GUMBERT, ROBERT WILLIAM JR. Name: Robert William Gumbert, Jr. Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Unit: Company B, 4th Battalion, 21st Infantry, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) Date of Birth: 12 December 1949 (Cincinnati OH) Home City of Record: New Richmond OH Date of Loss: 22 June 1970 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 144848N 1090024E (BS850380) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1638 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: At 0700 hours on June 22, 1970, PFC Robert W. Gumbert was walking point for his squad on a combat mission in South Vietnam. The unit was operating in Quang Ngai Province near the border of Binh Dinh Province, near the coastline of South Vietnam about 10 miles south of the city of Mo Duc, and about 3 miles east of Duc Pho. While Gumbert was moving through a hedgerow area, an explosive device detonated along the southern edge of the hedgerow at Gumbert's position. The explosion created a crater 4 1/2' deep and 12 feet wide. The two men, SP4 Gary L. Peat and SP4 Joseph M. Turowski Jr., were killed, with SP4 Peat, who was just behind PFC Gumbert, being dismembered. An extensive search of the area was conducted. PFC Gumbert's wallet, with black powder residue and numerous tears and some letters belonging to him were found. Also found were small pieces of a rucksack. However, no evidence of PFC Gumbert could be located. On April 16, 1974 a Vietnamese source reported a grave site alleged to contain American remains. This information was tentatively correlated to this case and a search and recovery mission was performed during the period of May 21-26, 1974. A small amount of human, mongoloid remains were recovered, but were insufficient to identify as a specific individual. A source observed the body of an American soldier and heard that two other Americans were buried near Pho Yuan village in 1979. This report was thought to possibly correlate with PFC Gumbert. It is apparent Gumbert was killed the day he moved through the hedgerow in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. Under the circumstances, his body will probably never be recovered. He is listed with honor among the missing because he is an American fighting man who is still in enemy hands - alive or dead. Gumbert's is one of relatively few cases of missing Americans that probably cannot be resolved by the return of remains. Unlike "MIAs" in other wars, most of the missing in Southeast Asia can be accounted for. Although the Vietnamese pledged in 1973 to release all POWs and account for American missing, they have been less than forthcoming with information and remains the U.S. is certain that they possess. Since the last American soldiers left Vietnam in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to the missing have been received by the U.S. government. Most authorities now believe there are hundreds of Americans still alive, being held against their will. While PFC Gumbert may not be among those said to be alive, as long as there is even one American alive in enemy hands, we must do everything possible to secure his freedom.