SWANSON, ROGER WESLEY

Name: Roger Wesley Swanson
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 08 September 1943
Home City of Record: St. Paul MN
Date of Loss: 31 October 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 113941N 1062334E (XT414892)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1316
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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: PFC Roger W. Swanson was a rifleman assigned to Company B, 1st
Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. On October 31, 1968, he and
his unit were on a reconnaissance enforce mission near the Cambodian border
in Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam.

During the operation, the patrol was ambushed. The patrol took cover and
proceeded to crawl to the rear. PFC Swanson was hit on the right side of the
head by enemy fire. Several members of the patrol saw him crawling in the
tall grass toward the rear area, so it was not believed his wound was a
mortal one.

Artillery strikes were called in and casualties were evacuated by
helicopter. However, no one recalled Swanson having been evacuated from the
area, and all area hospitals were checked, but had no record of treating
him. Searches of the area were conducted without success.

It was never learned what happened to PFC Swanson. It seems likely that if
he had been killed by friendly artillery fire, some trace would be found to
prove that he had died. However, nothing was found, and Swanson was listed
Missing in Action.

The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Swanson's classification to
include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect
knowledge" and includes personnel who were lost in areas or under conditions
that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy.

Nearly 2500 Americans were lost in Southeast Asia during our miltary
involvement there. Since the war in Southeast Asia ended in 1973, thousands
of reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for have
been received by the U.S. Government. The official policy is that no
conclusive proof has been obtained that is current enough to act upon.
Detractors of this policy say conclusive proof is in hand, but that the
willingness or ability to rescue these prisoners does not exist.

Swanson, if one of those hundreds said to be still alive and in captivity,
must be wondering if and when his country will return for him. In America,
we say that life is precious, but isn't the life of even one American worth
the effort of recovery? When the next war comes, and it is our sons lost,
will we then care enough to do everything we can to bring our prisoners
home?