BAUMAN, RICHARD LEE
Name: Richard Lee Bauman
Rank/Branch: W2/US Army
Date of Birth: 28 May 1948
Home City of Record: Columbus OH
Date of Loss: 17 March 1971
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 121017N 1062204E (XU480455)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: On UH1H: Craig M. Dix; Bobby G. Harris (all
missing); James H. Hestand (released POW). From AH1G: Capt. David P.
Schweitzer (rescued); 1Lt. Lawrence E. Lilly (missing).
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 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.
REMARKS: DEAD/IR 6 918 6247 74
SYNOPSIS: On March 17, 1971, Capt. David P. Schweitzer, pilot and 1Lt.
Lawrence E. Lilly, co-pilot, comprised the crew of an AH1G helicopter
(serial #69-17935) conducting a visual reconnaissance mission. As the
aircraft was near a landing zone at grid coordinates XU488458, it was hit by
enemy fire of the F-21B Infantry Regiment, 5th Viet Cong Division and forced
to the ground. The LZ was deep inside Cambodia in the Snuol District of
Kracheh (Kratie) Province, near Seang Village.
Rescue efforts were successful in extracting Capt. Schweitzer, but due to
heavy enemy fire, they were forced to leave the area before Lilly could be
extracted. Lt. Lilly was last seen by U.S. personnel lying on his back wth
his shirt partially open and blood on his chest and neck. He was observed
being fired upon by Viet Cong forces.
In mid-April 1971, a report described two U.S. personnel onboard a
helicopter shot down in this region getting out of the helicopter and
climbing a tree, and firing upon enemy forces. One of the crewmen was shot
to death, and the other was captured by Viet Cong soldiers of the 6th
Company, 2nd Battalion, F21B Infantry Regiment. The report continued that
both crewmen were caucasian and had light complexions. The source described
the POW and said that he was later told that the dead airman had been
cremated by Cambodian villagers who had come to salvage parts from the
aircraft. Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) evaluated the report and
concluded that it could possibly relate either to Lilly's incident or
another the same day at the same location.
The other incident related to a UH1H helicopter flown by WO1 James H.
Hestand and carrying CW2 Richard L. Bauman; SP4 Craig M. Dix; and SP4 Bobby
G. Harris. The aircraft was shot down near Snuol. A medivac chopper lowered
a jungle penetrator to men seen on the ground through triple canopy jungle,
but was forced to leave the area due to enemy fire and low fuel.
Five ARVN were captured in the same operation and were told by Viet Cong
guards that three chopper crew members had just been captured. One was
killed in the crash, one was shot in the leg (ankle) trying to escape. The
wounded crewmember and two others were finally captured.
James Hestand was captured and was released in 1973. In his debriefing, he
reported that Craig Dix was the one who had been shot in the upper right
ankle. Hestand stated that Dix was ambulatory and evading capture at the
time of his own capture. Hestand also stated that, when last seen, CW2
Bauman was alive, in good condition, and was hiding with Dix. Hestand said
that he had seen the body of Harris, whom he believed to be dead because of
throat lacerations and a discoloration of his body. Harris had been thrown
from the aircraft. Hestand was separated from the others when he was
captured, and had no further information on Dix, Bauman or Harris. Defense
Department notes indicate that Harris was killed in the crash. Defense
Department notes indicate that some intelligence say that Bauman, Dix and
Harris are dead, yet other intelligence reports placed Dix in a Cambodian
hospital after having been captured, and according to Hestand, the two were
alive and well the last time he saw them.
An ARVN ground unit entered the battle area to try to rescue Lilly, but
found him dead. The unit came under heavy fire, and in the course of the
battle, the body was lost to the enemy. Lilly's remains were never
In 1988, the Cambodian government announced that it had the remains of a
number of American servicemen it wished to return to the United States. The
U.S. did not respond officially, however, because there are no diplomatic
ties between Cambodia and the U.S. Several U.S. Congressmen have attempted
to intervene and recover the remains on behalf of American family members,
but Cambodia wishes an official overture. Meanwhile, the bodies of Americans
remain in the hands of our former enemy.
Even more tragically, evidence mounts that many Americans are still alive in
Southeast Asia, still prisoners from a war many have long forgotten. It is a
matter of pride in the armed forces that one's comrades are never left
behind. One can imagine any of the men lost in Cambodia on March 17, 1971,
being willing to go on one more mission for the freedom of those heroes we