WINTERS, DAVID MARSHALL
Name: David Marshall Winters Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Unit: Company D, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade Date of Birth: 18 October 1948 Home City of Record: Delphi CA (Army records have the town spelled wrong. Note Modesto Bee quote from May 31, 2004:
Winters spent his youth in the Central Valley, including time in Turlock as well as Hilmar and Delhi. He briefly lived in Oroville and Susanville, but he told the Army that Delhi was home.)
Loss Date: 21 April 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 152118N 1084704E (BS622987) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Sampan Refno: 0646
Other Personnel In Incident: Paul A. Hasenback; Daniel R. Nidds; Thomas A. Mangino; (all missing)
HASENBACK, PAUL ALFRED (Spelling is different depending on the source: WALL - BECK, POW/CIA records BACK)
REMARKS: DISAPPEARED ON SAMPAN
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.
SYNOPSIS: On April 21, 1967 PFC Daniel Nidds, SP4 Thomas A. Mangino, squad leader; PFC Paul Hasenback, and PFC David M. Winters, riflemen; were returning from a combat patrol in the second of two sampans 100 meters apart near Chu Lai, Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam.
Just before arriving at their destination, a Vietnamese civilian was seen moving in his sampan toward the sampan carrying SP4 Mangino's squad. Another sampan with 3 Vietnamese women was moving toward the first sampan, in which the platoon leader rode. The first sampan started to leak, so proceeded faster around and headed toward the beach. The Vietnamese women were still following the first sampan. The distance between the two sampans carrying the Americans was 200-250 meters.
The last time the platoon leader saw Mangino's sampan, the Vientamese civilian was talking with SP4 Mangino's squad. The platoon leader's sampan arrived at the beach 45 minutes later, and waited 20 minutes, then reported to the command post that Mangino's sampan had not yet arrived.
Two hours after the platoon leader's sampan beached, SP4 Mangino's sampan had still not arrived, so search efforts were begun. Two platoons searched the area, and a helicopter searched from the air using a loud speaker. All efforts were unsuccessful in locating Mangino and his squad.
Navy divers searched the river area without success. All aboard Mangino's sampan knew how to swim. The Army strongly suspects that the enemy knows what happened to Mangino and his squad.
Although returned POWs did not report having seen the men lost on the sampan, Nidd's photo was identified by a refugee as having been a prisoner of war. The circumstances surrounding their loss indicates the strong possibility, at least, that the enemy forces knew their fates.
Mangino and his squad are among nearly 2500 in Southeast Asia who did not return from the war. Unlike "MIAs" from other wars, most of these men can be accounted for. Further, and even more significant, mounting evidence indicates that there are hundreds of them still alive in captivity.
Refugees fleeing Southeast Asia have come with reports of Americans still held in captivity. There are many such reports that withstand the closest scrutiny the U.S. Government can give, yet official policy admits only to the "possibility" that Americans remain as captives in Southeast Asia.
Until serious negotiations begin on Americans held in Southeast Asia, the families of nearly 2500 Americans will wonder, "Where are they?" And the families of many, many more future fighting men will wonder, "Will our sons be abandoned, too?"
PROJECT X SUMMARY SELECTION RATIONAL
NAMES: MANGINO, Thomas A., SP4, USA
WINTERS, David M., PFC, USA
NIDDS, Daniel R., PFC, USA
HASENBECK Paul A., PFC, USA
OFFICIAL STATUS: MANGINO: MISSING
NIDDS: DEAD, BODY NOT RECOVERED
HASENBECK: DEAD, BODY NOT RECOVERED
CASE SUMMARY: SEE ATTACHED
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION: When last seen, all of the men were alive and unhurt in a sampan, and all could swim. An extensive search found nothing. One informant report indicates possible capture, but there have been no subsequent reports of death for any of the individuals in this incident.
REFNO: 0646 19 Apr 76
(U) CASE SUMMARY
1. On 21 April 1967, SP4 Thomas Mangino squad leader, and PFC's Paul A. Hasenbeck, David M. Winters and Daniel R. Nidds, riflemen,- were returning from a combat patrol in Quang Ngai Province in South Vietnam in the second of two sampans. Just before arriving at their destination, in the vicinity of grid coordinates BS 622 987, a Vietnamese civilian was seen moving in his sampan toward the sampan with SP4 Mangino's squad. Another sampan with three Vietnamese women was moving toward the first sampan in which the platoon leader rode. The first sampan started to leak, so proceeded faster around a jetty toward the beach. The Vietnamese women were still following the first sampan, as they had loaned it to the platoon. The distance between the two sampans carrying the platoon was now 200 to 250 meters. The last time the platoon leader saw the second sampan the Vietnamese civilian was talking with SP/4 Mangino's squad. The first sampan arrived on the beach 45-minutes later. The platoon leader waited 20 minutes more and then reported to the command post that the second sampan had not arrived.
2. Two hours after the first sampan beached, SP4 squad still had not arrived, so a search effort was begun. Two platoons searched the area, and helicopters, one with a loudspeaker, searched from the air. All efforts were unsuccessful. Naval divers searched in the area of the last sighting (vicinity BS 622 987) without success. All personnel on board the second sampan could swim. (Ref 1)
3. An informant reported that on 5 May (1967) he had seen four US prisoners of war who had been captured at (GC) 630 005 by a Viet Cong unit on the date of this incident. (This information correlates well by time and location, although there is no other information available for verification. (Ref 2)
4. During the existence of JCRC,, the limited information available precluded any efforts toward the resolution of this case. These individuals' names and identifying data were turned over to Four-Party Joint Military Team with a request for any information available. No response was forthcoming.
5. SP4 Mangino, and PFC Winters are currently carried in the status of Missing in Action. PFC Hasenbeck and PFC Nidds are carried in the presumptive status of Dead, Body Not Recovered.
1. RPT (U), AVAFAG-P2 Investigation of Personnel MIA, 4 May 67.
2. RPT (U), Missing Status, AVHAG-C, 15 Apr 68.
1. Paul A. Hasenbeck 0646-0-01
2. Thomas A. Mangino 0646-0-
3. David M. Winters 0646-0-
4. Daniel R. Nidds 0646-0-04
* National Alliance of Families Home Page