OWEN, ROBERT DUVAL Name: Robert Duval Owen Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Special Forces Unit: Command & Control North, MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group Date of Birth: 21 December 1938 (Lynchburg VA) Home City of Record: Chatham VA Date of Loss: 23 May 1968 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 161730N 1070600E (YD258028) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: ground Refno: 1191 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 2015. Other Personnel In Incident: Glen O. Lane (missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Robert D. Owen would have been called "gung-ho" by many. At age 14, he lied about his age and was in the Army, until the Army learned his true age. Owen later joined the Special Forces and was subsequently sent to Vietnam, where he was under orders MACV-SOG in Command & Control North as a reconnaissance patrol member. MACV-SOG, or Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group, was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (though it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. These teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions. On May 20, 1968, SFC Glen Lane and SSgt. Robert D. Owens were the only two U.S. members of the 6-man spike team "Idaho" assigned to infiltrate a denied area across the Lao border west of A Loui. The team was inserted into the area by helicopter, and was heard from only once thereafter by a Forward Air Controller (FAC) about 1024 hours the same day. All further contact with the patrol was lost. The spike team "Oregon" was inserted into the same landing zone, and after finding a trail, searched about 50 meters from the area and noticed signs of a fire fight. At that time, "Oregon" was attacked by an estimated company-sized enemy force and was extracted after suffering one killed and seven wounded. There was no further ground search for Owen or Lane. The 12 man team believed that the two had been either captured or killed. When American POWs were released in 1973, Lane and Owen were not among them. Indeed, the agreements which ended the war in Southeast Asia did not include provision for the men held prisoner in Laos. No treaty has been struck since that time for them. Nearly 600 remain missing in Laos. Since the end of the war, thousands of reports have been received that indicate Americans were left behind in Southeast Asia and remain there, captive, today. Lane and Owen could be among them. It's time we brought our men home. Eighteen years after her father was lost, Owen's young daughter Robin, attracted by the growing numbers of reports of Americans still alive in captivity, made the decision to find out what happened to her father. Says Robin, "to date no one's returned from Laos, and that's where my father disappeared. I don't want to be quiet anymore."