BERG, BRUCE ALLAN

Name: Bruce Allan Berg
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: USARV Training Operational Group TF1AE TSH NHA
Date of Birth: 22 April 1950
Home City of Record: Olympia WA
Date of Loss: 07 August 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164700N 1064732E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Refno: 1765

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 August 7, 1971, Sgt. Berg was serving in a reconnaissance unit in
Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. That morning, Sgt. Berg and an indigenous
soldier left their night defensive position, a bunker, to recover a Claymore
mine which had been positioned the night before.

The indigenous soldier reported that Sgt. Berg was hit in the head by small
arms fire about 6 feet from the bunker. No effort could be made by other U.S.
members of the team to recover Sgt. Berg, as the team came under heavy enemy
pressure.

During the ensuing fire fight, a large amount of friendly infantry ordnance was
fired into the vicinity of Sgt. Berg's last known position. The surviving
members of the team were later forced to withdraw, leaving behind Sgt. Berg,
one other U.S. soldier, and several indigenous soldiers.

At an unspecified date, another team went to the location of the incident and
recovered the bodies of the other U.S. soldier and the three indigenous bodies,
but was not able to locate Sgt. Berg.

Berg's condition at the time of withdrawal of the unit is unknown. The initial
shot in his head may or may not have been mortal. The artillery fire may or may
not have killed him, but if so, may or may not have obliterated any trace of
his body. These details may never be known.

It is noteworthy that although the recovery team located the bodies of the
other dead personnel, they did not find any trace of Berg. It is possible,
although remotely so, that he recovered from the shock of his initial wound,
left his original position, and survived to be captured.

Since the end of the war, several million documents have been reviewed by the
U.S. Government and hundreds of thousands of interviews conducted on the
subject of Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities are convinced
that hundreds are still alive in captivity. If Sgt. Berg survived, perhaps he
is one of them. It's time we brought these men home.

Mon Oct 13  1997

Great work... I have additional information regarding Bruce Allen Berg.

The combat actinon in which Berg was lost is described in the last chapter
of John L. Plaster's new book SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in
Vietnam (1997 Simon & Schuster).  The day of Berg's loss I heard the story
somewhat differently, and I told Plaster that by phone a couple of weeks
ago. Surviving witnesses are Staff Sergeant Tony Andersen, USA (he was the
one who told Plaster his version of the story), and Sergeant William Ramundi
[Rimundi?] who told me his account immediatly after returning from the
battle in which Berg was lost.  Ramundi has not yet been located for
comment.

On his previous mission Berg was second in command (One-One) on Recon Team
Mississippi, which I commanded (mixed USASF and Montagnard commandos).  I
was not on the mission in which he was lost the following week.

Berg's unit TF1AE (Task Force One Adviory Element), was previously known as
CCN (Command & Control North) [MACVSOG].

Berg's Aug. 7, 1971 loss was near Khe Sanh.  Berg was a member of Command &
Control North (CCN was renamed Task Force One Advisory Element "TF1AE",
Training Advisory Group [TAG] in 1971), which was based on the North side of
Marble Mountain in Da Nang.  Berg had been second in command of Recon Team
Mississippi on his previous mission, and he was attached to RT Kansas at the
time of his loss.  Six US Army Special Forces and eight Montangnards made up
RT Kansas for Sergeant Berg's last mission.  Other than Berg, Rimumdi
[Ramondi ?], and Anderson, the other USASF team members were Sergeant Bill
Queen, Staff Sergeant Oran Bringham, and Lieutenant Loren Hagen.  I do not
have the names of the Montangard commandos who survived that combat action.

As described in Plaster's book (SOG), although they weren't aware of it at
the time, RT Kansas had inadvertently set up their defensive perimeter
almost within sight of the Hanoi High Command's most critical new venture,
the first 6-inch fuel pipeline laid across the DMZ and down the Cam Lo River
valley, absolutely essential in the next few months when entire tank
battalions would roll through there for the war's largest offensive.  The
NVA 304th Division, plus a regiment of the 308th Division was already
massing nearby, in preparation for the offensive.

According to Chief SOG Colonel John Sadler, an entire NVA regiment,
supported by a second regiment, stormed the hill top position of RT Kansas
that day. At a mismatch seven times greater than the Alamo, it was the most
one-sided battle of the war.

A few hours after that action I was told by Ramondi that Berg was standing
inside their perimiter when he was apparently hit in the shoulder, or head,
by what he thought was a B-40 rocket or mortar round.  According to Ramondi
the blast knocked Berg outside of their perimeter.  Hagan went after him, and
never returned.  In Anderson's account (as told by Plaster) he states that
Berg was inside a bunker which was hit with an RPG, and that Hagan was killed
while attempting to reach Berg's position.  In your posted biographical
sketch of Berg you describe how an "indigenous soldier reported that Sgt.
Berg was hit in the head by small arms fire about six feet from the bunker."

Immediately after Berg was hit by the initial volly (whether by an RPG, or
mortar round, or whatever) of enemy fire on the teams position, Hagan
apparently made a valiant attempt to reach Berg.  Hagan received the CMH
postumously for his unsuccessful effort.  Although Hagan's body was recovered
later that day, Bruce Berg was never found.  He was declared Killed/Body Not
Recovered (in 1973 ?). 

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Rusty Lang
Project 404, Laos, 1970
CCN, MACVSOG, 1971
RustyLang@aol.com