EVANS, WILLIAM ANTHONY

Name: William Anthony Evans
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Special Forces
Unit: MACV-SOG, B-56 Project Sigma on loan to B-50 Project Omega,
Recon Team #1
Date of Birth: 04 November 1948 (Spring Valley IL)
Home City of Record: Milwaukee WI
Date of Loss: 02 March 1969
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 114157N 1061755E (XT415935)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1398

Other Personnel In Incident: Michael F. May (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project with the assistance of one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews: 01
January 1990. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 2020.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: Special Forces personnel Sgt. William Evans (the team leader) and
SP4 Michael May were part of an eleven man team conducting a secret mission
inside Cambodia. They were operating as an element of MACV-SOG, B-50 Project
Omega.

MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation
Group) 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.

Evans and May's team operated under Command and Control South, which was
located at Ban Me Thuot, but operated from FOB's (Forward Operations Bases)
along the Cambodian border. Working with the 11-man American team was an
unspecified number of ARVN troops.

After being inserted at a landing zone, the team moved toward its objective.
As the team approached the wood line, several members of the team heard the
sound of rifle safeties being clicked, followed by a blast of weapons fire
from the front and left flank. It was later judged that the team had been
hit by a battalion-size NVA force from its base camp. The team fell back 60
meters to a mound located in the area. A perimeter was formed, and the enemy
closed in on the position.

Gunships were called in to repel the enemy advance, and after they departed
the area, at about 1700 hours, the enemy attacked again. Later that day, a
projectile thought to be a B-40 rocket exploded directly over the team's
position resulting in wounds to 8 of 11 men. Evans at that time sustained a
lethal head wound and died shortly thereafter. May received multiple wounds
to the head and chest and died 30 minutes later. The surviving members of
the team moved about 60 meters from the area, leaving the remains of Evans,
May and three ARVN team members behind.

One account of the action states that medical evacuation teams conducted an
aerial search during which aerial photos revealed the Americans on the team
had all been killed. Another account reports that the nine American members
of the team survived.

Both Evans and May were classified Killed/Body Not Recovered.

Evans and May never returned. These highly trained soldiers knew that there
was the possibility they would be killed or captured. Their missions were
highly secret and dangerous, and in some cases, their existence had to be
denied. They also were told the possibility existed that the U.S. Government
would not come after them. Whether they truly believed that would be
abandoned is a matter for argument. This is America, after all, where even a
single human life is of paramount importance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

01/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000KYF1EAO

SGT WILLIAM ANTHONY EVANS

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On March 2, 1969, eleven members of a U.S. Army reconnaissance team embarked on a combat mission in Cambodia. They departed the landing zone and approached their objective, but enemy forces ambushed them. One Soldier was wounded, and the team retreated to elevated ground in the vicinity of grid coordinates 48P XT 415 935, where they formed a defensive perimeter.  As the enemy continued to close in, the team called in a friendly gunship to provide air support. As soon as the gunship departed, the enemy attacked again. An enemy rocket exploded directly over their position, wounding eight of the team members, two fatally. The team members then left the area, but were unable to evacuate the two dead Soldiers, whose bodies were still in their fighting positions when it was overrun by the enemy.

Sergeant William Anthony Evans, who joined the U.S. Army from Wisconsin, served with the 5th Special Forces Group and was a member of this reconnaissance team. He died of wounds suffered when the rocket exploded over the team's position, and could not be evacuated at the time. His remains were not recovered. Today, Sergeant Evans 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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