May 21, 1966, Sergeant Buckley, a member of the Motor Platoon of the 12th Cavalry, was with his unit in Binh Duong Province. His unit came under enemy attack at Landing Zone Hereford and was forced to withdraw. Sergeant Buckley was last seen in the area with blood on his shirt and arm. Friendly reinforcements arrived, but Sergeant Buckley could not be located.
He was initially declared missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on his fate. In January 1978, he was declared dead/body not recovered.
In October 1981, U.S. intelligence received information from a Vietnamese refugee concerning the death of an American soldier in the area Sergeant Buckley disappeared. It could not be specifically correlated to Buckley.
William Ellis, Jr.
On June 24, 1966, Ellis was declared missing while on a combat operation in Kontum Province. After the end of hostilities he was declared dead/body not recovered.
In December 1990, a U.S. field team in Vietnam reported the results of their recent field trip into the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. During their visit, they interviewed a doctor who saw several American POWs during 1967 or 1968 in western Kontum Province. The doctor was aware that one African-American had died at his hospital and that a dead American's body was preserved for use as a medical training aid.
The doctor also stated that three Caucasian Americans died there, and he believed they were buried nearby. These reports were tentatively correlated to Schiele (Case 1112), Van Bendegom (0762) and a then unidentified third Caucasian American. The report about the African-American appeared to correlate to Ellis (0372). Other information, possibly concerning Schiele, traced his movements from the area of his capture to his turnover, then to the 62nd Regiment and later to B-3 Front Headquarters.
Robert H. Gage
On July 3, 1966, Lance Corporal Gage and another Marine from the 1st Division left their platoon's position to find someone to do their laundry and entered Thanh Thuy Village, which is 15 kilometers south-southeast of Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province. When last seen, Corporal Gage was engaged in conversation with a woman. He never returned to his platoon's position and was declared missing. Friendly forces detained local village women on July 3rd and 4th but were unable to obtain information on Corporal Gage's fate. On July 5, 1966, the Marines learned that the Corporal had actually entered a Viet Cong controlled hamlet.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on Corporal Gage's fate. In August 1974, he was declared killed in action/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
Robert L. Babula
On August 28, 1966, the four PFCs were members of the 1st Marine Division and were with a fire team at an ambush site ten kilometers southwest of Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province. They failed to return from their mission and were declared missing. On September 4, 1968, Bodenschatz' dog-tags and a partial wrist watch were located. Local residents did not provide any information about the fate of the four men.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about their fate. They were declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death in November 1974.
Lawrence B. Tatum
On September 10, 1966, Tatum was the pilot of an A-1E which was hit by hostile antiaircraft fire and crashed eight kilometers north of the Rao Thanh River currently in Trung Luong District, Quang Tri Province. A forward air controller did not observe Tatum bail out but did hear an emergency beeper for approximately one minute. He later observed a presumable parachute slack in the trees on a hillside. He never saw Tatum safely on the ground. He observed hostile forces approach the parachute and evidently pull it out of the tree.
Tatum was initially declared missing. After Operation Homecoming he was declared dead/body not recovered.
In April 1990 a U.S. team in Vietnam located a crash site with material consistent with that of an A-1E, but no personal artifacts were found. Local witnesses were unable to provide any information. A U.S. team located information in the records of People's Army Military Region 4 indicating that a U.S. pilot died in a crash on the date. The place and time correlated to Tatum's loss incident, but the pilot's name was not available.
Michael L. Burke
On October 19, 1966, U.S. Marine Corps privates Burke, Lewandowski, and Mishuk were swimming in the ocean at the mouth of a river at the Cua Viet estuary. They were gone from their unit for three hours, never returned, and were declared missing. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate and after Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
Burt C. Small
On March 6, 1967, Specialist Small was assigned to Quang Ngai Province from the 5th Special Forces Group as a member of Advisory Detachment 108. A South Vietnamese irregular force unit (CIDG) was ambushed, and, after the skirmish, Small was missing. A CIDG soldier later escaped and reported that Specialist Small had been captured alive.
His status was changed from missing in action to POW. After Operation Homecoming he was declared dead/body not recovered. His remains have never been repatriated and other returning U.S. POWs were unable to confirm that he was alive in any of the Vietnamese prisons in South or North Vietnam.
The Joint Casualty Resolution Center conducted field investigations in the area of Specialist Small's capture. They received information that Specialist Small had been captured alive and was wounded at the time of his capture. All members of the capturing unit are reportedly deceased.
Thomas A. Mangino
On April 21, 1967, Special Fourth Class Mangino and PFCs Hasenbeck, Winters, and Nidds, members of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, were returning from a combat patrol. They had borrowed a sampan from local residents to make the return trip to a landing site near their unit in Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province. A second sampan, the lead boat, reached the dock but was then out of sight of the other sampan following with only the four servicemen on board. Shortly thereafter came the sound of a burst of weapons firing. Twenty minutes later, the four patrol members had still not reached the dock, and a search party was sent to locate them.
Based on available information, the four men were last seen talking with several Vietnamese in another sampan. Later reports were received that four Americans had been captured by local Viet Cong forces on April 21st. Other reports were received that unidentified Americans were teaching English to Viet Cong female cadre and that Americans had been buried in the area. These reports were placed in the individuals' files as possibly pertaining to them.
In May 1991, a U.S. team was advised by a Vietnamese official that PFC Winters was dead. In August 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team in the area of this incident interviewed witnesses with first hand or hearsay knowledge of it. The sources stated the four men were ambushed, and their bodies were thrown into the river to keep them from being observed by search and rescue helicopters. The bodies were later buried in three separate locations in an area which today is under the Song Tra River. In November 1992, Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs Chairman John Kerry received a wartime diary, describing the capture and subsequent death of the four U.S. servicemen, from People's Army of Vietnam Central Military Museum Director, Senior Colonel Dai. Senior Colonel Dai's diary appears to contain information correlating to this incident in which the four servicemen are recorded as having died. This case is still under active investigation by Joint Task Force-Full Accounting.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their fate. They were initially declared missing. Each was declared dead/body not recovered on separate dates between 1973 and 1978.
Roger D. Hamilton
On April 21, 1967, Lance Corporal Hamilton, a member of the 1st Marine Division, was with his unit in Quang Tin Province when it began receiving heavy enemy fire and was forced to withdraw. Corporal Hamilton was last known wounded and was left behind during the unit's quick retreat. A search operation in the area through April 22nd failed to locate him. He was declared missing.
In August 1967, U.S. intelligence received information from two Vietnam People's Army prisoners that a U.S. Marine had been captured in April 1967 in circumstances similar to that of the loss of Corporal Hamilton. They were unable to provide any specific information on his eventual fate.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the fate of Corporal Hamilton. After Operation Homecoming he was declared dead/body not recovered.
In August 1989, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam interviewed witnesses concerning the fate of Corporal Hamilton, but the U.S. investigators only received vague statements. Additional investigation in January 1991 led U.S. investigators to his reported burial site. They recovered one partial set of remains at one location and small bone fragments at a second site nearby. The reports were vague about whom the remains were associated, and it was not possible to correlate the remains to this incident.
On May 12, 1967, Corporal Ashlock and Lance Corporal Jose Agosto- Santos, members of the 5th Marine Regiment, were with their unit on an operation in Quang Nam Province. Their unit encountered two reinforced battalions of the Vietnam People's Army and withdrew. After the withdrawal, neither Ashlock nor Agosto-Santos could be located. Soon afterward, one unit member reported seeing People's Army troops carrying away Agosto-Santos. A report was also received from a local Vietnamese official that two wounded U.S. Marines had been seen in the custody of the Vietnam People's Army. This report was viewed as possibly correlating to Ashlock and Agosto-Santos. In June 1967, a former Viet Cong doctor at Hospital B-25 reported Ashlock was alive and had been treated at his hospital. He was last seen alive in July 1967. Both individuals were initially declared missing in action.
Corporal Agosto-Santos returned alive at Operation Homecoming. Neither he nor other returning POWs were able to provide any information on the fate of Corporal Ashlock. Corporal Ashlock was declared dead/body not recovered, in July 1976.
In March 1991, Vietnam repatriated remains identified as those of Carlos Ashlock. U.S. examination of those remains resulted in a determination that neither the remains identified by Vietnam as those of Corporal Ashlock nor any other remains turned over in March 1991 could be associated with Corporal Ashlock.
Recent field investigations in Vietnam have located witnesses who provided information concerning the capture of Corporal Ashlock. Witnesses reported burial sites, but they could not be positively confirmed, and no remains were recovered. The information these witnesses provided does not increase the knowledge already known that Corporal Ashlock was last known alive and in captivity.
Walter F. Wrobleski
On May 21, 1967, Wrobleski was the pilot of a UH-1C helicopter, one in a flight of seven helicopters on an extraction mission into the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. On board with him were Warrant Officer Corkran, Specialist Fourth Class Hall and Private First Class Szwed. While making a strafing run, their helicopter was hit by heavy machine gun fire which knocked out their engine. After being hit by another burst of fire, their helicopter went out of control and crashed, rolling down into a small ravine. Several minutes later a red ground panel was seen. Ten minutes later the helicopter exploded. A white ground panel was also seen three hours later.
PFC Szwed was rescued alive. WO Corkran and Specialist Hall were also located alive, and a line was dropped to them on the ground. While being lifted to the helicopter, it began to receive heavy enemy fire, and it lifted off, dragging Warrant Officer Corkran and Specialist Hall into trees which knocked them off the ladder to the jungle below. South Vietnamese Army forces recovered the body of Specialist Hall on May 22 and, on May 23rd, the body of Warrant Officer Corkran. All survivors stated Wrobleski was never seen alive after the crash.
During the war years, a former member of the People's Army of Vietnam stated he saw an American with a South Vietnamese Army POW being escorted north along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in May 1967. This report was placed in Wrobleski's file as a possible correlation to his case.
Wrobleski was initially declared missing. In February 1978, he was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on his eventual fate.
In January 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed two witnesses to the crash of a helicopter correlating closely to this loss incident. They reported observing a body at the crash site, and other soldiers, possibly from nearby commo-liaison station T52, retrieved a watch from the dead serviceman. The team was taken to the crash site but was unable to locate any human remains or other artifacts.
Brian K. McGar
On May 30, 1967, Sergeant Jakovac and PFCs McGar and Fitzgerald were members of a five man reconnaissance patrol in Quang Ngai Province. The team was deployed to counter hostile fire from a nearby hedgerow and to set up an observation point on a hill top. They failed to make a nightly radio check an hour and fifteen minutes after climbing the hill. A search and rescue effort located two other patrol members, both dead, in a shallow grave in the area. There was a trail of blood leading from the area, hand grenade fragmentations and U.S. and foreign shell casings which gave evidence to an engagement. The search effort continued for three days but failed to locate the other three missing patrol members.
Following their disappearance, U.S. intelligence received several reports about grave sites in the area. In July 1972, a former Viet Cong stated that he had seen two U.S. prisoners in Quang Tin Province in July 1967, and this report was placed in the files of these MIAs, although there was no specific correlation to them.
All three Marines were declared dead/body not recovered on different dates during 1975 and 1976. None of the three was reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S. POWs.
Di Reyes Ibanez
On June 5, 1967, Sergeant Ibanez was a member of a 3rd Marine Division reconnaissance patrol in Quang Tri Province. Shortly after midnight, a guard heard a moan and the sound of brush breaking from the area where Sergeant Ibanez was sleeping. A later search party recovered his rifle and pack. In the morning a patrol located a partial dental plate and blood trail. The blood trail led along a path from his last known location to a nearby village. A search of the area turned up freshly dug foxholes with evidence of recent occupancy and signs that something had been dragged along the trail. The partial plate was described by the unit's dental surgeon as identical to the teeth artificially replaced. Sergeant Ibanez was never found.
Sergeant Ibanez was initially declared missing. In March 1978, he was declared dead/body not recovered. He was not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S. POWs.
Robert L. Platt, Jr.
On June 10, 1967, Private First Class Platt was a member of a 101st Airborne Division patrol ambushed while on a search and destroy mission in South Vietnam. Platt, reportedly wounded several times, was left behind during his unit's withdrawal. He was declared missing.
In 1968, U.S. intelligence received a captured Viet Cong document apparently belonging to the 270th Transportation Regiment of Military Region 5, a unit operating in the area Private First Class Platt was last seen. It noted that an American Private First Class had been captured on June 10, 1967 and that he died of his wounds on June 11, 1967. This was viewed by U.S. intelligence as possible a correlation to PFC Platt. A Viet Cong prisoner interrogated shortly thereafter described seeing an American prisoner being brought to his medical unit which was destroyed in a U.S. bombing. The prisoner did not know if the American was killed or survived, and this report was also thought to possibly pertain to Platt.
In March 1978, Private First Class Platt was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on his fate.
In January 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed potential witnesses who were thought to be able to provide information about Platt. No new information on his precise fate was learned.
Ronald L. Holtzman
On August 24, 1967, a helicopter from the 119th Assault Helicopter Company, 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, with nine men on board was returning on low level flight to the Division's base. While flying down the Dak Bla River at an altitude of thirty feet, the helicopter began to turn around to check out a sighting of unidentified persons along the river bank but was apparently caught in a downdraft and crashed into the river. Four on board were rescued and the body of another solider was recovered later.
Specialist Fourth Class Holtzman was in contact with the pilot after the crash but was swept away in the swift moving ten foot deep river and was later declared dead/body not recovered. The remaining three were declared missing. The area the men were declared missing was searched by Special Forces personnel from Forward Operating Base 2 but without success. A later search of the area on December 26, 1969, found the river ten feet higher than when the aircraft first crashed into the river.
In 1970 Sergeant Allard's next of kin advised the U.S. Army that a CBS film showing U.S. POWs included one individual she believed to be her son. Still photographs from the film were of poor quality and could neither prove nor disprove her statements.
Early in 1972 Sergeant Allard's next of kin advised the U.S. Army she had received a telephone call shortly after her son's disappearance and only one word was spoken but the next of kin believed it was Sergeant Allard calling from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She visited Phnom Penh and Vientiane, Laos in late January-early February 1972 and upon her return to the U.S. stated she had seen her son at a Viet Cong prison in Phnom Penh, insisting her son's status be changed to POW.
The U.S. Army's investigation of the next of kin's allegations led to a determination that the underground prison at the pagoda which was the site of the alleged sighting was at the historical center of Phnom Penh, open to the public and tourists, and the site of various cultural and religious events. Based on this and other inconsistencies and implausibilities, the U.S. Army concluded the sighting had not taken case as alleged by the next of kin. The next of kin's allegations, sparked by assistance from Rev. Lindstrom of the Save The Pueblo Committee, received national news in the New Hampshire Sunday News, New York Times, the NBC Today Show, Reader's Digest, and other media. An individual that the next-of-kin asserted could verify her story was located in Costa Rica and that individual denied having seen any POWs.
In March 1974, Sergeant Allard was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
Kenneth L. Plumadore
On September 21, 1967, Lance Corporal Plumadore, a member of the 4th Marine Division, was wounded in action while engaging People's Army of Vietnam forces during Operation Kingfisher in the area of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province. He and fourteen other members of his unit were left behind in the withdrawal from the battle area. When friendly forces retook the area they located fourteen dead Marines, two of bodies there were difficult to identity. Information later surfaced that one survivor was reported captured and was last seen being escorted North. Corporal Plumadore was declared dead/body not recovered in September 1967.
In April 1986, Vietnam returned remains of someone captured in the same engagement as the one during in which Corporal Plumadore became unaccounted-for. Information provided with the remains was that the remains belonged to an American serviceman captured at Con Thien who had died on September 27, 1967 at Vinh Linh, North Vietnam. Corporal Plumadore's records could not be used in remains identification because they were lost in an aircraft crash on October 2, 1967.
Subsequent to the return of the remains, U.S. intelligence located archival intelligence information, usually highly reliable, that indicated for the first time that someone, probably Plumadore, had been captured and taken North to Vinh Linh. He was last known alive on September 23rd in the area of Con Thien. He was the only individual who remained missing in the Con Thien area.
Paul L. Fitzgerald, Jr.
On October 17, 1967, Specialist Fitzgerald and Private First Class Hargrove were with their unit on a search and destroy mission in Binh Long Province. Their unit engaged a hostile force and suffered heavy losses. The two soldiers were last seen alive midway between U.S. forces and advancing Viet Cong. PFC Hargrove was reported wounded at that time.
In February 1972, a former Viet Cong reported observing one American captive in 1967 in the area where the two soldiers were lost. This report was thought to possibly correlate to one of the two missing soldiers. In December 1984, U.S. intelligence received reports about the recovery of U.S. remains from the general area where the two had last been seen.
Both soldiers were initially declared missing. Each was eventually declared dead/body not recovered in March 1978. Neither individual was reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
On November 29, 1967, Staff Sergeant Millner, a member of Detachment B-34, 5th Special Forces Group, was with a provincial reconnaissance unit when it was attacked by a Viet Cong company approximately 35 kilometers north of Loc Ninh, Phuoc Long Province.
A member of his unit, Sergeant Paul Posse, later stated he saw Sergeant Millner being captured. When last seen he was not wounded. U.S. intelligence received a report in October 1974 concerning the sighting of a captured American circa October 1967 in the area Sergeant Millner was last seen, but it could not be correlated specifically to him.
Sergeant Millner was initially declared missing. In July 1974 he was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs had no information about him.
On January 9, 1968, Privates First Class Rehe and Sykes were members of the 3rd Battalion, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, searching for missing unit personnel in Quang Tin Province. Their unit was ambushed by People's Army of Vietnam forces and they became separated from their unit. Both soldiers were reportedly wounded at the time, each hit up to four times in the chest and shoulder by hostile fire. Both servicemen were declared missing in action.
The majority of missing Division servicemen captured on January 8th and 9th were evacuated to a People's Army Military Region 5 POW camp. However, PFC Rehe, completely debilitated, was left behind in a village on the night of January 9th and was never seen again by surviving POWs. PFC Sykes was left behind in a bunker on January 9th and was believed by returning POWs to have died there of severe blood loss.
Both servicemen were categorized as missing in action until released U.S. POWs captured at the time confirmed that although seriously wounded, they had in fact survived into captivity but never reached the Military Region 5 POW camp. One returnee stated he was told by one of his captors that PFC Rehe and Sykes had both died on January 9, 1968. After Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
Joint U.S./Vietnamese investigations in Vietnam located and interviewed individuals with knowledge of the fate of members of the Americal Division captured on January 8-9, 1968. Interviews during September 1992 of former Military Region 5 prison camp officials provided information on the fate of those who survived to reach the prison. Witnesses testified that the precise location of all graves was recorded after January 1973 and that 21 sets of remains of those who died at the prison were recovered washed, and bagged at the end of 1978 or early 1979 and then sent to "higher headquarters." Included in these remains were those of a West German man and woman who died in captivity. Remains of those captured at the same time as PFC's Rehe and Sykes who reached the prison camp alive, were repatriated in August 1985.
Richard W. Fischer
On January 8, 1968, Lance Corporal Fisher was with an ambush team in Dien Ban District, south of Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province. He left his ambush site with a one-legged girl and was never seen again. A search and rescue party attempting to locate him was fired upon. A later search failed to locate any trace of him but an older local resident did say that an American had been taken prisoner. The non-commissioned officer in charge of the ambush was recommended for court-martial for permitting a member of the team to leave the site. In 1970, a former Vietnam People's Army Lieutenant Colonel provided information, possibly hearsay, that Corporal Fisher had been killed and buried.
Corporal Fisher was initially declared missing. In December 1978, he was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about him being alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
William D. Johnson
On August 19, 1968, Private First Class Johnson was a rifleman from the 4th Infantry Division on a search and destroy mission with his unit in the mountainous central highlands area of Sa Thay District, Kontum Province. His unit encountered hostile forces and six men were declared missing; four were last seen at the initial point of contact, one of whom was PFC Johnson. PFC Johnson was reported alive after the hostile fire had stopped.
The partially decomposing bodies of five of the six missing soldiers were later located. Their remains showed major destructive injuries associated with fragmentation munitions. PFC Johnson was not located with the others.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his eventual fate. In March 1979, he was declared killed in action/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In 1974, DIA received a report of a possible collaborator seen in coastal Quang Ngai Province. The American was reportedly captured from a truck convoy, and two others with him had escaped. While not correlated to PFC Johnson, a copy of the report was placed in his file for unknown reasons.
Vernon Z. Johns
On February 3, 1968, Private First Class Johns was an armored personnel carrier commander with the 25th Infantry Division's 4th Mechanized Battalion, 23rd Infantry, when his unit was engaged by hostile forces in Binh Duong Province. He was last seen manning a .50 calibre heavy machine gun while under attack from small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire. He was last seen jumping from his vehicle while wounded. His unit broke contact with the hostile force and PFC Johns was declared missing. There was an initial report that he was evacuated but this was later found to be erroneous.
In 1969, U.S. intelligence received a report of the sighting of a U.S. POW who appeared to resemble PFC Johns. Other reports received about two Americans killed and buried in the area where PFC Johns was last known when his unit was in combat.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information regarding PFC John's precise fate. In July 1978 he was declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In 1988, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed witnesses who stated that PFC Johns was killed in battle and buried the next day.
One witness stated his remains had been recovered in 1987 and the Vietnamese Office for Seeing Missing Americans had taken custody of his remains. On April 27, 1989, Vietnam repatriated remains identified as those of PFC Johns and they were subsequently identified as his.
Harvey G. Brande
On February 7, 1968, eight U.S. Army Special Forces NCOs from Detachment A-1, Company C, 5th Special Forces Group, were declared missing when their Lang Vei base in Thua Thien Province was overrun by Vietnam People's Army forces. Sergeant Moreland had a head wound and was in a state of shock when last seen.
One of eight missing men, Dennis R. Thompson, was captured and survived to be released from North Vietnam in March 1973. During his debriefing he related that Thompson, Holt, and Phillips were last known alive at Lang Vei before he lost contact with them. Neither he nor any other returnee was able to provide information on the eventual fate of the seven missing servicemen and they were not known to have survived into captivity.
The seven missing Special Forces men were initially declared missing. After Operation Homecoming they were all declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
**The info on refno 1040 is wrong. McMurry and Brande were returned during homecoming. Only five were left in MIA status. Of those 5, Lindewald and Holt were quickly written off -- it was known that they had died of wounds. The last 3 were PFOD'ed in 1978.
There is more to Moreland's story. He had received a head wound from a tank cannon round while retrieving an M60 from the bunker's gun tower. But he was still alert and alive.
He became delirious and began to wrestle the Team Sergeant, they had to pop him with Morphine -- seems he was wining the contest and had the sergeant pinned under his own rifle. His was quickly knocked out by the Morphine. At 5' 10" and 170 lbs he was incedibly strong. Also he never gave up.
After digging all night, the NVA got a charge buried next to the 8 inch concrete bunker wall. When they blew it, everone received a concussion. They managed to hold off the NVA until afternoon when F4's made 3 hot runs. The 4th run was a dry run and the defenders escaped from the bunker to Marine helicopter's from Khe Sanh. Moreland was left. I don't fully understand why they would leave him. His fate is unknown.
The Vietnamese were a cruel enemy and had removed all bodies when Lang Vei was back in friendly control.
For more information see: James Leslie Moreland, MIA, Vietnam
Alan W. Gunn
On February 12, 1968, Gunn, Groth, Brown and Roe were members of a UH-1H on a night medical evacuation flight. Their aircraft disappeared in Darlac Province. A search and rescue effort failed to locate them. The four crewmen were initially declared missing.
In July 1971, a Vietnam People's Army defector identified a photograph of First Lieutenant Brown as an individual he had seen at a POW camp near Vinh City in August 1970. U.S. POW returnees were never able to confirm that Lieutenant Brown and the other crewmen.
In July 1974, the wreckage of the UH-1H was located by a woodsman, but there was no trace of the crewmen. All four crewmen were declared dead/body not recovered on different dates between October 1973 and September 1978.
Robert W. Hunt
On February 28, 1968, Corporal Hunt was a member of an M-41 tank crew in combat with hostile forces in Hoc Mon, a suburb of Saigon. He was last seen standing on the tank when it took a direct hit from two rocket propelled grenades. The next day friendly forces recovered the bodies of two tank crewmen, but there was no sign of Corporal Hunt. He was declared missing.
In January 1973, the Provisional Revolution Government reported the death of PFC James J. Scuiter while in captivity. However, PFC Scuiter's remains were located and recovered from the scene of the combat where Corporal Hunt was declared missing. It was believed that the PRG had misidentified the remains.
Corporal Hunt was declared dead/body not recovered in September 1978. He was not identified alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
In 1975 U.S. interviewers located a former soldier from the People's Army 84th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. He described himself as the individual who had fired the rocket propelled grenades which disabled the M-41 tank and stated that an African- American had been captured on that date.
Since 1985, U.S. intelligence has received several reports about an African-American killed in action and buried in the Hoc Mon area. While not identified as Corporal Hull, these reports are similar to the location and circumstances pertaining to his loss.
James E. Hamm
On March 14, 1968, First Lieutenant Hamm and Major Gary L. Tresmer were flying an F-4D, one in a flight of two aircraft on a close air support mission over Thua Thien Province. Their aircraft was hit by hostile fire on the fourth pass over the target. Both crewmen ejected and good chutes were seen. Search and rescue forces established radio contact with the crewmen, but rescue attempts were hampered by a large hostile force in the area. Lieutenant Hamm radioed that he thought he had a broken leg, but radio contact was eventually lost with him. Major Tresmer was subsequently rescued alive.
In June 1971, a U.S. Army unit located the back seat from the F-4D. It was confirmed to be from Lieutenant Hamm's aircraft because it was a seat installed in his F-4 after the aircraft was obtained from Iran and issued to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing.
Lieutenant Hamm was initially declared missing in action. On February 2, 1974 he was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide information on his eventual fate.
During April and May 1992, U.S. investigators in Vietnam interviewed witnesses concerning this incident. One witness, a woman from a unit on the scene, described having approached a wounded pilot who pointed his pistol at her. She shot and killed the pilot. She turned over the pilot's wrist watch, pistol and other material to members of a nearby unit of the Vietnam People's Army who then retrieved the pilot's body and buried it.
Walter A. Cichon
Specialist Cichon was a member of the 4th Infantry Division which encountered People's Army of Vietnam forces in Kontum Province on March 30, 1968. He was hit in the head while moving up a hill. A member of his unit found him, and he had a gash above the ear and a hole in the back of his head. He was not moving and had turned white. Believing that he was dead, his unit pulled back, and he was left behind. He was declared missing in action.
In April 1968, the U.S. Army's 525th Military Intelligence Group forwarded information from two former North Vietnamese Army soldiers who reported that their 320th Regiment had captured an American soldier in Kontum Province in March 1968. The soldier had a head wound and was taken to facility T-3 in the tri-border area of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Facility T-3 was known by U.S. intelligence to be a commo-liaison way station. This report was believed to possibly correlate to Cichon.
U.S. intelligence later obtained a document which described the capture of an American on March 30, 1968 in the Chu Tang area by elements of unit K-7. The American was taken to a surgical station of Group 21, a designator of the 1st Division to which the 66th and 320th Regiments belonged. Unit K-7 has been associated with the 7th Battalion, 66th Regiment. This report was believed to possibly correlate to the capture of Cichon.
In January 1972, DIA changed its internal casualty status for Cichon and listed him as a POW, although the U.S. Army continued to list him as missing in action. During Operation Homecoming, returning U.S. POWs were unable to confirm his precise fate. In October 1974, he was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In December 1990, U.S. investigators visited Sa Thay District, Gia Lai-Kon Tum Province as part of a joint U.S./Vietnamese investigation team. They interviewed witnesses in the area where Cichon was last seen who had served with People's Army of Vietnam forces during the war years. Medical personnel who served in the area described an American brought to the 66th Regiment treatment station in 1968. The information appeared to correlate to Cichon. Medical personnel from Hospital V84 also described an American with a head wound whom arrived at the B3 Theater Headquarters treatment station and who seemed to resemble Cichon. These witnesses also described a half dozen American POWs brought into their hospital. They were, however, unable to describe the precise fate of each American and could not provide the names of the six or seven Americans taken to this hospital.
John W. Held
On April 17, 1968, Captain Held was the pilot of an A-37A scrambled from Bien Hoa Air Base for a mission in Phuoc Long Province. His aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire, and Captain Held ejected and landed approximately 300 meters north of the aircraft's crash site. Rescue forces landed and located his parachute in trees, but no one was in the parachute. There were foot prints beneath the parachute and four trails leading from the area. The search team fanned out and searched the area but could not locate any sign of Captain Held. Aircraft hovered over the area for five hours but were unsuccessful in locating him. Later, a voice that sounded Vietnamese broadcast from his radio, and these transmissions continued until April 19th, but it was never followed by the proper authentication signal. Captain Held was initially declared missing in action.
In January 1975, U.S. intelligence received a report of a wartime sighting of three Americans and one Korean being moved north along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This report was filed in Captain Held's file although the description of the three Americans did not appear to correlate to Captain Held.
After the end of hostilities, Captain Held was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate.
In March 1992, U.S. investigators in Vietnam traveled to Bu Dang District, Song Be Province and interviewed three witnesses who described locating a dead pilot in the area where Captain Held landed. They also located an apparent crash site, however, the witnesses provided different accounts of the recovery of the body, and the investigators were unable to rule out the possibility that one of more of the tribesmen had been involved in the pilot's death. The team was unable to locate any human remains.
Philip R. Shafer
On April 19, 1968, Specialist 4th Class Shafer was crew chief on a CH-54 helicopter carrying a bulldozer to Landing Zone Tiger located in the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. Other crew members included Captain Lord (aircraft commander), CW3 Willard (pilot), and Specialist 6th Class Werdehoff (flight engineer). Approximately 1.5 kilometers from the landing zone eyewitnesses reported an explosion in the cockpit of the helicopter which caught fire and crashed at the base of a cliff, exploding. There were no signs of survivors.
The crew was initially reported missing in action and after the war was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on their fate.
Frederick J. Ransbottom
On May 12, 1968, Lieutenant Ransbottom was a member of the Americal Division and was last seen at an observation post at the Kham Duc Special Forces camp and engaging hostile forces. He last reported shooting at hostile forces as they were entering his bunker. The Kham Duc post was eventually overrun and eight individuals at Observation Post 2 could not be located following the withdrawal. The remains of six others were located later. Ransbottom and others at Observation Post 2 were declared missing.
Ransbottom was not accounted for during Operation Homecoming and returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about his fate. In May 1979, Ransbottom was declared dead/body not recovered.
Walter R. Schmidt, Jr.
On January 9, 1968, Lieutenant Schmidt's A-4E aircraft was shot down by hostile ground fire over the A Shau Valley in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. He ejected and landed safely and established voice contact with search and rescue forces to whom he reported that he had a hurt hand and a possible broken leg. SAR forces observed him on the ground and established that enemy forces were within 20 meters of his location.
Lieutenant Schmidt was carried as a POW at the time of operation Homecoming and was declared dead/body not recovered after the end of hostilities. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on his fate.
Joint Casualty Resolution Center investigations in the A Shau Valley during August 1989 failed to locate any witnesses who could provide information on the crash site or the reported capture of Lieutenant Schmidt. They were also unable to locate any evidence about his aircraft or his grave site.
Donald R. Fowler
On August 1, 1968, Warrant Officer Fernan, First Lieutenant Russell, Specialist Fourth Class Fowler and Specialist Fifth Class Hastings disappeared while on board a UH-1C helicopter during a flight through bad weather in Song Be Province. A search for them was unsuccessful.
On August 6, 1971 local woodcutters discovered the helicopter wreckage. Partial remains belonging to Warrant Officer Fernan were recovered, but none were recovered of the other three crewmen. The possibility that the other three crewmen might have survived arose due to the condition of the wreckage.
The four crewmen were initially declared missing and, after the end of hostilities, were declared dead/body not recovered. They were not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
In June 1989, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam located six individuals who witnessed an American being captured after he was injured in an aircraft crash in 1968. The American was taken first to Bu Dang District Headquarters and then to the Phuoc Long Province POW camp. As a result of malaria, the prisoner was taken to Hospital 370 where he died one week later and was buried nearby.
This report is viewed as possibly correlating to the fate of one of the aircraft's survivors. Additionally, a doctor recently interviewed in Vietnam identified the photograph of Lieutenant Russell as the patient brought to his hospital from a nearby POW camp. He stated that the American died at the hospital and was buried nearby. No reports correlated to other survivors.
On August 22, 1968, Private First Class Acosta-Rosario's element of the 25th Infantry Division was attacked by hostile forces in the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation east of Tay Ninh City, Tay Ninh Province.
After his unit withdrew, PFC Acosta-Rosario was determined to be missing, and he was declared so. When his unit reoccupied the abandoned position, they could not find any trace of him. Some freshly dug graves were located and bodies were exhumed, but it was determined that they were probably members of the People's Army unit which encountered PFC Acosta-Rosario's unit.
PFC Acosta-Rosario was last seen with his M-60 machine gun as his unit was receiving enemy 60mm mortar fire. His platoon sergeant stated that he believed PFC Acosta-Rosario had been hit by enemy fire prior to the unit's withdrawal.
Subsequent to the engagement, friendly forces captured documents from the Vietnam People's Army 7th Infantry Division dated August 23, 1968. The documents reported the capture of two Americans on August 22nd. Although the names of the two were not provided, the specificity of the date and area of capture permitted a tentative correlation to the capture of PFC Acosta-Rosario and PFC Walter Ferguson (Case 1260).
After Operation Homecoming, there was an effort to locate any information about PFC Acosta-Rosario's fate. In 1974 there was information that an American had been captured alive in the Ben Cui Rubber Plantation, but it could not be correlated to him. Information was received in the late 1980s which mentioned the recovery of remains of a deceased American, but this also could not be correlated to Acosta-Rosario.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on Acosta-Rosario's eventual fate. In March 1978, Acosta-Rosario was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
Dallas R. Pridemore
On September 8, 1966, Staff Sergeant Pridemore was visiting a local Vietnamese family in the suburbs of Saigon in Thu Duc District, Gia Dinh Province. He was abducted during the visit. Wartime reports indicated he was last seen alive in Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia in January 1969, and he was believed already dead when a skull, said to be his, was found in April 1969. Another report was received of the sighting of an individual resembling Sergeant Pridemore in Memot, Cambodia in April 1974.
Sergeant Pridemore was listed as a POW at the end of Operation Homecoming. He was later declared dead/body not recovered.
U.S. investigators in Vietnam in June and October 1989 interviewed witnesses who stated that Sergeant Pridemore had been captured alive. They said he was initially imprisoned in Binh Duong Province and was later transferred to the custody of the Liberation Army Headquarters. Other witnesses stated Sergeant Pridemore was being detained at a rustic prison in Cambodia when he was allegedly killed in a U.S. bombing. Further investigation conducted in April 1992 resulted in interviews with the former commander of the 1st Special Action Group, Sub-Region 4, who stated that Sergeant Pridemore's Vietnamese girlfriend was a local agent who compromised him and arranged for his capture.
In February and March 1992, U.S. investigators received additional information that Pridemore was sent to Binh Duong Province after capture. From there, he was taken toward the B-3 Front Theater Headquarters. He may have been taken into Cambodia in 1969.
Earl E. Shark
On 12 September 1968, Sergeant Shark was serving as the point man for the 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. As the platoon advanced up a hill approximately 6 kilometers northeast of the town of Loc Ninh, Song Be (formerly Binh Long) Province, his unit came under intense enemy fire. The radio operator with Sergeant Shark radioed that they had both been hit. The platoon leader and his radio operator crawled to within 5-10 meters of Sergeant Shark. They could see no movement,heard no noise, and saw no visible sign of life. As the contact continued, the Platoon leader through a hand grenade at an enemy soldier in a bunker in front of Sergeant Shark. The grenade fell short and exploded closer to Sergeant Shark than the enemy. The fragmentation from the platoon leader's grenade was close enough to Sergeant Shark to set off the smoke grenades attached to Sergeant Shark's web gear but Sergeant Shark still made no voluntary movement. Due to heavy enemy fire, the platoon leader and his radio operator were forced to withdraw without retrieving Sergeant Shark.
On September 15, 1968, the unit was able to reach the area where Sgt Shark was last seen. However, he could not be located by ground or air search.
Although seriously wounded, Sergeant Shark apparently was alive and survived for several days. His name and date of death appeared on the Died in Captivity list provided by the Provisional Revolutionary government of South Vietnam on January 27, 1973. Sergeant Shark's date of death was given as September 1968.
Intelligence reports that have been correlated to Sergeant Shark indicate that Sergeant Shark died of his wounds and complications following the amputation of one of his legs about five days after his capture. He apparently died at K101 Dispensary in Cambodia and was reportedly buried west of the hospital. His remains have not yet been recovered and repatriated.
Dickie F. Finley
On October 21, 1968, Private First Class Finley and four other unit members were conducting a reconnaissance patrol approximately 45 kilometers northwest of Banmethuot, Darlac Province. They encountered a hostile force and evaded to a helicopter pickup point. The helicopter which arrived to pick up the unit had to take off due to heavy enemy fire, and PFC Finley could not be extracted. A search effort on October 23rd proved negative.
PFC Finley was initially declared missing. In November 1976, he was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about his presence in the Vietnamese prison system nor his fate.
Donald L. Harrison
On October 29, 1968, Lieutenants Donald L. Harrison and Steven N. Bezold were flying in an O-1G observation aircraft in a flight of two aircraft. The aircraft was hit by antiaircraft fire and crashed in an area approximately 34 kilometers northwest of Quang Tri City and six kilometers northwest of Con Thien, Quang Tri Province. No parachute was seen and no electronic beacon signals were heard.
The next morning, search and rescue personnel located the crash site but received intense anti-aircraft file from the surrounding area. At one point, weak electronic beacon signals were heard, but could not be pinpointed. Search and rescue forced noted that the plane hit flat. The left wind was twisted back and up at an 90 degree angle. The right wing was ripped off of the fuselage near the tail section. Horizonal and vertical stabilizers were intact and the fuselage was intact. No bodies were observed in or near the wreckage. Anti-aircraft fire, brush, and trees precluded a closer look. However, the searchers noted that the wreckage had been moved and saw vehicle tracks leading from the aircraft.
Both flyers were declared missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on their precise fate. After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
John T. McDonnell
On March 6, 1969, Captain McDonnell was the pilot of an AH-1G Cobra helicopter hit and downed by hostile fire in Thua Thien Province. His crew member, a First Lieutenant, was rescued alive on March 7 but was unable to provide any information on the fate of Captain McDonnell. A search mission was also unsuccessful.
Captain McDonnell was declared missing and, in February 1977, was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to shed any light on his fate.
U.S. investigators in Vietnam during January 1991 interviewed witnesses who described the capture of an American pilot in the area where Captain McDonnell disappeared. They reported he had a broken and bleeding arm when taken prisoner and brought to a People's Army of Vietnam regimental headquarters which received instructions to transport him to the Tri Thien Hue Military Region Headquarters. He died en route, was buried, and the U.S. field team was shown his purported burial site. The site was excavated but no remains were located.
William C. Pierson, III
On April 13, 1969, Warrant Officer Pierson and Captain Alvie J. Ledford were crewmen on an AH-1G aircraft making an attack run on an enemy gun position in Quang Nam Province. While at an approximate altitude of 500 feet and in a 45 degree dive, an accompanying aircraft pilot saw their aircraft hit by hostile ground fire. He also described seeing the pilot's compartment separate from the aircraft and disintegrate as it fell. Both crewmen were initially reported missing in action.
Captain Ledford's remains were recovered on April 20, 1969. Warrant Officer Pierson was declared dead/body not recovered, in October 1978. U.S. POWs returned alive during Operation Homecoming were unable to provide any information on the fate of Warrant Officer Pierson.
Charles V. Newton
On April 14, 1969, Specialist Fourth Class Dahill, Staff Sergeant Newton and Sergeant Prevedel, Special Force personnel from Detachment B-52, 5th Special Forces Group, were on a reconnaissance mission in Quang Nam Province. They made contact with hostile forces on April 16th. On April 17th, Dahill radioed his location at noon and reported that they were under attack and requested air extraction. There was no further contact with the team. A search of the area between April 18 and 25 failed to turn up any sign of the three missing servicemen, and they were declared missing in action. Later, a Viet Cong POW reported sighting two American POWs in Quang Nam Province in May 1969. This report was placed on the files of those in this loss incident as possibly correlating to the survival of two of the patrol members.
The three missing Green Berets were not accounted for during Operation Homecoming. In September 1978 they were declared killed in action/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In March 1991, Vietnam returned one tooth, uniform parts and a small quantity of human remains that were purportedly associated with the three missing servicemen. A review board determined that the limited quantity of material could not conclude any correlation to the missing servicemen.
Donald L. Sparks
On June 17, 1969, Private First Class Sparks, a member of the Americal Division, was with his platoon when it was ambushed in Central Vietnam. He fell to the ground wounded. Reports were received that he had been captured, and, in May 1970, a letter of his was located which had been written after capture. He was reclassified as a POW. A wartime report from a South Vietnamese soldier described the death of an American named "Don" held with him at a POW camp in 1971.
PFC Sparks was not accounted-for during Operation Homecoming, and other U.S. POWs were unable to confirm his fate. In November 1979, he was declared dead/body not recovered.
In April 1989, U.S. investigators interviewed witnesses in Vietnam who described the evacuation by elements of the 31st Regiment of an American POW. This information was correlated to PFC Sparks. In August 1990, a U.S. team received additional information from witnesses about the capture of an American by the Vietnam People's Army 31st Regiment, 2nd Division which was again correlated to PFC Sparks. In January 1992, a U.S. field team in Vietnam interviewed an individual that described an American POW with a leg wound in Quang Tin Province. This case is still under active investigation.
John G. Graf
On November 15, 1969, Commander Graf, a U.S. Navy intelligence officer, was accompanying U.S. Army Captain Robert White on a flight south of Saigon. Their aircraft was hit by hostile small arms fire and crashed along the coast in Vinh Binh Province. Both crewmen parachuted to safety, were captured by local guerilla forces, and held in a provincial level prison. Both crewmen were initially reported as missing and then reclassified as POWs.
Commander Graf escaped from the prison circa February 1971 and was never seen again by Captain White. Captain White survived in the Vinh Binh prison. In 1972, a captured People's Army of Vietnam document from Military Region 3 in the southern Vietnam delta identified him as the only American POW in captivity in the delta who had not been evacuated to the Region 3 Headquarters controlled prison in the U-Minh mangrove swamp in Kien Giang Province.
Captain White's name did not appear on the Provisional Revolutionary Government's list of Americans to be repatriated during Operation Homecoming. Then, at the end of March 1973, People's Army of Vietnam General Tran Van Tra advised U.S. officers with the Joint Military Commission that Captain White had been omitted from the list and was to be repatriated. He was released to U.S. officials on April 1, 1973, the last American POW released during Operation Homecoming. Upon repatriation, he stated he was led to believe during the war that Commander Graf was still alive but had been told prior to his release that Commander Graf had died.
Wartime records recovered from the Vinh Binh area included the interrogation reports of Captain White and Commander Graf. After Operation Homecoming, Commander Graf was declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
U.S. investigators in Vietnam recently interviewed former staff of the provincial prison who described Commander Graf's escape. His body was recovered later and it was evident he had drowned. His body was buried in a river bank which later eroded in flooding, washing away the area where his body had been buried.
Gary B. Scull
On March 12, 1970, Second Lieutenant Scull was an advisor serving with a South Vietnamese battalion at a bridge outpost in Quang Tri Province. Their position came under heavy attack, and the bunker in which he was located appeared to have partially collapsed. When the bunker was recaptured and dug out, there was no sign of Lieutenant Scull.
Lieutenant Scull was not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system. He was initially declared missing and, after the end of hostilities, was declared dead/body not recovered.
In December 1974, a former soldier of the Vietnam People's Army reported seeing an American POW in June 1971. The American had been captured by elements of the 52nd Regiment, 320th Division, in Quang Tri Province. He was being taken to the B-5 Front Headquarters. This report possibly correlates to Lieutenant Scull.
An account of Vietnam People's Army operations published in North Vietnam after 1975 included a wartime photograph which appeared to be taken from the vantage point of the bunker where Lieutenant Scull was last seen.
A U.S. field team recently visited the area where Lieutenant Scull was last seen in his bunker. They excavated a shallow grave and recovered a small amount of human remains. They were unable to locate any witnesses to the engagement.
Eugene L. Wheeler
On April 21, 1970, Major Wheeler and Captain Charles E. Hatch were the crewmen in an OV-10A on a reconnaissance mission over South Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by hostile ant-aircraft fire and crashed in Quang Nam Province. Both airmen were able to exit their aircraft and landed alive on the ground. Captain Hatch was in contact by radio with search and rescue forces. The next morning, Captain Hatch reported that Vietnam People's Army forces were closing in on Major Wheeler's position. He then heard automatic weapons firing, the sound of pistol shots and then had no further contact with Major Wheeler.
Captain Hatch was rescued alive, and Major Wheeler was declared missing in action. He was not accounted for during Operation Homecoming and was later declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In April 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam located a member of the militia unit which claimed it shot down the aircraft associated with this loss incident. The witness stated he heard that Vietnam People's Army forces had shot and killed the pilot who, at the time, was resisting capture. The team received hearsay information the pilot was buried nearby, but the information did not appear to be credible. U.S. investigators also received information on the location of the crash site and confirmed its location after receiving a data plate from the aircraft.
Larry G. Kier
On May 6, 1970, Private First Class Kier and Private First Class Terran were at a fire support base in Quang Tri Province. Their position came under an enemy attack and a nearby ammunition dump 20 meters from their bunker was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. Napalm from the ammunition dump leaked into their position which caught fire and burned. After the attack Terran could not be located, and Kier, at a separate location, could not be located either. Both individuals were declared killed in action, body not recovered in the late 1970s.
In August 1991, a Vietnam resident turned over the partially melted identity card belonging to Kier together with two bone fragments. The bones were reportedly recovered during 1987 and were turned over to a U.S. representative in Hanoi. The fragments are currently undergoing analysis.
Alan R. Trent
On May 13, 1970, First Lieutenant Huberth and Captain Trent were the crew in an F-4D, one in a flight of two F-4 which took off from Phu Cat Air Base against a target approximately 105 miles northwest inside Cambodia. There was .30 and .50 calibre ground fire against their aircraft while in the target area. Their aircraft was observed to crash into a ridge line during a dive. A forward air controller saw no one eject, no parachutes and heard no beepers. Another F-4 on the scene and with a clear view of the crash reported the aircraft exploded on impact with a full load of munitions on board and the resultant wreckage was spread over a 500 meter area. There was a search and rescue effort on May 14th and 15th, to include a ground team on the 14th, but there was no evidence that anyone had survived the incident.
Both airmen were initially reported missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate. In November 1973 both were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
James M. Rozo
On June 23, 1970, Sergeant First Class Joe P. Pederson, Private Robert P. Phillips and Specialist Fourth Class Rozo, members of the 595th Signal Company, departed the town of Lai Khe to drive to Phuoc Vinh. They never arrived at their intended destination and were declared missing. Information culled from enemy POWs during the war claimed that two individuals were captured alive during the ambush of their vehicle. Additional information was received that the two were initially taken to the Sub-Region 5 Headquarters and were then taken in the direction of Cambodia. Other information alleged they were in a prison from which they attempted to escape, resulting in one of them being killed and the other successfully escaping.
Rozo, Phillips and Pederson were all listed as POW at the end of Operation Homecoming. They were later declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on their fate.
The Joint Casualty Resolution Center field investigators in Vietnam have located witnesses to the imprisonment of the three Americans. Two were in captivity when they reportedly attempted to escape from a jungle prison and were killed by mines around the prison.
Bernard H. Plassmeyer
On September 11, 1970, Plassmeyer was the pilot of an A-4E on a support mission near the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. It appeared that his aircraft was downed by hostile groundfire and crashed in the target area. There was no evidence of a parachute, and no beeper signal was heard. A later search located the wreckage and from its condition determined that Plassmeyer's aircraft had disintegrated upon impact. That same day, a forward air controller saw a parachute and torso harness in some nearby trees. There appeared to be blood on the harness. Plassmeyer was initially declared missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate, and he was later declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In March 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam located the crash site associated with this incident. They were unable to locate any witnesses to the shoot down and could not locate any remains. However, they did locate fragments of the aircraft's ejection seat and a face piece which indicated the pilot did not eject from the aircraft prior to impact.
Douglas F. Strait
On October 18, 1970, Specialist Fourth Class Strait and two others were in an OH-6A observation helicopter on a flight to Phuoc Vinh Province. Their helicopter was hit by hostile groundfire and crashed 28 kilometers northeast of Tan Uyen. The remains of two of the crewmen were later recovered as well as three crew helmets. One was badly burned, one was destroyed and one was undamaged. There were ground signs suggested the third crewman may have been captured.
Specialist Straight was initially declared missing. In November 1975, he was declared dead/body not recovered. He was not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
In 1983, U.S. intelligence received information about the crash site of a U.S. aircraft and buried remains in the where area Specialist Strait was lost, but this report could not be correlated specifically to Specialist Strait.
John T. Strawn
On March 4, 1971, a JU-21A with a crew of five departed South Vietnam on an intelligence gathering mission in the area of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam. Contact was lost with the aircraft, it did not return from its mission, and the crew was initially declared missing. A search effort to locate the missing aircraft and crew failed to locate them along its known flight path and the aircrew was declared missing.
On March 4, 1971, a People's Army of Vietnam unit in the area of the Demilitarized Zone radioed it had launched one of its surface to air missiles and had shot down an unidentified aircraft it had been tracking. It also reported that the aircraft had crashed and the five crewmen on board were dead. U.S. intelligence analysis of the North Vietnamese reports about the aircraft's flight path and crash location indicated the aircraft crashed approximately two miles inside the DMZ in Quang Tri Province. Further analysis indicated the aircraft was shot down after the JU-21A's last radio transmission. Based on the flight path and circumstances of the North Vietnamese report, it was correlated to the loss of this air crew and its aircraft.
Following the loss, the Vietnam News Agency reported that a U.S. aircraft had been downed in Quang Binh Province killing many of the men on board. This report was believed also associated with this air loss. In addition, U.S. intelligence obtained a wire photo disseminated by the Vietnam News Agency showing aircraft wreckage in Quang Tri Province on March 4, 1971. U.S. analysis in conjunction with the aircraft's manufacturer determined the wreckage was of a U-21 and probably related to the wreckage of the missing flight. Unidentified notes in the files indicate this photograph may not have been provided to the next of kin because it wasn't asked for and because of indecision about how to declassify a 21 year old wirephoto. After the Vietnamese reports of their shoot down of an aircraft and the death of its crew, the U.S. Army declared the crew had been killed in action, body not recovered.
In late June and early July 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team visited the area of the reported JU-21A crash site in Gio Linh District. Witnesses were interviewed who claimed to have visited the crash site during the war and reported seeing 4-5 remains at the site. The remains were reportedly placed in a nearby bomb crater and covered. Aircraft wreckage was located at the crash site as well as items of personal equipment. There were differences in first hand and hearsay accounts of the locations of the bodies but the sum of the information was that the individuals had died and their remains buried in the area. Joint Task Force Full Accounting has recommended the site for excavation.
Clive G. Jeffs
On March 12, 1971, First Lieutenant Jeffs was the pilot of an F- 100D, one of two aircraft on a combat mission over Darlac Province. His engine flamed out, and he was forced to eject. Other aircraft heard a good beeper but could not establish voice contact with Lieutenant Jeffs. A search and rescue effort for ten days did not locate any sign of him, and he was declared missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on Lieutenant Jeff's eventual fate. He was later declared killed in action/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In August 1974, an F0199 crash site was located in Kron Bong District. From all available evidence, the pilot had ejected from the aircraft prior to its crash, and the site appeared to correlate to Lieutenant Jeff's crash site. There was no sign of any remains at the crash site.
In December 1990, U.S. investigators in Vietnam visited Kron Bong District. They interviewed witnesses who reported finding a parachute they believed had belonged to the pilot. The team was unable to obtain any information on the pilot's fate.
Manuel R. Puentes
On March 25, 1971, Private First Class Puentes, Staff Sergeant McDonell, and Private First Class Rossano were members of a twelve man patrol from the 23rd Infantry Division operating in Quang Tri Province. They had gone to check an area of hostile bunkers when they were ambushed. PFC Rossano was reportedly the first hit by an exploding grenade and he fell to the ground covered with blood. PFC Puentes was also wounded and when last seen was attempting to seek cover. Sergeant McDonell was apparently killed instantly when a grenade exploded in his hand.
Following the ambush the three men were not located and they were initially declared missing in action. In June 1971, Sergeant McDonell and PFC Rossano were declared killed in action, body not recovered. In August 1978, PFC Puentes was declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate.
Isaako F. Malo
On April 23, 1971, a six man radio relay team was inserted into a landing zone in the area of the village of A Luoi in western Thua Thien Province. The team came under intense hostile ground fire and efforts were made to extract the team. Two helicopters were shot down by hostile ground fire during the extraction attempt. The helicopter crewmen and radio relay team members all came under extremely heavy hostile ground fire and became widely dispersed. On board one of the helicopters were members of L Company, 75th Ranger Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, including PFC Malo and PFC Champion.
PFC Malo was last seen by survivors on April 24th and was wounded that day after a close-in air strike by a U.S. Cobra helicopter which apparently wounded two of the survivors. PFC Champion was last seen on the morning of April 25th when he left to look for water. One of the survivors later heard small arms fire from the area where PFC Champion had first gone. A ground search of the area during April 25-30, 1971, failed to locate either of the missing soldiers. This included a psychological warfare operations aircraft which conducted broadcasts over the early during April 25- 28, calling on PFC's Malo and Champion to go to the landing zone for pick-up. Neither soldier came to the landing zone.
PFC Malo was captured by Vietnam People's Army forces and taken to North Vietnam. He was repatriated during Operation Homecoming in March 1973. During his debriefing he stated he never saw PFC Champion in captivity.
PFC Champion was declared missing in action at the time of his loss incident. In 1978 he was declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
James F. Worth
On April 1, 1972, Corporal Worth was the naval member of a gunfire liaison team in Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province. This incident coincided with the launching of the Spring 1972 offensive by the Vietnam People's Army.
Corporal Worth's team was hit by a heavy ground attack and was forced to withdraw. At that point, Corporal Worth was determined to be missing. On the afternoon of April 2nd, Corporal Worth came up on his radio with a message that he was on his way overland to Dong Ha. He never arrived.
Corporal Worth was initially declared missing and, in December 1976, was declared dead/body not recovered. He was never reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system.
Wayne L. Bolte
On April 2, 1972, an EB-66 from Korat Air Base, Thailand, was on an electronic countermeasure mission over North Vietnam. At approximately 0850 hours an F-105 pilot in the area observed a surface to air missile fired from the vicinity of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam which hit the EB-66, code name Bat 21. The EB-66 was then seen to be trailing flames from both wings and crash into Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. No one was seen to eject from the aircraft but a single beeper was heard.
Later, voice contact was established with Lieutenant Colonel Iceal E. Hambleton, the lone survivor, and he was rescued 12 days later. He had no information that any other crewmen had survived. He described how the surface to air missile struck below and behind the navigator in the area of the aircraft's forward compartment. He saw Major Bolte after the hit but did not know if he was able to eject. All other crewmen were declared missing in action.
After the loss of the RB-66, a Vietnam People's Army unit reported three missiles had been fired and "struck" a target. Orange parachutes were reported. On April 2, 1972, Vietnamese radio reported that the People's Army had fired missiles and hit a B-52 in the Vinh Linh Special Zone area and other aircraft had fled. Another report from Hanoi in English on April 5th reported the aircraft had burst into flames and exploded.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on the precise fate of the missing crewmen. After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
Ronald P. Paschall
On April 2, 1972, a UH-1H helicopter from the 1st Signal Brigade with four men on-board was on a direct combat support mission near Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province. While searching for the crew of a downed U.S. Air Force aircraft, the helicopter was hit by hostile small arms fire and crashed. An airborne SAR mission failed to locate any survivors and the crew was declared missing in action.
In April 1972, a former People's Army of Vietnam sergeant reported the downing of a helicopter on April 1, 1972, which crashed near an anti-aircraft gun position in the vicinity of this loss incident. The crew was believed to have been killed in the crash. In another report, a former People's Army soldier reported sighting an American POW in April 1972 who was being escorted by nurses near the Ben Hai River in Quang Tri Province. The American was captured from an aircraft shot down by People's Army forces.
In March 1973, surviving crewman Jose M. Astorga was repatriated alive during Operation Homecoming. He reported that hostile fire hit their helicopter's fuel cell which exploded, engulfing their helicopter in flames. He believed all other crewmen died in the ensuing fire and crash, and neither he nor any other returning POWs had any knowledge that any other crewmen survived into captivity. After Operation Homecoming, the other crewmen were declared killed in action, body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
Douglas L. Neil
On April 3, 1972, CW2 Zich and three other servicemen were on board a UH1H helicopter on an in-country flight in the area of Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. The aircraft never returned from its mission and there were no initial reports of the aircraft's possible crash site. They were initially declared missing in action.
In July 1974 U.S. intelligence received hearsay information on a helicopter crash site and dead crew which might have correlated to this incident;however, this incident was approximately 20 kilometers from the suspect area of loss. In January 1980 another report was received about the explosion of a helicopter and the location of remains associated with its crew but it could not be specifically correlated to this loss incident.
There were no reports from returning U.S. POWs that CW2 Zich or other crewmen had been seen alive in captivity. After the end of hostilities all were declared dead/body not recovered.
Howard B. Lull
On April 7, 1972, Sergeant First Class Lull was one of seven Americans from Advisory Team 47 and one French national present at An Loc City, Binh Long Province, when forces of the South Vietnamese Army's 9th Regiment, 5th Infantry Division, were attacked and overrun by tank led forces of the Vietnam People's Army. Both Sergeant Lull and Colonel Schott were initially reported missing in action. The French national with the Americans was released shortly after capture. He was able to confirm captivity of those Americans with him but was unable to establish the fate of Sergeant Lull and Lt. Colonel Schott.
Returning U.S. POWs repatriated in February 1973 reported that Lieutenant Colonel Schott was last seen on April 7th and in circumstances where he appeared to be dead. Sergeant First Class Lull was believed captured on April 8th.
In February 1973, a member of the South Vietnamese Army captured on April 9th and repatriated in February 1973 reported that Sergeant Lull evaded capture and reached a South Vietnamese Army post approximately 13 kilometers to the south of where his team was overrun. There he was reportedly killed in a Viet Cong ambush. The former commander of the South Vietnamese Army's 9th Infantry Regiment stated that both Colonel Schott and Sergeant Lull died in their bunker.
In December 1988, U.S. intelligence personnel interviewed two former South Vietnamese Army personnel who participated in the lifting of the siege of An Loc. They described having been present when An Loc was retaken and the bodies of those killed were collected and buried in a mass grave. They stated that the bodies included the partially decomposed bodies of two Americans, a Lieutenant Colonel and a non-commissioned officer, possibly a Sergeant First Class.
During the post hostilities review of the cases of those carried as missing in action, Sergeant Lull and Colonel Schott were declared dead/body not recovered. Neither individual was seen alive in captivity by other U.S. POWs captured at An Loc.
Bruce C. Walker
On April 7, 1972, Lieutenant Walker took off in an OV-10 from Da Nang Air Base and flew north to Hue City and picked up Lieutenant Potts, a naval artillery observer, to coordinate naval gunfire on hostile ground targets in the area south of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam. A forward air controller in the target area received a radio report from Lieutenant Walker confirming that the OV-10 had been shot down. Search and rescue forces located two parachutes on the ground and established radio contact with both Lieutenants, but hostile ground fire drove off the SAR aircraft. Visual and radio contact was maintained with Lieutenant Walker, but all contact was lost with Lieutenant Potts.
Lieutenant Walker was able to use his signal mirror over the next several days to help SAR forces pinpoint his location as he directed air strikes against camouflaged enemy ground targets. Finally, on April 15th, a survival kit was dropped to him. The SAR forces worked with Lieutenant Walker to have him move toward the east, and, on April 18th, they determined his eastward movement was much quicker than anticipated. That morning Lieutenant Walker radioed that he had encountered hostile forces and, at 0718 hours, was receiving enemy fire. This was the last transmission from him.
An F-4 dropped ordnance around his position and this caused hostile ground forces to partially withdraw. When last seen, Lieutenant Walker was lying in a ditch within 50 yards of 20 enemy soldiers coming after him. Shortly after that, two U.S. officers reported that hostile forces came upon Lieutenant Walker's radio and that there was whistling, yelling, and laughing before the radio transmission was apparently turned off.
On April 7th, a Vietnamese unit reported from Quang Binh that two pilots had been captured the previous night. Others reports on April 7th mentioned one aircraft shot down, but there was no mentioned of the fate of the crew. Also on April 6th, Radio Hanoi broadcast a report about the downing of aircraft in Quang Binh and the Vinh Linh Special Zone, but there was no reference to the capture of any aircrews.
In April 1972, a People's Army of Vietnam soldier reported seeing an American POW approximately seven kilometers north of Lieutenant Walker's last known location. He was reportedly one of two crewmen from an OV-10 downed by a heat seeking surface-to-air missile on April 1, 1972. A second crewmen, an African-American, was killed trying to escape. Other reports of the sighting of an African- American who was wounded, captured alive, and died circa July 1972 in prison camp K-4 in Quang Binh Province were received.
A joint U.S./Vietnamese investigation was conducted in Gio Linh District, Quang Tri Province in July 1990. A reported grave site was excavated, but no remains were recovered. Witnesses stated the remains were exhumed several years after they were first buried. The team was unable to visit the area of the former K-4 prison camp in Quang Binh Province.
Lieutenants Walker and Potts were declared missing, and returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide information on their precise fate.
By January 1980, both had been declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
Robert W. Brownlee, Jr.
On April 24, 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Brownlee was with Advisory Team 22 together with the South Vietnamese Army's 47th Regiment at a base designated Dak To II in Kontum Province. The position came under heavy hostile attack and Colonel Brownlee withdrew from Dak To II together with Captain Charles W. Creen and a South Vietnamese Army interpreter, Sergeant Cao Ky Chi. Fording the nearby Poko River, both Captain Creen and Sergeant Chi were swept downstream and temporarily separated from Colonel Brownlee who reached the south bank of the Poko River and began climbing a hill.
After successfully evading, Sergeant Chi related that he had reached the south bank of the Poko River and heard People's Army of Vietnam troops call out in Vietnamese to halt. He observed South Vietnamese Army soldier approximately 100 meters away raise their hands but had no personal knowledge of the fate of Colonel Brownlee.
South Vietnamese personnel repatriated during Operation Homecoming provided several hearsay accounts during 1973-1974 in an effort by the Defense Attache Office, Saigon, to learn Colonel Brownlee's fate. These accounts, all attributed to different South Vietnamese Army prisoner sources, stated that Colonel Brownlee had committed suicide prior to capture. None of these accounts could be verified.
One returning U.S. POW, Captain Reeder, knew Colonel Brownlee had been at Dak To II and knew him to be the senior district advisor but had no knowledge of his fate. Captain Reeder had also heard an account traced to a 42nd Regiment doctor that Colonel Brownlee was dead, but Captain Reeder did not find the source to be reliable.
No returning U.S. POW was able to provide any information on Colonel Brownlee's precise fate. In November 1978 he was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In May 1985, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center received a report that a worker in the Dak To area had found human remains there. This report was replaced in Colonel Brownlee's file.
Rodney L. Strowbridge
On May 11, 1972, Captains Strowbridge and Williams were the crew in an AH-1G helicopter, one in a flight of three providing air operations support to South Vietnamese Army forces heavily engaged by hostile units in the siege of An Loc town, Binh Long Province, now renamed Song Be Province. Their helicopter was hit in the tail boom and the boom was immediately severed, possibly by a surface to air missile. Their helicopter went into a flat spin and crashed but no one saw the actual crash. Heavy anti-aircraft fire precluded a search of the crash site area.
Both airmen were declared missing in action. One returnee stated he heard the name Robert J. Williams in the POW communications system but Captain Williams was not seen or reported alive by any returning POW. After Operation Homecoming the two crewmen were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In September 1974, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center reported a crash site associated with a 1972 aircraft downing. The remains of a pilot were reportedly buried nearby. In 1983 and 1984, JCRC received further reporting about aircraft wreckage associated with remains in the area of their crash. In July 1987, a source reported dog-tag information associated with Robert J. Williams and reported his remains were in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. In May 1991, another source previously incarcerated at the Tong Le Chan reeducation camp provided dog tag information with the name Robert Williams and asserted his remains were in Song Be Province.
Larry K. Morrow
On May 29, 1972, Specialist Fourth Class Morrow was the gunner/observer on an OH-6A helicopter conducting a visual reconnaissance in Kontum Province. Enemy ground fire hit his aircraft causing it to crash and burn. On June 39, 1972, South Vietnamese Army forces searched the crash site and recovered Specialist Morrow's flight helmet and the skeletal remains of other crewmen who perished in the incident. The crash site area was later struck by a B-52 airstrike.
Specialist Morrow was initially declared missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate. In November 1973, he was declared killed in action/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
On December 21, 1973, a Vietnam People's Army defector reported having seen an American POW in June 1972 at a location approximately 55 kilometers from the crash site. This report was placed in Specialist Morrow's file. In August 1974, the crash site was searched again, but no further human remains were recovered. In August 1983, U.S. intelligence received information concerning the downing of a U.S. aircraft in the general area of Specialist Morrow's loss incident. One airman was reportedly killed and one captured. This report was also placed in Specialist Morrow's file.
In December 1990, U.S. investigators in Vietnam visited the area of this loss incident. They interviewed a former Vietnam People's Army officer with knowledge of the area and some responsibility for U.S. POWs held in the area. Although they had information on some U.S. POWs, they had no information about Specialist Morrow, including an indication as to whether or not he had been captured alive.
Larry J. Newman
On June 16, 1972, a C-130 escorted by three F-4 was over the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. On its second orbit over the target it was hit by a shoulder fired SA-7 surface to air missile in the number three engine, a small explosion occurred and the right wing separated from the aircraft. There were another explosion and three crewmen were blown clear of the aircraft. The aircraft, in flames and with the right wing and probably the tail missing, crashed, exploded and burned on impact in the A Luoi area. The three crewmen blown from the aircraft -- Captain Gordon Bocher, Staff Sergeant William Patterson and Second Lieutenant Robert Reid -- were rescued. A SAR effort over the area failed to locate any other survivors.
At the time of this loss, a Vietnam People's Army unit reported engaging a U.S. B-52 over Quang Binh Province, the air crew parachuted out, and all were captured. DIA believed this might correlate to the AC-130 lost on June 18, 1972 because there were no B-52 aircraft lost on that date.
Early in 1973, the Air Force member of the Army Attache Exploitation Team in Laos (Project 5800-09-5) obtained information from a People's Army soldier in Laos concerning the shoot down of an AC-130 in the A Luoi area. The aircraft had been shot down by the 36th Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Binh Tram 42. The burned remains of six crewmen were reportedly found at the crash site. In June 1973 the Defense Attache Office in Saigon reported information from a source about a C-130 crash at A Luoi in which all on board were killed in the crash. Both reports were believed by DIA as possibly associated with this loss incident and the reports were placed in the files of the crewmen.
Since 1984, information has been received about a C-130 crash believed correlated with this incident and has included assertions that three crewmen were reportedly captured. Other reports have referred to the recover of remains and there have been repeated references to dog tag information associated with crewman Jacob E. Mercer. In 1991 the Defense Intelligence Agency described such reports as associated with Vietnamese intelligence service operations.
Francis W. Townsend
On August 13, 1972, First Lieutenant Townsend and Captain William A. Gauntt were the crewmen on an RF-4C aircraft which crashed northwest of the city of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Captain Gauntt was captured by People's Army of Vietnam forces, taken to North Vietnam and repatriated during Operation Homecoming.
During his post-release debriefing, Captain Gauntt reported hearing an indication that Lieutenant Townsend ejected from the aircraft. SAR forces also reported an electronic beacon signal for fifteen minutes from an area where Lieutenant Townsend is believed to have probably landed. North Vietnam three times reported shoot downs in this area, on one occasion identifying the aircraft as an RF-4C and stating that one pilot was captured at a location which is within three miles of the known crash site.
In January 1975 a former People's Army of Vietnam soldier reported seeing a wounded American in captivity circa July 1972 and suffering from head and thigh wounds, eight kilometers east of the aircraft crash site. Because Captain Gauntt was not wounded, this was tentatively correlated to Lieutenant Townsend.
Lieutenant Townsend was not reported by repatriated Americans as alive in the North Vietnamese prison system. He was initially declared mission in action and was declared dead/body not recovered, in August 1979.
William J. Crockett
On August 22, 1972, Major Tigner and First Lieutenant Crockett were the crew in an F-4H, one in a flight of four on a combat mission over Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire in the right wing and the wing separated from the aircraft. It rolled and within two to five seconds after being hit had crashed into the ground at a speed of 450 knots, skipped, and came to rest in the river at Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province. No one was seen to eject from the aircraft before it crashed and there were no electronic beepers heard. Both crewmen were declared killed in action, body not recovered.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate. After Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In July 1974 the U.S. Army's 500th Military Intelligence Group forwarded information from the South Vietnamese Army reporting information that a U.S. jet aircraft had crashed during the war approximately two kilometers west of Quang Tri City. Remains of an American, clothing and boots were observed in the wreckage. This report was believed to possibly correlate to this loss incident. The site was searched on July 26, 1974, and human remains were recovered. The area was revisited on November 6, 1974, and more artifacts, human teeth, and aircraft parts were recovered.
On September 24, 1972, Lieutenant Borah was the pilot of an aircraft on a strike mission against People's Army of Vietnam troops west of Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province. Barrage fire from 37mm anti-aircraft guns in the area of his position hit his aircraft, and it burst into flame. He was seen ejecting from the aircraft and was in voice contact while coming down in his parachute. Then, several short beeper bursts were heard, but there was no further voice contact with him. He landed in trees and his parachute was observed being pulled down through the foliage.
On September 24, 1972, a People's Army of Vietnam unit reported that it shot down an A-7 and captured the live pilot. This report was believed to be evidence of his capture, and Lieutenant Borah was subsequently reclassified from missing in action to POW.
On September 24, 1972, a People's Army unit also reported firing at and hitting an F-4B. In another report, one F-4 was reportedly downed with one pilot captured and one killed. On September 24th, Radio Hanoi reported its forces in the Vinh Linh Zone area of the Demilitarized Zone had shot down an F-4.
Lieutenant Borah was not accounted for during Operation Homecoming, and returning POWs had no information on his precise fate. In July 1977, he was declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
A January 1989 U.S./Vietnamese joint investigation in the area of Lieutenant Borah's crash site did locate aircraft wreckage, but the specialists were unable to conclude the specific type of aircraft to which the material pertained and were unable to correlate it to Lieutenant Borah's loss incident. Local witnesses with information about the fate of Lieutenant Borah could not be located.
Bobby M. Jones
On November 28, 1972, Captain Jones and First Lieutenant Harvey departed Udorn Air Base, Thailand, to ferry an F-4D to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. The last contact with the crew was when they were approximately 32 kilometers northwest of Da Nang and the aircraft then disappeared from the radar screen. They did not arrive at Da Nang and were declared missing. Search and rescue aircraft in the area heard three "Mayday" calls and beeper signals but could not associate them with this missing crew. Subsequent to their disappearance, aircraft wreckage was located on Bach Ma Mountain in Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Province and believed associated with their crash site.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the eventual fate of the two missing airmen. In 1978 they were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
Richard A. Knutson
On January 8, 1973, a UH-1H helicopter from the 62nd Aviation Company with a crew of four and three passengers from the Military Assistance Command Army Advisory Group departed Landing Zone Sally in Quang Tri Province en route to Quang Tri City. It was later reported to have flown across the Thach Han River into hostile territory and circled twice with its guns firing at an unknown ground target. It was then fired on by the People's Army of Vietnam using SA-7 ground to air missiles. The first missile missed and the second hit the helicopter's boom. A third hit the helicopter proper prior to its crash in the area of the South Vietnamese Army's Ai Tu Combat Base. Multiple SA-7 launches drove off SAR forces in the area of the helicopter shoot down. The seven servicemen were declared missing in action.
Subsequent to their loss, CIA forwarded hearsay information from a Vietnamese source reporting a helicopter had been shot down on January 8, 1973, in the area of this loss incident. Four U.S. pilots were reportedly captured and the fate of two other crewmen was unknown. DIA later determined that CIA had terminated the source due to possible fabrication of information.
DIA In August 1973, DIA received a hearsay report of a helicopter crash site in the area of this loss incident. Two remains were reportedly in the crash site area in Trieu Phong District, Quang Tri Province.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on the precise fate of the missing servicemen. After Operation Homecoming, all were declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
Mark A. Peterson
On January 27, 1973, Lieutenant Peterson and Captain Morris were the crew in an OV-10A from Nakhon Phanom Air Base, Thailand on a forward air control mission against a target in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their aircraft was apparently hit by a shoulder fired SA-7 ground-to-air missile and went into a spin, and both crewmen ejected. A witness heard the transmission, "I'm going to be captured," and identified it as Lieutenant Peterson's voice. Another witness observed hostile forces on the ground gathering up the airmen's parachutes approximately 25 to 35 minutes after they were shot down. A search and rescue force was unable later to locate them.
At the time of their shoot down, a Vietnamese People's Army unit radioed that it had shot down one OV-10 and four F-4 at approximately nine o'clock on the morning of January 27, 1973. Another radio report confirmed the shoot down of an OV-10 on January 26th. These reports were correlated to the loss of this crew and the loss of Commander's Hall and Kientzler in an F-4D which occurred in the same area. Upon his release from captivity, Commander Kientzler stated that he saw the OV-10 get hit and the crewmen eject. He also saw an estimated group of 30 Vietnam People's Army soldiers on the ground firing their automatic weapons at Lieutenant Peterson and Captain Morris as they were coming down in their parachutes. Commander Hall was not accounted-for, and Commander Kientzler was told in Hanoi by his captors that he was the last (live) U.S. POW of the war.
Peterson and Morris were declared missing in action. Returning U.S. POWs had no direct knowledge of their precise fate. After Operation Homecoming they were declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of death.
In March 1973, U.S. intelligence received information from a former People's Army soldier describing a crash site in the area where the aircraft of Peterson and Morris crashed. The wreckage was said to be of an aircraft shot down three days before the cease-fire. Two U.S. airmen were buried in graves at that location. In another report in 1974, one U.S. pilot was reported to have been captured alive and seen in the area on January 30th, and the second pilot was reportedly killed. Both reports were placed in the files of those associated with this loss incident.
The area of this loss location was visited by a joint U.S./Vietnamese team in May 1990. Witnesses interviewed stated that both pilots had landed safely and had engaged surrounding Vietnam People's Army forces. Both pilots were killed in the exchange of fire. One witnesses reported two bodies were seen on the ground where the two pilots had landed.
Joseph G. Greenleaf
On April 14, 1972, Lieutenants Greenleaf and McKinney were the crew in an F-4J, one in a flight of three over an area approximately 25 kilometers northwest of Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province. A forward air controller observed five rounds of antiaircraft fire hit the cockpit area of their aircraft midway through a bombing run and crash just south of the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam. It was observed throughout the dive and impact by a forward air controller who reported the aircraft crashed with canopies in place and there were no ejections. Both crewmen were declared missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate. After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
On August 14, 1985, Vietnamese officials repatriated remains identified as Lieutenant McKinney. U.S. officials were told that Lieutenant Greenleaf had died at Cua Viet, Quang Tri Province, in November 1972. In August 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam uncovered records of the 280th Air Defense Regiment referencing the downing of an Aircraft on April 14, 1972 and possibly associated with this loss incident. One shovel on display at the unit museum was reportedly recovered by the 103th Battalion from the aircraft's crash site.
Lewis C. Walton
On May 3, 1971, Team Asp, a long range reconnaissance patrol from the 5th Special Forces Group, was landed in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. The team included three American Staff Sergeants and five Vietnamese from the U.S. Army Vietnam Training Advisory Group. Fifteen minutes after landing the team keyed its transmitter once but, in keeping with established procedures, did not establish voice contact with friendly forces.
On May 5, 1971, two pilots saw mirror and panel signals and later observed two individuals in green fatigue uniforms move the panels.
Efforts to enter the area on May 7th were met by hostile fire and the search team found enemy bunkers just off the team's landing zone. Another rescue team landed in the area on May 14th but was unable to locate a members of the team.
One American POW returned alive during Operation Homecoming reported intercepting a radio broadcast that "Walton and Entrican" were captured. This comment was equated to a possible reference to Sergeant Walton. No returning POWs were able to provide any information about the presence of either individual in the northern Vietnamese prisons.
The three servicemen were initially declared missing and in the late 1970s were declared dead/body not recovered.
In August 1991 Joint Task Force Full Accounting team members interviewed witnesses in Vietnam in an attempt to learn the fate of this team. The Team was told about a firefight in the area of the team's last known location on approximately July 7, 1971 during which six "enemy" were reported killed. The Task Force included this information in the casualty files of those involved in this incident.
David P. Soyland
On May 17, 1971, Warrant Officer Soyland was the aircraft commander of an UH-1H extracting a reconnaissance team from Quang Tri Province. The helicopter took hostile fire and began to turn over in the air as a rocket propelled grenade round severed the tail boom. A recovery team deployed in the area on May 18th located two crew members alive and recovered remains associated with the aircraft's pilot, Warrant Officer Pearce. The search and rescue forces did hear a loud beeper and saw a man in a white T-shirt running along a ridge line. They lost contact with him. The search continued through May 27th but was unable to locate Warrant Officer Soyland.
Enemy documents captured later that were dated May 1971 indicated a Vietnam People's Army unit had captured one American. The date and the circumstances did not permit a specific correlation to Warrant Officer Soyland.
Warrant Officer Soyland was declared missing in action. He was not reported in the Vietnamese prison system by returning U.S. POWs and, after hostilities ended, was declared dead/body not recovered.
Danny D. Entrican
On May 8, 1971, First Lieutenant Entrican was the team leader of a long range reconnaissance team on a mission in Thua Thien Province.
His team was attacked by hostile forces at which time team members became separated. Entrican was last seen attempting to evade and was apparently wounded. A search and rescue effort was unable to locate him.
Vietnam People's Army documents captured after Lieutenant Entrican was declared missing stated a unit based in Savannakhet Province, Laos had captured an American in May 1971. Due to several losses in this general area during the month of May, this report could not be specifically correlated to Lieutenant Entrican. In June 1973, a Vietnam People's Army soldier reported observing an American First Lieutenant captured in May 1971 at a radio station in South Vietnam. This report was placed in Lieutenant Entrican's file as a possible correlation to him.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide information about Entrican being alive in the Vietnamese prison system. After the end of hostilities he was declared dead/body not recovered.
Madison A. Strohlein
On June 22, 1971, Staff Sergeant Strohlein and three others were parachuted into Quang Nam Province. Sergeant Strohlein radioed after landing that he was injured and requested medical evacuation.
Near noon on June 22nd, hostile forces attacked the team, and Sergeant Strohlein's radio went silent. A search and rescue effort in the area the following day found weapons and evidence of a firefight, but there was no sign of Sergeant Strohlein.
Sergeant Strohlein was initially declared missing and, in October 1974, was declared dead/body not recovered. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information about him.
In August 1990, a U.S. field team traveled to Hien District, the area Sergeant Strohlein was declared missing. They interviewed witnesses who described an engagement and provided the team with a bone fragment which was determined to be non-human. In July 1991, a further trip back to the area led to an interview with local residents who described a large engagement between a local guerilla unit and a joint U.S./Vietnamese unit. One American was said to have been shot and killed during the engagement. This particular engagement could not be correlated specifically to the loss incident of Sergeant Strohlein due to the absence of any large Vietnamese force with him.
John W. Kennedy
On August 16, 1971, Second Lieutenant Kennedy was the pilot of an O-2 light observation aircraft which took off from Chu Lai Air Base for a visual reconnaissance over Tien Phuoc District, Quang Tin Province. He never returned from his mission and was declared missing. A search and rescue effort failed to locate either him or his aircraft. The area over which Lieutenant Kennedy was flying was an area of known heavy enemy presence.
U.S. POWs who returned during Operation Homecoming had no information on his precise fate.
In July 1974, a U.S. Army officer formerly assigned to Advisory Team 16 in the area of Lieutenant Kennedy's disappearance wrote after the fact to report having received an intelligence report about the existence of a U.S. POW in Tien Phuoc District at the time Lieutenant Kennedy disappeared. He also recalled that the People's Army of Vietnam 31st Regiment was operating in the area where, and at the time, Lieutenant Kennedy was lost. In July 1978, Lieutenant Kennedy was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In December 1989, U.S. intelligence received a report about an American POW named "Jack Kennedy" and "Bunkquee." The name "Bunkquee" appeared to be a corruption for the name "Bunkqueer," the name of a non-existent individual associated with fraudulent dog tag reporting emanating from Vietnam. This report was placed in Lieutenant Kennedy's file due to the last name correlation to the name "Jack Kennedy."
In April 1992, a joint U.S./Vietnamese team traveled to the area of a reported crash site in Tien Phuoc District where a light observation aircraft had reportedly landed in 1970 or 1971. The pilot reportedly died in the incident and his remains were buried nearby but had been dug up by private persons in November 1991. The team surveyed the crash site and a purported original burial site. The team was later told the remains had disappeared from the individual who possessed the recovered remains.
In September 1992, another joint team revisited the area and received hearsay information about a crash site in the area of Lieutenant Kennedy's loss. The aircraft pilot had reportedly died in the crash and his body had been recovered and buried.