HUNT, WILLIAM BALT Name: William Balt Hunt Rank/Branch: E6/US Army 5th Special Forces Unit: Detachment A-302 Date of Birth: 31 July 1935 Home City of Record: Sand Point ID Date of Loss: 04 November 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 106203N 1063538E (XT418657) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 0513 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: William B. Hunt was a replacement platoon leader III CTZ Mike Force (Detachment A-302), 5th Special Forces Group. On November 4, 1966, he was a passenger on a helicopter on an assigned mission in Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam (grid coordinates XT 418 657) when the helicopter diverted to conduct a medevac for an American lead company that had suffered heavy losses. At a landing zone northeast of Soui Da, 10 miles from Dau Tieng, Hunt was lifted into battle to help evacuate the wounded. He voluntarily left the aircraft to help reinforce the remaining troops on the ground, and the helicopter left with the wounded. The Viet Cong again attacked the position the unit was maintaining that evening. After two days of heavy fighting, and numerous casualties, the Mike Force was overrun by numerically superior forces on November 6. As Hunt carried the wounded company commander, SFC George H. Heaps, out of danger, Hunt was gravely wounded by a bullet that hit him in the shoulder, penetrated his upper back, and exited his side, but Hunt still succeeded in moving Heaps to a covered position where both passed out from loss of blood. Both Heaps and Hunt later regained consciousness and crawled toward the landing zone for extraction, with two ARVN. Progress was very slow because of their wounds, and finally Hunt told Heaps he could not go farther, and for Heaps to continue on and leave him there. A Nung soldier stayed behind with Hunt, and Heaps and the two ARVN were evacuated. The Nung later reported that Hunt had died, but when searches were made to recover his body, it was not found. In 1985 a private citizen obtained a lengthy report through the Freedom of Information Act in which a Vietnamese defector described in great detail a Prisoner of War camp near Hue, South Vietnam. Together with the report was a list of Americans the source positively identified as being held at the camp. William Hunt's name is on the list. Although the report has been substantiated by returned POWs who were held there, the U.S. Defense Department has declared that the defector is a liar, and has discounted his report. The defector's report is one of over 10,000 received by the U.S. that has convinced many experts that hundreds of Americans are still alive as prisoners in Indochina. As long as the mindset exists to term these reports "lies," we cannot expect to learn the truth of the matter. Until we learn the truth, we cannot expect anyone who is alive to come home.