GAUTHIER, DENNIS LEE

Name: Dennis Lee Gauthier
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company C, 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry
Division (Ivy Division)
Date of Birth: 08 August 1949 (Duluth MN)
Home City of Record: Rochester MI
Date of Loss: 31 October 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 140656N 1074341E (YA944622)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1507
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 2020.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: PFC Dennis L. Gauthier was with Army ground forces in Pleiku,
South Vietnam on October 31, 1969. He was serving as a rifleman when his
company was attempting to withdraw from an ambush, and PFC Gautier's platoon
was sent up a hill to provide covering fire for the company. The platoon
began receiving fire and engaged in a fire fight with the enemy. Gautier was
hit in the leg, and another men was hit, but they could not be immediately
evacuated. PFC Gautier hid behind a log while the others advanced.

On November 2, a reconnaissance platoon was able to search the area. This
platoon found and recovered the body of the other soldier, but found no
trace of Gautier or any of his personal effects. Dennis was barely 20 years
old.

There are nearly 2500 Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Mounting evidence
indicates that some of them are still alive, held captive by the communists
of the region.
 
The Paris Peace agreements of 1973 dictated that the Vietnamese would return
all prisoners of war and make the fullest possible accounting of the
missing. They did not do either. Men known to have been prisoner of war were
not released. Many men who died in captivity have not been returned for
burial. The U.S. Government policy statement is that we do not have
actionable evidence of Americans held captive, yet points to "several
million documents" relating to these men. Until serious effort is made to
find those men we left behind, their families will wonder whether their men
are alive or dead - and why they have been abandoned by the country they
proudly served.

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01/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt00000001UGVEA2

SSG DENNIS LEE GAUTHIER

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Private First Class (PFC) Dennis Lee Gauthier, who joined the U.S. Army from Michigan, was a member of Company C of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. On October 31, 1969, his company was ambushed by enemy forces near Pleiku, South Vietnam. Private First Class Gauthierís platoon was ordered to the top of a hill in the vicinity of grid coordinates YA 944 622 to provide covering fire for withdrawing men. While moving into position, the platoon encountered enemy forces, and PFC Gauthier was hit during the ensuing firefight. He could not be evacuated at the time due to the heavy hostile presence in the area, and once the area was secured, search teams were unable to locate him or his remains. He is still unaccounted for. Following the incident, the Army promoted PFC Gauthier to the rank of staff sergeant. Today, Staff Sergeant Gauthier 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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