Name: Howard Burdette Lull, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army
Unit: Advisor, Advisory Team 70, MACV
Date of Birth: 16 May 1930 (Dallas TX)
Home City of Record: (in 1989) Kansas City MO
Date of Loss: 07 April 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 114338N 1063502E (XU731081)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1819

Other Personnel In Incident: Richard S. Schott (missing); Mark A. Smith;
Kenneth Wallingford; Albert E. Carlson (all POWs held in Cambodia and
released in 1973)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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.


SYNOPSIS: On April 5, 1972, the 5th North Vietnamese Division suddenly
smashed against the Loc Ninh district capitol before dawn, attacking as no
enemy had yet attacked in that war. The Communist troops had Russian T-54
and PT-76 tanks, artillery and a conventional battle plan.

American forces in the area battled for two days before being overrun. On
April 7, 1972, Maj. Albert E. Carlson; MSgt. Howard B. Lull; LtCol. Richard
Schott; Capt. Mark A. Smith; and SFC Kenneth Wallingford were five advisors
on Advisory Team 70, MACV, at Loc Ninh when the city was completely overrun.
Radio contact was maintained until approximately 0800 hours, when the
tactical operations center began burning. Later in the day, one of the
advisors radioed that they were going into hiding, taking their radios with

After the incident, South Vietnamese Army personnel reported intercepting an
enemy radio broadcast which stated that three United States advisors had
been captured. Subsequent information received through intelligence sources
reported that five Americans were taken prisoner. This report indicated that
four of the prisoners had been taken to a temporary PW camp and one to an
enemy hospital.

The Vietnamese captured Smith, Wallingford and Carlson whom they held in
Cambodia for the remaining 10 months. On June 28, 1972, the U.S. Casualty
division changed their status from missing to captured. The three were
released at Loc Ninh in the general POW release in 1973.

Although most details of this incident are still classified, Capt. Smith
indicated in his debriefing that he, Lull and Schott had been together in a
bunker shortly before he was captured. Lull left the bunker to evade
capture, while the severely wounded Schott knew he would not survive, and
lifted his own weapon to his head and shot himself to give the others a
chance to escape.

Lull's family has been given a number of reports that possibly relate to
Howard B. Lull. The one they find most credible was told them from a
military official. This scenario has Lull leaving the bunker, and evading
capture for about three days, while other soldiers reportedly kept radio
contact with him. The last word from Lull was that he was heading for An
Loc, the provencial capital to the south.

Two other tales are not as credible, Lull's family feels:  One came from a
South Vietnamese doctor who was captured by the communists after escaping
with Lull. The doctor later told U.S. authorities that shortly after leaving
the compound, Lull went into a rubber plantation that was hit by U.S.

The other account, from a South Vietnamese POW, had Lull buried in a shallow
grave after being shot to death while crossing a stream with South
Vietnamese soldiers.

One of the Americans who was captured at Loc Ninh reported asking his
captors about Lull. The North Vietnamese officer replied that Lull was not
cooperating and thus would not be going to prison with them.

No one really knows what happened to Howard Lull. Lull, if captured, was not
taken to the same prison camps as were Smith, Carlson and Wallingford. Some
reports say that he was killed by the North Vietnamese, but the U.S.
continued his status as Missing In Action pending verification of death.
Schott was carried as Missing until Capt. Smith's debrief, at which time his
status was changed to Killed in Action.

Since his return, Mark Smith has had a growing concern about Americans left
behind in Southeast Asia. Smith remained in the Army Special Forces, and
ultimately was promoted to the rank of major. In 1985, Smith and SFC Melvin
McIntyre brought suit against the U.S. Government for failing to comply with
U.S. law in securing the freedom of American POWs in Southeast Asia. The two
had been on a special assignment in Thailand, and had gathered substantial
evidence that American POWs were still being held. Further, Smith and
McIntyre claimed that this information, passed on to higher authority, had
been "deep-sixed" and there had been no attempt or intent to act upon it.

Mark Smith, like many close to the POW/MIA issue, feels that his government
has let the men down who proudly served their country. A patriot still,
Smith has spent the years since filing the lawsuit in Thailand, in further
attempts to secure the freedom of men who were left behind.