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Richard Wilson, Jr.

Name: Richard Wilson, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: 523rd Transportation Company, 37th Battalion, 26th GSG
Date of Birth: 08 November 1952
Home City of Record: Crawfordsville AR
Date of Loss: 14 June 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163223N 1072729E (YD623301)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Truck

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: PFC Richard Wilson served as a truck driver for the 523rd Transportation Company in South Vietnam. On June 15, 1971, at about 1655 hours, his truck went out of control while crossing the An Lo bridge about 5 miles southwest of Hue, in a rainstorm, and veered off the bridge.

On June 17, divers inspected the truck and were unable to locate PFC Wilson. On June 20, the truck was recovered, but no trace could be found of PFC Wilson in the truck cab.

On or about June 20, the Vietnamese news reported seeing a body similar to that of PFC Wilson downstream from the bridge in the river. Efforts to relocate the body referred to were unsuccessful. A later source report described a black body (Wilson was a Negro) floating in a flooded river in the Van Xuan Hamlet of Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. This report possibly correlates to Wilson, but the body was not located.

Extensive air searches were made with the assistance of ARVN helicopters, but no sign of Wilson or his body were ever found. Wilson's is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of war is tragically ironic. He is listed among the missing with honor, because his body was never found to be returned to the country he served.

Others who are missing do not have such clear cut cases. Some were known captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared.

Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those who claim to know about missing Americans in Southeast Asia, and several million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Distractors say it would be far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains.

Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by 1989, lending credence to the possibility that Americans are still alive. Most of these reports are classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are
they not home?

As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must do everything possible to bring him home alive.

POW/MIA Data & Bios supplied by the P.O.W. NETWORK Skidmore, MO. USA