FRITS, ORVILLE BILL
Remains Recovered 670522 - ID'D 670523

Name: Orville Bill Frits
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army
Unit:  
Date of Birth: 03 November 1931
Home City of Record: Concord CA
Date of Loss: 20 May 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164500N 1071200E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Recovered
Category:  
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: William M. Grammar (killed)
Refno: 0698

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.

REMARKS: 670522 REMS RECOV - ID 670523

SYNOPSIS: U.S. Army Sgt. Orville Bill Frits and U.S. Marine 1Lt. William
Michael Grammar were both involved in ground fighting against Viet Cong and NVA
forces near the city of Quang Tri in the northern portion of South Vietnam on
May 20, 1967 and were captured by the North Vietnamese.

The enemy position was eventually taken and American troops found the tortured
and executed bodies of Frits and Grammar.

The 1st Marine Division had been involved in Operation Union in the nearby
Provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Tin for 27 days only a few days earlier.
During this operation, nearly 1000 of the enemy were killed. Perhaps the brutal
deaths of Frits and Grammar could be explained as retribution of some sort; it
was never known for sure.

Grammar was not declared missing, his remains having been recovered and
identified in a relatively short period of time. Frits, however, was initially
placed in a Missing In Action category until his remains were recovered on May
22 and subsequently politively identified the following day.

Frits and Grammar are examples of the darker side of war - that side which
takes men beyond "kill or be killed" and into the realm of cold blooded murder.
Although this sort of incident would be considered a war crime by any
definition, the Vietnamese have never been brought to account for actions such
as the murders of Bill Frits and Bill Grammar.

Nor have the Vietnamese been forced to abide by the treaty they signed which
requires them to account for the thousands of Americans lost in Vietnam, Laos
and Cambodia during the war.

Tragically, nearly 10,000 reports of Americans still missing, prisoner or
unaccounted for have reached U.S. hands, convincing many authorities that
hundreds of Americans are still alive in captivity. Will our government ever be
inclined to force their release, or like countless other injustices, will we
simply choose to ignore the problem?