ROSS, DOUGLAS ALAN REMAINS RETURNED, Identified 03/06/98 Name: Douglas Alan Ross Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Unit: Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division Date of Birth: 10 September 1948 (Alhambra CA) Home City of Record: Temple City CA Date of Loss: 22 January 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 141025N 1074323E (YA939685) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) REMARKS: 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.. NETWORK. SYNOPSIS: On January 22, 1969, Sgt. Douglas A. Ross was serving as radio operator for Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion in Pleiku Province on a combat operation. (NOTE: Defense Department coordinates place this operation in neighboring Binh Dinh Province, about 20 miles northwest of Phu Cat, rather than in Pleiku Province, as stated by the U.S. Army.) Ross' unit was moving to link up with another company when the unit came under heavy sniper fire and grenade fire. Ross was shot in the head and was killed by this wound. This was confirmed by several witnesses to the incident. The unit was forced to take cover in caves and did not join the other unit until the next day. An extensive search was conducted by elements of both companies the following day, recovering the wounded and dead, but Ross was not found. He was placed in the category of Killed/Body Not Recovered, and as no remains were ever found, is listed among those still missing, prisoner or unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. A Vietnamese defector stated in Congressional testimony that Vietnam stockpiles hundreds of sets of American remains. Congress believed him. He also testified that Vietnam holds live American prisoners, that he had seen them. Congress says he is lying, although nearly 10,000 reports that have been received by the U.S. help substantiate the belief of many that Americans are being held alive. The U.S. and Vietnamese "progress" at a snail's pace, while totally ignoring the tremendous weight of evidence that their priority should be those Americans still alive as captives. Meanwhile, thousands of lives are spent in the most tortured state imaginable - unable to grieve, unable to rejoice. They wait. Mar 06 1998 MEMORANDUM FOR CORRESPONDENTS No. 039-M The remains of an American serviceman previously unaccounted-for from Southeast Asia have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial in the United States. He is identified as U.S. Army Sgt. Douglas Alan Ross, of Temple City, Calif. On Jan. 22, 1969, Ross's unit came under heavy enemy sniper and grenade attack in South Vietnam. He was reportedly struck in the head by enemy fire and died on the battlefield. The other members of his unit were forced to take cover in nearby caves and did not rejoin friendly forces until the following day. At that time, a search of the battlefield did not locate his remains. In 1994, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam team visited surrounding villages and was told that no one lived in the vicinity of the battlefield during the war and none of the local villagers had any firsthand knowledge of the incident. The team also visited the battle site where they found evidence of defensive positions, but no other pertinent information. The investigators had no further leads to pursue. But in 1997, Vietnamese villagers were searching a wooded area for scrap metal near the battlefield and discovered the remains of a U.S. soldier. They reported to their provincial officials who, in turn, passed the information to central government officials. These remains and some personal artifacts were passed to U.S. officials, and subsequently identified by the U.S. Army's Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii as those of Ross. With this identification, 2,096 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War. The U.S. government welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam which resulted in the accounting of this serviceman. We hope that such cooperation will bring increased results in the future. Achieving the fullest possible accounting for these Americans is of the highest national priority.