BUCKLEY, LOUIS JR. Name: Louis Buckley, Jr. Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Unit: Mortar Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry Date of Birth: 20 May 1943 Home City of Record: Detroit MI Loss Date: 21 May 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 141048N 1083002E (BR664628) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 0344 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Sgt. Louis Buckley was attached to a mortar platoon based at An Khe, South Vietnam. The day after his 33rd birthday, Buckley's 22 man platoon was inserted by helicopter to LZ Hereford, located northeast of An Khe near the Song Ba River. The platoon was to provide continuous fire support for C Company's sweep of the area lying between LZ Hereford and LZ Milton to the south. Everything went without a hitch, and around 1200 hours, the platoon prepared to be picked up to rejoin the rest of the Company at the bottom of the valley. Helicopters were inbound when mortar platoon members saw a number of enemy soldiers five meters away, and opened fire with their M16s. As if by signal, other enemy located on a hill about 300 meters away poured a hail of machinegun, mortar and rocket launcher fire onto the platoon's position. The platoon's 81mm mortar was knocked out almost immediately, and the platoon, taking heavy casualties, called for help. The company commander immediately ordered his 1st Platoon to get up the hill, and led the rest of the company, scrambling, sliding and falling in a desperate effort to reach the mortar platoon. The commander did not realize until later the scope of the attack and that his entire company might have been in a classic ambush. The enemy had watched patiently until the Americans felt confident that the LZ was secure, and they launched their attack. The mortar company had 6 wounded, 15 dead and one missing. The Viet Cong on top of the hill divided into two groups to search for the remaining Americans, loot the dead and grab what arms and munitions they could. Just 35 minutes after the first call for help, the enemy was gone, and so was Sgt. Louis Buckley. His pack was found with blood on it. He was declared Missing In Action. Survivors reported seeing Sgt. Buckley withdrawing at a southwesterly direction by himself. He is reported to have had blood on his shirt and arm, although it is not known for certain if he was wounded. Buckley is one of nearly 2500 Americans who are still missing from the Vietnam war. Unlike MIAs from other wars, where many men were lost at sea and could not be recovered, most of the missing in Vietnam can be accounted for. Tragically, "several million documents" and over "250,000 interviews" (State Department report, November 1988) are testimony that in our haste to end the war, we abandoned hundreds of our men to enemy hands. Were it not for the thousands of still-classified reports, Buckley's family might be able to assume Louis was killed that day. But as long as men are alive, and one of them could be Louis Buckley, they cannot forget. Can we?