DEERE, DONALD THORPE
Name: Donald Thorpe Deere
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army 5th Special Forces
Unit: Detachment A-331
Date of Birth: 06 September 1944 (Roscoe TX)
Home City of Record: Snyder TX
Date of Loss: 17 May 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 114716N 1062714E (XU584034)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: Donald T. Deere was a Special Forces Advisor with Detachment A-331
in Vietnam. On May 17, 1966, he was part of a Mobile Strike Force that made
contact with an enemy force estimated to be battalion sized. During that
contact, Deere was wounded, and during an attempt to rescue him, it appeared
that he was hit a second time.
Because of intense enemy activity, the remainder of the Strike Force was
forced to pull back without further rescue attempts. Air strikes were
directed into the area, and the team withdrew, leaving Deere behind.
It is assumed that Donald Deere was killed, either by the enemy attack or
the subsequent necessary air strikes. He is listed among the missing because
no remains were ever recovered.
Other cases among the missing are not quite as clear. Many were known to be
alive at the time they disappeared. Some were in radio contact with would-be
rescuers and informed them of their imminent capture. Some were photographed
as prisoners of war. Others simply disappeared without a trace.
Evidence mounts that hundreds of Americans are still alive in Southeast
Asia, held captive by a long-ago enemy. Experts reason that the Vietnamese
withheld about half the prisoners they held as insurance against promised
reconstruction aid - which was never given.
To date, the U.S. has been unable to secure the freedom of any man held
alive, and only a few score of the many remains held by the Vietnamese have
been returned to U.S. control.