BEALS, CHARLES ELBERT Name: Charles Elbert Beals Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: Company D, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division Date of Birth: 27 September 1949 (Union City IN) Home City of Record: French Lick IN Date of Loss: 07 July 1970 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 162643N 107114E (YD335193) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1648 Other Personnel in Incident: Lewis Howard (missing) REMARKS: 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. SYNOPSIS: On July 7, 1970, SP4 Lewis Howard, point man, and PFC Charles E. Beals, assistant machine gunner, were members of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry when their platoon was engaged in a fire fight in South Vietnam. Their position at that time was in Thua Thien Province, near the border of Quang Tri Province to the north. As the platoon was advancing uphill on a suspected enemy location, an unknown enemy force fired at least 3 rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) at the point element. The platoon leader saw that Howard was hit by the first round. Beals was wounded in the leg when the enemy first opened fire, however, before he could be moved to cover, he was hit by at least 3 rounds of machine gun fire in the back and the neck. Attempts to maneuver up to the point position to retrieve Beals and Howard met with heavy enemy attack, and the rest of the platoon were forced to withdraw, leaving the two men behind. After 6 hours, the enemy was still firing machine gun and rifle fire over the area. The intense enemy fire made any further attempts to recover Beals and Howard impossible, and the platoon withdrew from the area. Beals was thought to be dead because of the number of rounds that hit him. He was classified Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered. The extent of Howard's wounds were unknown, and he was classified Missing In Action. There is a strong probability that the enemy knows the fate of both men. If they survived, it is very likely that they were captured. Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing, prisoner or unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. Since American involvement in the war ended in 1975, almost 10,000 reports have been received by the U.S. Government relating to the missing. Most authorities believe there are hundreds of them still alive. Whether Beals and Howard survived to be captured that day in July 1970 is not known. What seems certain, however, is that we must bring home any Americans being held against their will.