Name: Johnny C. Calhoun
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Command & Control, MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 14 July 1945 (Roanoke AL)
Home City of Record: Newman GA
Date of Loss: 27 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 161130N 1071600E (YC422918)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1106
Other Personnel In Incident: (none 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.


SYNOPSIS: MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and
Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a joint service high command unconventional
warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout
Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG
(although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations
Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders
to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic
reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time
frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions.

Corporal Johnny C. Calhoun was assigned to Command and Control, MACV-SOG in
Vietnam. On March 27, 1968, he was the  team leader of a strategic
reconnaissance team that was operating one and one-half miles south of Ta
Bat in the A Shau Valley in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. The team was
awaiting exfiltration when it was attacked by a numerically superior enemy
force. CPL Calhoun provided covering fire for the rest of the patrol while
ordering the other five members to withdraw.

The second in command stated in the board of inquiry that he saw CPL Calhoun
hit by at least 3 rounds in the chest and stomach, fall to the ground and
not move. The interpreter, Ho-Thong, stated that when Calhoun slumped to the
ground, he pulled the pin from a grenade, and clutched it to explode among
advancing enemy. Calhoun's ultimate fate is unknown because of the rapid
retreat of the survivors. It was not known if the grenade exploded on
Calhoun's position.

The survivors of the team were extracted about 20 hours after the initial
contact. Because of hostile threat in the area, a further search was not
made. CPL Calhoun was classified as Missing In Action until September 3,
1974, at which time he was legally declared dead for lack of positive
information that he was alive.

The MACV-SOG teams performed exceedingly dangerous and strategic missions.
Johnny Calhoun probably knew that because of the nature of these missions,
he would be a valuable capture, and accordingly, determined that he would
not be captured. If he did not die, and was ultimately captured by the
advancing enemy, he knew the chances were slim that he would ever be

Tragically, evidence mounts that hundreds of the nearly 2500 Americans still
missing in Southeast Asia are still alive, awaiting their freedom. One of
them could be Johnny Calhoun. He jeopardized his own safety for that of his
team. What have we done for him?

Johnny C. Calhoun was promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class during
the period he was maintained missing.

December 2001

I'll try and be brief.  Along with some other researchers, we are finalizing
a compiled list of all Distinguished Service Cross awards made by the Army
during VN.  This was the second highest award given next to the MOH.  We are
also working on the Navy Cross awards for the same period.

The intent was not only for historical purposes (as the Army never kept a
database of these awards), but to also support Associations and
Organizations to have a central file to stop the claims from the 'wannabes'.
Since the MOH is now so widely documented, many of these jerks are now
trying to claim the DSC award to get attention.

While working on this list, I ran across a Johnny C Calhoun, that you have
listed.  His award was for action on 27 Mar 68 (the date he was listed
missing).  It was officially documented under the Army General Order # 18,
which also acts as a citation of his bravery.

Washington, DC


Valor awards for Johnny C. Calhoun - Military Times Hall of Valor
Johnny CCalhoun. Date of birth: July 14, 1945. Date of death: MIA: Body Not Recovered
Place of Birth: Alabama, Roanoke Home of record: Newnan Georgia Status: MIA Johnny Calhoun
is listed as Missing in Action from the Vietnam War and Presumed Dead;
his remains have never been recovered.





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Staff Sergeant Johnny C. Calhoun entered the U.S. Army from Georgia and was a member of Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group. On March 27, 1968, he was the radio operator and team leader of a strategic reconnaissance team that was operating in the A Shau Valley near Grid Coordinate YC 422 918. During the mission, the team was assaulted by a superior enemy force, and SSG Calhoun ordered an extraction from the area and was seen providing cover for his team. Members of the team witnessed SSG Calhoun sustain severe wounds during the action before they were forced to withdraw from the area to further await extraction. Due to the enemy presence, team members could not immediately try and recover SSG Calhoun's remains, and further attempts to locate them were unsuccessful. Following the incident, the Army promoted SSG Calhoun to the rank of Sergeant First Class. Today, Sergeant First Class Calhoun is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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