FINLEY, DICKIE WAINE Name: Dickie Waine Finley Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Unit: HHC, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division Date of Birth: 29 June 1947 (East Prairie MO) Home City of Record: Sweet Springs MO Date of Loss: 21 October 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 124615N 1075719E (ZV207135) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1308 Other Personnel In Incident: SP4 Luther Anderson Ghahate, killed [American Indian] Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: On October 21, 1968, PFC Dickie Finley was the team leader of a 5-man Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) team operating in the vicinity of Ban Me Thuot in Darlac Province, South Vietnam. The unit was based at Kontum in South Vietnam. During the evening, PFC Finley reported enemy contact and after expending their ammunition, the team withdrew to a pickup zone to await a helicopter. The enemy had previously given a false report on their position and marked their location with red smoke. Finley radioed again for a pickup. The extraction helicopter hovered over a shallow pond and began loading the team members. Finley threw his rifle onboard and was helpint three team members board the aircraft when it took off prematurely, leaving PFC Finley behind. SP4 Ghahate was clinging to the skids until he fell off. In the darkness, it was not immediately known that all the team members were not aboard. One team member looked out and saw a man hanging on the helicopter landing skid. He signaled the pilot, but when he looked again, the man was gone. The pilot circled the area in search of the 2 missing men. the search was terminated after 30 minutes because of darkness. The following day a 3 day search was initiated by ground forces and helicopter units. The body of Ghahate was recovered. He had been wounded and it was believed that it was he who fell from the helicopter. No sign was found of Finley. The family was told by friends of Finley's that during the searches his Lieutenant went back and found a Bible and flashlight in the fork of a tree, indicating that some sort of marker had been placed for search teams. The Army reports no evidence of this in their files. Another account, given by Finley's wife states that Finley's strobe light was found wedged in the branch of a tree. Dickie Finley, according to friends, was a scrapper. He wouldn't give up easily on anything. It's their feeling that if Dickie was not killed, he is still fighting for his freedom. Dickie W. Finley was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant during the period he was maintained Missing in Action.