WROBLESKI, WALTER FRANCIS

Name: Walter Francis Wrobleski
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: 218th Aviation Company, 10th Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group
Date of Birth: 28 August 1945 (Neptune NJ)
Home City of Record: Freehold NJ
Date of Loss: 21 May 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 160930N 1071700E (YC458874)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D
Refno: 0703
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: WO Walter F. Wrobleski was the pilot of a UH1C gunship on an
extraction mission in the A Shau Valley on May 21, 1967. He sighted the
patrol he was to extract and other gunships accompanying Wrobleski
established an orbit overhead.

Wrobleski was making a strafing run when it was hit by a burst from a heavy
caliber machine gun, and the helicopter's engine stopped. The aircraft
immediately received more fire, causing it to go out of control and crash.
It rolled down a ravine, and because of the intensity of enemy fire, other
choppers could not get close enough to see if there were survivors.

At 3:57 p.m. the chopper exploded and started to burn. An Air Force search
and rescue aircraft attempted to drop a paramedic team near the crash site,
but were unable to maintain a hover to do so. Later, a Marine CH46
helicopter rescued one individual alive from the site. Subsequently, two
other men from the incident were hoisted out under heavy enemy fire. Not
realizing the two were on the lines, the aircraft, receiving fire, attempted
to evade fire, dragging the hoist through the trees. The two men were
knocked off the hoist.

Rescue aircraft continued to orbit the area and flashed signals to the
ground. Those signals were answered from the recovery area and then from a
light from the crash site. Because of the terrain and the short time between
sightings, it was believed the signals could have been from the same
individual.

On May 22, a Vietnamese Ranger company that had been inserted into the area
located one of the individuals and had him evacuated by helicopter. The next
day the Rangers located the other individual who walked out with them. Two
American advisors who were with the Ranger unit made a thorough search of
the wreckage and the surrounding area trying to find evidence of human
remains. They believed at that time that the Viet Cong had not visited the
site because of items they found that the Viet Cong would normally have
salvaged.

No sign of Wrobleski was ever found. He was listed Missing in Action.

Over 10,000 reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing and unaccounted
for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government since 1975.
A Pentagon panel concluded in 1986 that there were at least 100 men still
alive. Walter F. Wrobleski could be one of these men. How much longer must
they wait for this country to bring them home?