Name:  Jerry Prosper Clark
Rank/Branch: WO 3rd Class/US Army
Unit:  568th Signal Company,
41st Signal BN
Date of Birth: 08 August 1940 (Pine Bluff, AR)
Home of Record: Davenport, IA
Date of Loss: 15 December 1965
Country of Loss:  South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  133834N 1091351E (CR087088)       


Jerry Prosper Clark Is On The Memorial Wall
Panel 04E Line 16

Status in 1973: Missing In Action
Category: 2 (high probability enemy has knowledge of his fate)
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: O1D "Bird Dog"
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS:

Because the Cessna O1D Bird Dog was built to withstand a great deal of punishment and suited to conduct a wide variety of tasks, it was used virtually throughout the entire war. The US Army used the Bird Dog primarily as a liaison and observation aircraft. It brought not only an aerial method of locating targets, but the rudiments of a system of strike coordination between different types of aircraft employed in the air war, as well as coordination between different branches of the service who were operating in the same area. The Bird Dog was also used very successfully as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) since it could fly low and slow carrying marker rounds of ammunition to identify enemy positions for the attack aircraft.

On 15 December 1965, then WO1 Jerry P. Clark was the pilot of an O1D aircraft (serial #55-4686) conducting a reconnaissance mission over jungle covered mountains south of the major port city of Qui Nhon, Khanh Hoa Province, South Vietnam. During the flight WO1 Clark experienced an in-flight emergency and radioed Qui Nhon Airfield stating his engine battery exploded and he was low on fuel.

1st Lt. Robert L. Taylor, the pilot of a UH1B helicopter operating nearby, heard WO1 Clark's emergency call and tried to intercept Clark to provide him with whatever assistance he might need in his attempt to return to Qui Nhon airfield. Shortly thereafter, Jerry Clark transmitted again reporting that the Bird Dog's engine "quit" and he was heading for the beach.

Within a short time, 1st Lt. Taylor flew over the beach. He had no trouble in locating the Bird Dog's fuselage in shallow water near the hamlet of Tuy Phong approximately 8 miles due south of Qui Nhon Airfield. Immediately additional search and rescue (SAR) ground personnel, aircraft and vessels were dispatched to the area.

When search teams examined the crash site, they did not find Jerry Clark's survival gear in or around the crash site. Further, they found no blood in the aircraft or signs of an enemy attack upon it. Under the circumstances, even though the US Army believed there was an excellent chance he had been captured by communist forces known to be operating in the area, Jerry Clark was listed Missing in Action.

During the search, villages in the surrounding area were canvassed for information about the missing pilot. Stories compiled from villagers about his fate differ. One indicated WO1 Clark safely evacuated the aircraft, swam to shore, and then swam back to the aircraft to get a weapon. He then returned to shore and fled into the hills without incident. Another villager's report claimed that Jerry Clark swam ashore, returned to the aircraft, but before returning to land once again was shot by a sniper and fell into the water as though mortally wounded. In this version there was no indication that the Vietnamese made an attempt to capture him if he were only wounded, or to recover his remains if he had been killed. Likewise, no additional information surfaced about his fate.


Name:   Richard Joseph Lacey
Rank/Branch: Sergeant First Class/US Army
Unit: Long Lines Detachment South,
Regional Communications Group,
1st Signal Brigade
Stratcom Communications Base, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: 25 August 1946
Home of Record: Pittsburgh, PA
Date of Loss: 31 January 1968
Age at Loss: 22
Country of Loss: Gia Dinh, South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  104535  1063940E  (XS816898)       



Richard Joseph Lacey Is On The Memorial Wall
Panel 36E Line 20

Status in 1973: Missing in Action
Category: 2 (high probability enemy has knowledge of his fate)
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Gun, Small Arms Fire - Ground Casualty/Jeep Other Personnel In Incident: William C. Behrens (killed, remains recovered)



Name:   William C. Behrens
Rank/Branch: Sergeant (Posthumous Promotion) - US Army
Unit: Long Lines Detachment South,
Regional Communications Group,
1st Signal Brigade
Stratcom Communications Base, South Vietnam
Date of Birth: Thursday, 23 January 1947
Home of Record: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Date of Loss: 31 January 1968
Age at Loss: 21
Country of Loss: Gia Dinh, South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  104535  1063940E  (XS816898)       


William C. Behrens Is On The Memorial Wall
Panel 35E Line 086

Status in 1973: Missing in Action
Remains: Body Recovered Category: 2 (high probability enemy has knowledge of his fate)
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Gun, Small Arms Fire - Ground Casualty/Jeep Other Personnel In Incident: Richard J. Lacey (Missing)



SYNOPSIS - Richard Lacey:

Richard Lacey was 19 with a year and a half of college behind him when he volunteered for the US Army. He was selected for Officer Training, but elected instead to stay in a technical field after completing the first phase of Signal Corps schooling. After a year of technical training Lacey was qualified to repair and maintain long communication lines and was sent to Vietnam in the summer of 1967. He felt lucky to be stationed at the Stratcom Communications Base, which was located on the extreme southern edge of Saigon, approximately 5 miles due south of Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Gia Dinh Province, South Vietnam.

Richard Lacey had been in Vietnam six months when the Viet Cong's (VC) 1968 Tet Offensive began. One of the first moves communist forces made as they initiated their offensive was to disrupt American and Allied lines of communication as completely as possible.

During the early morning hours of 31 January 1968, when the breakdown in local communications was most critical, then SP5 Richard J. Lacey and SP4 William C. Behrens departed the Phu Lam Long Lines Detachment for the Regional Communications Group located in Saigon. Their assigned mission was to relay calls for assistance from areas under siege. The two soldiers, who were travelling by jeep with SP4 Behrens being the driver and SP5 Lacey the passenger, headed north into the city of Saigon.

Somewhere within the few miles between their base and the Regional Communication Group facility the two men vanished. In the chaos of the street-to-street battle that raged throughout Saigon, Richard Lacey and William Behrens were not immediately missed. This was, in large part, because all travel throughout the city had been totally disrupted by the VC's offensive. When personnel at their destination realized the two men were long overdue, headquarters was notified that they were missing.

Four days later, on February 3, 1968, SP4 William Behren's body was identified at the Tan San Nhut Mortuary by members of his unit. There are no records of where or how William Behren's remains were recovered, or who brought them to the mortuary.

As the communist offensive was brought under control, a formal search and rescue/recovery (SAR) operation was initiated for Richard Lacey. The streets between the Phu Lam Long Lines Detachment complex and the Regional Communications Group facility were thoroughly searched and local residents questioned. Between 8 and 15 April 1968, the jeep in which Richard Lacey and William Behrens were traveling was recovered at an unknown location. Unfortunately, the condition of the vehicle was not noted. Other than recovering the jeep, no trace of SP5 Lacey was found. At the time the formal search was terminated, Richard Lacey's status was changed to Missing in Action.

If Richard Lacey died in this loss incident, he has the right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if he survived, his fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite different.



SYNOPSIS - William C. Behrens:

The circumstances surrounding the incident do not provide any evidence of Specialist Lacey's possible capture or death. SP4 Behrens companion's body was recovered, but there is no information about the status of SP5 Lacey.

REFNO: 1011 20 Apr 76 -- CASE SUMMARY

On 31 January 1968 SP5 Richard J. Lacey and SP4 William C. Behrens left the Phu Lam communications facility ('Saigon area) in the early morning hours to deliver a message to the Regional Communications Group (also Saigon area). As there was considerable fighting in Saigon at this time, it is believed that the two men ran into the enemy. On 3 February (1968) SP4 Behrens' body was identified at the Tan Son Nnut Mortuary by members of his unit, but there was no record of when nor where his body had been found.

The jeep in which the two men were riding was recovered sometime between 8 and 15 April (1968), but there is no record of where the vehicle was found nor was the condition of it noted. Specialist Lacey was never found. (The grid coordinates of XS 816 898 are provided as the general, probable location of the loss). (Ref 1)

ADO MR III Comment - Details of this case were given to the Two-Party Joint Military Team. and to the Special Assistant to the Ambassador for field operations, U.S. EMB Saigon. These details were subsequently given to the Mayor of Saigon, but neither PubCom nor National Police Special Branch investigators could develop any leads or additional information in this case. Go Vap District officials recovered a set of remains in October 1974 that possibly correlate to this REFNO, but CILTHAI determined remains to be Mongoloid. This individual's name and identifying data were turned over to Four-Party Joint Military Team with a request for any information available. No response was forthcoming. SP5 Lacey is currently carried in the status of Missing.

Source:
RPT (U), Findings of the MIA Board, HQ US-KRV, 18 MAR 68
* National Alliance of Families Home Page



Wednesday, June 9, 1999 - 09:03:54

Please feel free to use the following information concerning Richard Lacey, Missing In Action, as you so see fit. It is my intention to correct his MIA date to 31 January 1968 [CACCF]. I was stationed with Richard in Phu Lam, Republic of Vietnam, during this time period. You may use me as the reference and also may provide my name and email address if and when required.
Thomas E. Lassek, grandpa@knix.net

"Richard Lacey, William Behrens, myself and others were stationed in Phu Lam, Republic of Vietnam, an isolated communications complex, physically located on the outskirts of Saigon, on the road to Cu Chi. Richard and myself were trained and worked as 'communications technical controllers'. William was, as I recall, a microwave specialist. We supported communications needs as directed by the Department of Defense.

On the day of the incident, Richard and William obtained permission to use a standard army jeep (m-151) for their trip to Regional Communications Headquarters in Saigon. Richard, who was an Acting Sergeant at the time, refused me permission to go with them stating that they didn't want to babysit a kid.

They were both heavily armed and I believe William was driving. They exited the main gate (homemade) and turned left towards Saigon. They passed through Cholon (a predominately Chinese 'suburb' of Saigon), then onward towards the Regional Communications Headquarters. Enroute, they approached the Vietnamese Phu toe racetrack area. It was later discovered that the cement bleacher and racetrack complex was being used as a field hospital by the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong.

Appropriately, the enemy defended this area in a multitude of different ways, one of which was to station a machine gun crew in an abandoned 'gas station' on the road approaching their complex and as Richard and William sped by, they were summarily attacked. Some time later, as the area was cleared of the enemy by elements of US Army Infantry, William was found and taken to the Mortuary at Tan Son Nhut where he was eventually identified by co-workers from Phu Lam. Richard was never found, nor as I understand it, could the Infantry offer any explanation as to his whereabouts, other than to speculate that he was taken prisoner. He was simply no where in the area. The date was 31 January 1968.

To the best of my knowledge, Richard was never seen or heard from again. "
Thomas E. Lassek



Joe Palmer Pederson
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army
Rank/Branch: WO 3rd Class/US Army
Unit: 595th Signal Company, 36th Signal Battalion,
2nd Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade
Date of Birth: 12 July 1935 (Manatt WA)
Home City of Record: Seaside CA       


Joe Pederson Is On The Memorial Wall
Panel 09W Line 085

Joe Palmer Pederson - Casualty Data

Incident Date: Tuesday, 06/23/1970
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Change Status: Friday, 09/01/1978 - Missing to Died while Missing
Age at Loss: 34
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Remains: Body Not Recovered
Location: Binh Duong, South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 110933N 1063858E (XT801340)

Type: Hostile, Died While Missing
Reason: Not Reported - Ground Casualty
Category: 1 (highest probability, almost assured enemy has knowledge of his fate)
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: 2-ton Truck

Robert Paul Phillips

Rank/Branch: E2/US Army
Unit: 595th Signal Company, 36th Signal Battalion,
2nd Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade

Date of Birth: 31 July 1949 (Quincy MA)



Robert Phillips Is On The Memorial Wall
Panel 09W Line 085

Robert "Bob" Paul Phillips - Casualty Data

Date of Loss: 23 June 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 110933N 1063858E (XT801340)

Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 1 (highest probability, almost assured enemy has knowledge of his fate)
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: 2-ton Truck
Refno: 1639

James "Jimmy" Milan Rozo

Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: 595th Signal Company, 36th Signal Battalion,
2nd Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade

Date of Birth: 18 October 1948
Home City of Record: Buffalo NY       



James Milan Rozo Is On The Memorial Wall
Panel 09W Line 086

James Milan Rozo - Casualty Data

Incident Date: Tuesday, 23 June 1970
Date of Loss: Tuesday, 23 June 1970
Age at Loss: 30
Country of Loss: Binh Duong, South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 110933N 1063858E (XT801340)

Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Change Status: Friday, 05/18/1979 - Captured to Died while Captured
Remains: Body Not Recovered
Type: Hostile, Died While Captured
Reason: Not Reported - Ground Casualty
Category: 1 (highest probability, almost assured enemy has knowledge of his fate)
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: 2-ton Truck
Refno: 1639



SYNOPSIS:

At about 1100 hours on June 23, 1970, SFC Joe P. Pederson, supply sergeant; SP4 James M. Rozo, armorer; and Pvt. Robert P. Phillips, unit supply specialists, all from the 595th Signal Company, left their base at the Lai Khe Signal site for the Phuoc Vinh Signal site in a GMC 2 1/2 ton vehicle on a supply mission. These men were updating clothing records, retrieving excess equipment, adjusting receipts and inventorying weapons of two outlying subunits of the 595th Signal Company.

Before leaving the Lai Khe site, Sgt. Pederson was told by three separate individuals to go down to the new Phuoc Vinh road because the cutoff to Ben Cat was closed to traffic. The cutoff had been reported to be mined, and had a high probability of ambush.

At 1530 hours on the same day, the truck used by SFC Pederson and the two enlisted men was discovered by ARVN and U.S. Mobile Assistance Team 33 elements in a ditch along provincial highway 7B in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam. The truck's engine was still running. Initial reports indicated that the vehicle had no major damage other than a blown tire, and both front windshields shattered. Assorted signal equipment and supply records were found, but there was no sign of any of the personnel in the area. A search party found one dead Viet Cong and the three Americans' rifles jammed, and they surmised that the men had been ambushed and surrendered to the enemy.

In September 1970, a Viet Cong was captured who said he was part of the ambush and he claimed that one of the men (Pederson) had been killed and buried near the location of the incident, but that the other two had been captured.

The following day, the company commander of the 595th inspected the vehicle and found 12 small calibre bullet holes, the left front tire shattered, a small hole in the canvas top, and small metal objects in the cab. However, there were no indications of blood.

Initially, the three men were listed Missing In Action while the government took 15 months to determine the validity of the Viet Cong's story. Then, in November 1971, a captured Viet Cong told interrogators he had seen two POWs being evacuated from South Vietnam into Cambodia. His description of the men fit Phillips and Rozo, whom he described as tired but healthy. Their status was quickly changed to POW. Pederson was maintained as Missing.

In 1973, 591 American prisoners were returned home. Rozo, Phillips and Pederson were not among them. The Vietnamese deny any knowledge of the three. Follow up reports on these three men remain classified in 1989, although they have been officially declared "presumed dead.

In October, 1985, Rozo's parents were informed that their son escaped prison in 1973 and was not recaptured. His whereabouts are unknown. Rozo's parents are understandably disturbed that it took the U.S. Government 12 years to tell them this, and wonder what additional information remains hidden from them under the blanket of "classified". They wonder if their son is one of the many said to be still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.

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.



Source:
Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.,Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998.



Since the end of the Vietnam War over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Our military men in Vietnam were called upon to fight under many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.




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