HUNT, WILLIAM BALT

Name: William Balt Hunt
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army 5th Special Forces
Unit: Detachment A-302
Date of Birth: 31 July 1935
Home City of Record: Sand Point ID
Date of Loss: 04 November 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 106203N 1063538E (XT418657)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0513
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 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: William B. Hunt was a replacement platoon leader III CTZ Mike
Force (Detachment A-302), 5th Special Forces Group. On November 4, 1966, he
was a passenger on a helicopter on an assigned mission in Tay Ninh Province,
South Vietnam (grid coordinates XT 418 657) when the helicopter diverted to
conduct a medevac for an American lead company that had suffered heavy
losses.

At a landing zone northeast of Soui Da, 10 miles from Dau Tieng, Hunt was
lifted into battle to help evacuate the wounded. He voluntarily left the
aircraft to help reinforce the remaining troops on the ground, and the
helicopter left with the wounded.

The Viet Cong again attacked the position the unit was maintaining that
evening. After two days of heavy fighting, and numerous casualties, the Mike
Force was overrun by numerically superior forces on November 6. As Hunt
carried the wounded company commander, SFC George H. Heaps, out of danger,
Hunt was gravely wounded by a bullet that hit him in the shoulder,
penetrated his upper back, and exited his side, but Hunt still succeeded in
moving Heaps to a covered position where both passed out from loss of blood.

Both Heaps and Hunt later regained consciousness and crawled toward the
landing zone for extraction, with two ARVN. Progress was very slow because
of their wounds, and finally Hunt told Heaps he could not go farther, and
for Heaps to continue on and leave him there. A Nung soldier stayed behind
with Hunt, and Heaps and the two ARVN were evacuated. The Nung later
reported that Hunt had died, but when searches were made to recover his
body, it was not found.

In 1985 a private citizen obtained a lengthy report through the Freedom of
Information Act in which a Vietnamese defector described in great detail a
Prisoner of War camp near Hue, South Vietnam. Together with the report was a
list of Americans the source positively identified as being held at the
camp. William Hunt's name is on the list. Although the report has been
substantiated by returned POWs who were held there, the U.S. Defense
Department has declared that the defector is a liar, and has discounted his
report.

The defector's report is one of over 10,000 received by the U.S. that has
convinced many experts that hundreds of Americans are still alive as
prisoners in Indochina. As long as the mindset exists to term these reports
"lies," we cannot expect to learn the truth of the matter. Until we learn
the truth, we cannot expect anyone who is alive to come home.