Name: Charles Gregory Huston
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Special Forces
Unit: C & C Detachment, Drawer 22 (MACV-SOG), 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 29 September 1945
Home City of Record: Sidney OH
Date of Loss: 28 March 1968
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 164730N 1062000E (XD434574)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1108

Other Personnel In Incident: Alan L. Boyer; George R. Brown (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 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.


SYNOPSIS: 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" missions.

On March 28, 1968, Sgt. Alan L. Boyer, Sgt. Charles G. Huston, both
riflemen, and SFC George R. Brown, intelligence sergeant, were conducting a
reconnaissance patrol in Laos, along with 7 Vietnamese personnel. The men
were attached to Command and Control Detachment, MACV-SOG. About 15 miles
inside Laos, northeast of Tchepone, the patrol made contact with an unknown
enemy force and requested exfiltration by helicopter.

Because of the terrain in the area, the helicopter could not land, and a
rope ladder was dropped in for the team to climb up to board the aircraft.
Six of the Vietnamese had already climbed to the aircraft, when, as the 7th
climbed aboard, the helicopter began receiving heavy automatic weapons fire.
This forced the helicopter to leave the area.

Simultaneous to these events, Sgt. Boyer began to climb the ladder when
seconds later, the ladder broke. When last seen during the extraction, the
other 2 sergeants (Huston and Brown) still on the ground were alive and
appeared unwounded. On April 1, a search team was inserted into the area and
searched 6 hours, but failed to locate any evidence of the three men.

Boyer, Huston and Brown are among the nearly 600 Americans missing in Laos.
When the war ended, agreements were signed releasing American Prisoners of
War from Vietnam. Laos was not part of the peace agreement, and although the
Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of prisoners, not a
single American held in Laos has ever been released.

Any of the three members of the reconnaissance team operating that day in
March 1968 could be among the hundreds of Americans experts believe to be
alive today. The last they saw of America, it was flying away, abandoning
them to the jungle and the enemy. What must they be thinking of us now?




Return to Service Member Profiles

On March 28, 1968, an eleven-man reconnaissance patrol in the Savannakhet Province of Laos engaged an unknown size enemy force and requested helicopter extraction in the vicinity of (GC) XD 434 574. The helicopter lowered a rope ladder and as the men climbed up it, one at a time, the helicopter came under heavy enemy fire. The ladder broke with one U.S. soldier on it and he fell to the ground. The helicopter was then forced to leave the area. The U.S. soldier who had fallen and two other U.S. soldiers remained on the ground. A search team was inserted into the area two days later but was unable to locate the three men.

Sergeant Charles Gregory Huston, who joined the U.S. Army from Ohio, served with the Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group. He was one of the patrol members who was forced to wait for later extraction, and his remains were not recovered. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Army promoted Sergeant Huston to the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC). Today, Sergeant First Class Huston 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.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.