Report of the
Senate Select Committee
South Vietnam Donald R. Fowler
Steven M. Hastings
Peter J. Russell
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
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.
South Vietnam Humberto Acosta-Rosario
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
South Vietnam Walter Ferguson
On August 23, 1968, Private First Class Ferguson, a member of the
25th Infantry Division, was captured east of the town of Loc Ninh,
Binh Long Province. Returning U.S. POWs captured in South Vietnam
were held with him in Tay Ninh Province. In June 1970, PFC
Ferguson appeared to have been mentally affected by months in
captivity. For example, he would frequently jump on guards, put
voodoo hexes on them and would then be beaten by the guards.
In approximately June 1970, the U.S. POWs held in Tay Ninh Province
were moved across the border into Cambodia. During this move, PFC
Ferguson asked to go to the toilet, and he was taken away. Another
U.S. POW heard a guard call Ferguson's Vietnamese name several
times, and then there was a shot followed by a moan. One returnee
was told by the prison commander than Ferguson had been shot and
killed during an escape attempt.
In January 1973, the Provisional Revolutionary Government
identified PFC Ferguson as having died in captivity in May 1970.
His remains have not yet been recovered. In May 1973, he was
declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive finding of
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam Jack D. Erskine
On November 13, 1968, Mr. Erskine, a civilian engineer engaged in
a road survey, was driving along the coastal highway south of Phan
Rang in the Binh Thuan/Ninh Thuan border area when he was stopped
at a Vietnamese communist ambush. Documents recovered in February
1970 were artist renderings of Mr. Erskine in captivity. In
January 1975, a South Vietnamese Army Regional Force battalion
found his identity card in an abandoned house.
Mr. Erskine was initially reported missing and was carried in
captivity at Operation Homecoming. Returning U.S. POWs were unable
to provide any details regarding his fate.
Recent Joint Task Force Full Accounting interviews of witnesses in
Vietnam has produced statements from former Vietnamese communist
officials attesting to the capture of Mr. Erskine. He was
reportedly killed by a prisoner escort officer while being taken to
the Military Region Headquarters. The escort officer was
reportedly killed in action during the war. Neither Mr. Erskine's
remains nor his burial site has been located.
North Vietnam Bradley G. Cuthbert
Mark J. Ruhling
On November 23, 1968, Captains Cuthbert and Ruhling were in an RF-
4C on a reconnaissance mission of a surface-to-air missile site in
North Vietnam. While over Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province,
Captain Cuthbert's wingman observed their aircraft hit, break apart
and burst into flames. No chutes were observed.
Two to three minutes later, Captain Ruhling was safely on the
ground and in contact with his wingman. He was later captured
alive by North Vietnamese ground forces. During his debriefing he
reported seeing Captain Cuthbert alive in his chute with his hands
up in the risers. Captain Cuthbert was not seen alive in the
northern Vietnamese prison system. On November 23, 1968 North
Vietnam reported the shoot down of an RF-4C and the death of one of
the aircraft's crewmen.
In August 1989, Joint Casualty Resolution Center personnel
interviewed witnesses in Quang Binh Province concerning this case.
They recovered the dog-tag of Captain Cuthbert from local
villagers. They also received hearsay information that after
landing safely on the ground, Captain Cuthbert was beaten to death
by local wood cutters. JCRC was taken to the purported grave site
which appeared to relate to an entirely separate air loss incident.
Captain Cuthbert was initially declared missing in action. In May
1975, he was declared dead/body not recovered. His remains have
not yet been repatriated.
North Vietnam San D. Francisco
Joseph C. Morrison
On November 25, 1968, Major Morrison and First Lieutenant Francisco
were the crewmen in an F-4D on an reconnaissance escort mission
over Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by
hostile fire while over the target. The crash site location was
not observed, but there was a beeper. Search and rescue personnel
zeroing in on the beeper were driven off by small arms fire. SAR
personnel continued with a good beeper and voice communications
with Major Morrison until contact was lost on the 26th. SAR forces
reported two badly garbled communications which appeared to come
from Lieutenant Francisco.
On November 26, 1968 the Vietnam People's Army published news which
referenced the shoot down of U.S. aircraft and the capture of two
U.S. pilots, although it did not specifically mention of either
crewman by name.
Both crewmen were initially reported as missing in action.
Lieutenant Francisco was declared dead/body not recovered in June
1978. Returning U.S. POWs did not report either one being alive in
the northern Vietnamese prison system.
A Joint Casualty Resolution Center investigation in Quang Binh
Province on August 9, 1989 located the crash site of their
aircraft. They also received hearsay information that one or two
crewmen were buried in the area.
In July and August 1991, JCRC was provided documents from Bo Trach
District, Quang Binh Province which identified both crewmen as
casualties. There was also an indication that U.S. wartime remains
had already been recovered from the area. The JCRC also visited
the museum of the 280th Air Defense Regiment which contained
wartime memorabilia. This included Major Morrison's U.S. Air Force
issued revolver and a data plate from their aircraft which credited
the 105th Air Defense Battalion, 280th Regiment, with the shoot
South Vietnam Tanos E. Kalil
On February 8, 1969, Mr. Kalil and two other civilian technical
representatives, James A. Newington and John J. Fritz, all under
contract to the U.S. Army's 34th General Support Group, were
traveling in a convoy in the area of the town of Long Thanh in Dong
Nai Province. Their convoy was ambushed by Vietnamese communist
forces, and the three were captured.
Mr. Kalil was listed as a prisoner at the time of Operation
Homecoming. The Provisional Revolutionary Government reported he
had died in captivity on June 13, 1969. His remains have not yet
Mr. Newington and Mr. Fritz returned alive from captivity. They
reported that Mr. Kalil was extremely ill and incoherent in June
1969 as a result of a kidney problem. On June 10, he was given
four injections by camp staff; it appeared that he died after those
injections. He was removed from the prison. Guards later returned
and removed all Mr. Kalil's belongings. They said he was merely
being taken to a hospital and was not dead.
North Vietnam John M. Brucher
Captain Brucher was the pilot of an F-105, one in a flight of two
aircraft under the control of a forward air controller in Laos and
in the area of the Ban Karai Pass. Captain Brucher's aircraft
rolled in on the target and released his ordnance. On pull out
from the attack, two fireballs came from the rear of his aircraft.
His bombs hit the target area, exploded, and approximately two
seconds later his own aircraft impacted in the ground and exploded.
Fifteen seconds later a forward air controller observed a good
parachute, heard a good beeper, and established radio contact with
Captain Brucher who had a dislocated shoulder and was suspended in
a tree unable to free himself. His location was plotted to be in
Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province.
Hostile ground fire and darkness suspended the search and rescue
effort until the next day, February 19th. His parachute was
located, but it appeared slack, and no radio contact was made.
Captain Brucher was declared missing in action. On February 19th,
a Vietnam People's Army unit reported this incident which occurred
in the area of Commo-Liaison Station T-6, Route 20, and Binh Tram
14, Group 559 to Military Region 4. In 1972, Secretary of Defense
Laird referenced Captain Brucher's case as one of 14 cases which
the U.S. called on the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to account
for because it was known he had been captured. In fact, there was
no hard evidence confirming him alive in captivity.
Returning U.S. POWs were unable to account for Captain Brucher. In
January 1974, he was declared killed in action/body not recovered
based on a presumptive finding of death.
In August 1989, a joint team of U.S. and Vietnamese investigators
visited the area of Captain Brucher's loss but were neither able to
locate his crash site nor witnesses to his incident of loss.
During a January 1991 visit, a joint team was told that Vietnamese
officials had recovered seven sets of U.S. remains from the Ban
Karai Pass area during the 1970s.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam Charles V. Newton
Charles F. Prevedel
Douglas E. Dahill
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
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.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam 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 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.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam James M. Rozo
Robert P. Phillips
Joe P. Pederson
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
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.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam 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
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.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam 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
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.
South Vietnam 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
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.
South Vietnam 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.
South Vietnam 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.
North Vietnam Thomas E. Dunlop
On April 6, 1972, Commander Dunlop was flying an A-7E, one in a
flight of two aircraft. His wingman observed Dunlop's aircraft
being hit by a surface-to-air missile and breaking apart, the
wreckage landing in an area approximately 14 kilometers south of
the coastal town of Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province. There was no
chute or beeper. His seat was found two days later.
In 1975, a member of the Vietnam People's Army reported that on
April 6, 1972 he observed an American airman being captured after
landing in Quang Binh Province. The location and the date closely
correlated to Commander Dunlop's shoot down and was the only
aircraft downed that day in Quang Binh Province.
Commander Dunlop was initially declared missing and, in April 1973,
was declared dead/body not recovered. He was not reported alive in
the northern Vietnamese prison system.
South Vietnam Bruce C. Walker
Larry W. Potts
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.
South Vietnam 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
South Vietnam Daniel Borah
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.
South Vietnam Mark A. Peterson
George W. Morris, Jr.
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
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.
South Vietnam Harley H. Hall
On January 27, 1973, Commander Hall and fellow crewman Lieutenant
Commander Phillip A. Kientzler were crewmen in an F-4J in a flight
of aircraft attacking People's Army of Vietnam supplies and moving
vehicles in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their aircraft was
hit by hostile anti-aircraft fire, and both ejected. Other
aircraft heard beeper signals but were unable to establish voice
contact with either crewmen.
Commander Kientzler was captured by People's Army of Vietnam forces
and was repatriated during Operation Homecoming. During his post-
release debriefing he stated that both he and Commander Hall were
fired upon by ground forces while they were still coming down in
their parachutes. He was wounded in the leg. He did not hear a
beeper from Commander Hall after landing. After capture, he was
told by a People's Army guard that Commander Hall was dead.
Both crewmen were initially reported as missing in action, and both
were later reclassified as prisoner. Commander Hall was
subsequently declared dead/body not recovered.
During 1989, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center visited the area
of Commander Hall's shoot down and received information from
witnesses that he was seen dead on the ground with a fresh wound in
the right thigh. He was reportedly buried in the area, and his
grave has reportedly been dug up on several occasions by persons
searching for his remains. No evidence of his remains could be
found at his purported grave site.
South Vietnam Clemie McKinney
Joseph G. Greenleaf
On April 14, 1972, McKinney and Greenleaf were the crewmen of an
F-4, one in a flight of three aircraft on a combat mission over
Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their aircraft was hit by
hostile anti-aircraft fire and crashed approximately twenty-five
kilometers northwest of Quang Tri City.
Both individuals were initially reported missing and, after the
war, were declared dead/body not recovered. Neither individual was
reported alive in the northern Vietnamese prison system.
McKinney's remains were repatriated on August 14, 1985. Vietnam
reported that he died in November 1972.
In July and August 1991, a Defense Intelligence Agency officer with
a field team in Vietnam inspected documents and artifacts at the
museum belonging to the People's Army of Vietnam 280th Air Defense
Regiment. Included in the war memorabilia was a shovel captured
from an unidentified U.S. pilot by elements of the 103rd Battalion,
280th Regiment. The date and location correspond to this loss
incident. This case still continues under active investigation.