GREEN, GEORGE CURTIS JR.
Name: George Curtis Green, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Special Forces
Unit: C & C Detachment, MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 13 May 1950 (Indianapolis IN)
Home City of Record: Attica IN
Date of Loss: 04 December 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 145418N 1072858E (YB671492)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
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.
SYNOPSIS: Sgt. George C. Green Jr. was a rifleman assigned to Special
Operations Augmentation, Command & Control Detachment, 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"
Green's long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) was operating in Attopeu
Province, Laos about 20 miles west of the South Vietnamese city of Dak Sut
on December 4, 1970. At 0920 hours that day, the enemy assaulted the team at
a landing zone (LZ) with rifle fire and rocket propelled grenades. Green was
hit three times and was instantly killed. Because of the intensity of the
enemy attack and fire, the recon team had to leave Green's remains behind.
Later aerial searches were made of the area, but Green's body was not seen.
Because of enemy control of the area, no ground search was possible. Green
is one of nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos. Although the communist
government of Laos stated publicly that they held American prisoners, they
insisted the POWs would be released only from Laos. The U.S. would not
negotiate with the communist faction, a "government" they did not officially
recognize, and as a result, not one American held in Laos was ever released.
For every insertion like Green's that were detected and stopped, dozens of
other commando teams safely slipped past NVA lines to strike a wide range of
targets and collect vital information. The number of MACV-SOG missions
conducted with Special Forces reconnaissance teams into Laos and Cambodia
was 452 in 1969. It was the most sustained American campaign of raiding,
sabotage and intelligence-gathering waged on foreign soil in U.S. military
history. MACV-SOG's teams earned a global reputation as one of the most
combat effective deep-penetration forces ever raised.
The missions Green and others were assigned were exceedingly dangerous and
of strategic importance. The men who were put into such situations knew the
chances of their recovery if captured was slim to none. They quite naturally
assumed that their freedom would come by the end of the war. For 591
Americans, freedom did come at the end of the war. For another nearly 600
lost in Laos, however, freedom has never come.
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to missing Americans in
Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S., convincing many authorities
that hundreds remain alive in captivity. While Green may not be among them,
one can imagine his pride in mounting one more mission to help them to
freedom. What are we doing to bring these men home?