ELLIS, RANDALL SHELLEY Name: Randall Shelley Ellis Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division Date of Birth: 14 June 1948 Home City of Record: Charleston SC Date of Loss: 18 April 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 112323N 1061833E (XT428593) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1429 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: On April 18, 1969, SP4 Ellis was serving as a medic for HHQ, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry. His unit was on a combat mission in South Vietnam, operating in a tank infantry formation when one of the tanks was hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG), causing casualties. Ellis responded immediately, and as he climbed aboard the tank, sniper fire wounded him in the left hand. He was taken to a medivac landing zone to be taken to a medical aid station. He was seen by several different people at the LZ. Whether Ellis ever boarded a medivac dustoff helicopter was never determined. No one ever saw him again. The area was cleared and searched twice that day and again the following day. A company-sized sweep was conducted but nothing was found. All medical facilities in the country and some out of the country were queried about SP4 Ellis, but no information regarding his fate was reported. Ellis is among some 3000 Americans whose fate remained uncertain at the end of American involvement in Vietnam. Since 1975, that number has dwindled to around 2400 due to case resolution, and return and identification of remains. Incredibly, when Vietnamese refugees began to flood the world, they brought with them stories of Americans still held in their country as prisoners of war. By 1989, the number of these reports had almost reached the number of 10,000. The quality of these reports has been deemed very high, as less than 20% of the total have been determined to be fabricated. Families of the missing are taunted by reports that men are alive, captives of our long-ago enemy, while the U.S. seems unable to do what is necessary to bring these men home.