Name: Madison Alexander Strohlein
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: USARV, TAG, Task Force 1 Advisory Element
Date of Birth: 17 May 1948 (Abington PA)
Home City of Record: Philadelphia PA
Date of Loss: 22 June 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154910N 1071919E (YC487502)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1756
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 2000 with
information from George Hewitt.
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
SYNOPSIS: On June 22, 1971, Sgt. David M.A. Strohlein and three other U.S.
soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission in South Vietnam. At 0300 hours,
the four-man team entered their mission area by parachute, but were unable
to link up on the ground.
At 0730 hours, Sgt. Strohlein radioed for an emergency medical evacuation
for himself, and that he had sustained injury in the jump. From 0730 until
1100 hours, radio contact was maintained with him, but contact was
eventually broken because of enemy movement near his position.
The following day, a rescue team was inserted in his vicinity. The team
found Strohlein's weapon and evidence of a fire fight, however, they were
not able to locate any other trace of Sgt. Strohlein's whereabouts.
It seems unlikely that the enemy would have left Sgt. Strohlein's weapon
behind if they had crossed his original position, so it is logical to
speculate that Strohlein left his position to try and evade an approaching
enemy; perhaps having expended his ammunition, he discarded the gun.
Category 1 means that the U.S. has information that the enemy absolutely
knows the fate of the individual in the category. Category 1 does not mean
the individual lived or that he died, only that the enemy knows his fate. It
is a category primarily reserved for those who were known to be captured.
Public record does not indicate how badly Strohlein was injured in the jump,
or if there was evidence that he was wounded in the firefight. The record
does not indicate if enemy movement in the area included approach and
capture. However, since he was apparently not mortally wounded (having been
on radio for 3 1/2 hours), it can be safely assumed that Sgt. Strohlein was
captured or killed by the enemy in the area he was last seen.
The U.S. points to enormous "progress" being made in the area of the
missing, having acquired through years of negotiating, almost half of the
American remains that Vietnam is known to have stockpiled.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 eye-witness reports of living Americans who are
captive in Southeast Asia "cannot be proven". One of the hundreds suspected
to be alive by many authorities could be Sgt. Strohlein. How must it feel to
be forgotten and abandoned?
Reprinted with permission:
Subject: RE: Request for Information
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 07:04:22 -0400
From: George Hewitt <>
Your site is most informative.  I knew Srohlein in training and served
with him at CCS&CCN MACSOG in VietNam where we ran "deep' recon missions.
His loss was painful and agonizing as we knew he was alive when they found
On a personal note, I remember being invited many times to his Hootch
(house at CCS, MACSOG) to listen to some popular tunes he would play on his
newly acquired tape recorder [a big investment for one of us back then] or
eat some of the great home made cookies his Mom would send - along with
Rolaids - that he seemed always in need of. She sent him great Care Packages
and I was always a willing extra-refugee.  He was quiet and non-assuming,
but knew how to project in a group.  He missed his parents a great deal and
honored them in his talks with me. I was newer to the CCS Recon teams (not
yet tested or accepted) and it was hard to get these guys to open up and
share their thoughts or even experience - something you needed to be able to
survive when you got your chance to go out on mission.  He and I had gone
through training at Ft. Bragg and he volunteered a great deal of the things
I needed to know.  He also volunteered to go out on a local training mission
with me - sopmething that you have to understand only increased the odds of
him getting killed [local is relative there].  Hey, I had already served one
tour in VietNam as an infantryman (in combat) and here he was - almost newly
arrived in country - but unlike me he had been "out there - eyes on target".
The difference was that SOG missions encompassed many technical and "hunter"
skills that the most hardened of combat veterans would have a hard time
adopting.  The depth of the missions and being "completely" in the terrain
of the enemy was overwhelming at times.  I liken it to books I have read
about the American Indians and how they counted coup in the enemy camps -
you had to darn near touch them to understand the thrill and fear of the
situations.  If you got into trouble it was like the movie "Run of the
Arrow" (of course the AirForce did help when they could make it in - they
were Angels in their own right). At CCN  I ran a couple of missions as
Strohlein was there too.   He was regarded as one of the most steady team
leaders.  He had promised to include me on a team of his but it never turned
out that way.  At the end of my tour and I believe he had extended his, I
was serving out my last month working in the TOC.  I had the honor of
helping prep his team for an airborne operation into the AO.  This was "big"
and it took a special guy to step up to the plate.  Strohlein was the guy
along with another gent and I forget his name (interesting history though as
he was older, 101st ABN - non-SF) - we didn't have many like that!  Anyway,
I was on the tarmac on the night of his first attempt to parachute into the
AO and he and I joked about those Rolaids and maybe I could make sure they
got into a resupply mission if they managed to stay in long.  We both knew
the chances of that were slim.  That night he came back without dropping due
to bad weather or visibility over target.  He was exhausted from standing on
the ramp with all the gear.  They were both soaked to the skin from nervous
sweat - something that you don't get from the weather!  Even the bravest
have a smell that I beleive is produced by a fear at the core being.
Strohlein said something that proved fateful as he got off the craft - exact
phrase unrecalled "Next time we go the distance!"  - Well, he eventually did
and he continues to be there for me.  I went on to serve a long career but
he and one other hero friend (Dale Dehnke) were mentioned at my retirement
as  reasons I continued on - trying to always do right for them.  I'll miss
him/them - and he was one brave soul.
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 09:45:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject: David Madison Alexander Strohlein
The information you have on my uncle is incorrect. His name is "Madison
Alexander Strohlein".  Lose the David. I see other sites that keep doing
that. If you look on the WALL, his name is as I spell it. Plus the comment
from George Hewitt was a little confusing. Some of the things he said were
very wrong. But he did say something though that made me believe he knew
Erik Madison Strohlein