HENRY, NATHAN BARNEY
RIP January 11, 2016
|Name: Nathan Barney Henry
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Franklin NC
Date of Loss: 12 Jul 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 134026N 1073809E (YA850131)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
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.
Other Personnel In Incident: Martin S. Frank; Cordine McMurray; Stanley A.
Newell; Richard R. Perricone (all released); James F. Schiele; James L. Van
Bendegom (both missing). Held with men from at least two other incidents
including: Incident on 18 May 1967: Joe L. DeLong (missing); Incident on 17
Feb 1967: David W. Sooter (released).
REMARKS: 730305 RELSD BY PRG
SYNOPSIS: In the spring of 1973, 591 American Prisoners of War were released
from prisons and camps in Vietnam. Among them were six of a group of nine
U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division personnel captured in and near Pleiku
Province, South Vietnam during the year of 1967 whose lives had been
intertwined for the past six years. All had belonged to that part of the
"Ivy Division" which was assigned to Task Force Oregon conducting border
operations called Operation Sam Houston (1 Jan - 5 Apr 67) and Operation
Francis Marion (5 Apr - 12 Oct 67).
On February 17, 1967, W1 David W. Sooter was the only man captured from a
OH23 helicopter downed at the southeastern edge of Kontum Province near the
edge of Pleiku Province, and near the Cambodian border.
PFC Joe Lynn DeLong was the machine gunner for his company, on a
company-sized patrol in Rotanokiri Province, Cambodia on May 18, 1967.
(Note: most records list this loss as in South Vietnam, and coordinates
place it in the Ia Drang Valley, Pleiku Province, South Vietnam near the
border of Cambodia, but U.S. Army casualty reports state that the loss was
in Kotanokiri Province, Cambodia.) While on patrol, his unit was hit by a
Viet Cong force of unknown size and cut off from the rest of the company.
DeLong's platoon formed a defensive perimeter and attempted to hold their
position. Later that day, at about 1830 hours, DeLong's platoon position was
overrun. The next morning, another unit reached his position, and was able
to account for all platoon members except for DeLong. It was later learned
that DeLong had been captured.
Nearly two months later, on July 12, 1967, SP4 Martin S. Frank, PFC Nathan
B. Henry, Sgt. Cordine McMurray, PFC Stanley A. Newell, PFC Richard R.
Perricone, SP4 James F. Schiele and PFC James L. Van Bendegom, all members
of Company B, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, were
conducting a search and destroy mission along the Cambodian border when
their position was overrun by the Viet Cong. With the execption of Schiele,
all the men were captured. The U.S. Army notes that Schiele and Van Bendegom
were captured by the North Vietnamese, while the others, apparently, were
captured by Viet Cong.
PFC Schiele was seen by his platoon leader as his unit was forced to
withdraw, leaving him behind. He had been hit a number of times by automatic
weapons fire in the legs and chest and was thought to be dead. PFC Perricone
stated in his debrief upon return to the U.S. that the enemy camp commander
of Camp 102 told him that SP4 Schiele had died of wounds received in the
fire fight. However, since there was no positive proof of death, the U.S.
government placed Schiele in a Missing in Action category. Classified
information given to the Vietnamese by Gen. John Vessey in 1987, however,
states that both Schiele and Van Bendegom were captured by the North
PFC Vanbendegom was also wounded in the engagement, and was seen alive by
other Americans captured in the same battle about one week after his capture
at a communist field hospital in Cambodia, not far from his capture
location. One of the released Americans was later told by the commanding
North Vietnamese officer at his prison camp in Cambodia that SP4 Vanbendegom
had died of his wounds. Vanbendegom was categorized as a Prisoner of War.
The other seven Americans were held in prison camps on the Vietnam/Cambodia
border for several months. According to the debriefs of releasees Sooter and
Perricone, they and DeLong had attempted to escape from a border camp in
Cambodia on November 6, 1967, but were recaptured the same day. Two days
later, Sooter and Perricone were shown DeLong's bullet-ridden and
blood-soaked trousers and were told that DeLong had been killed resisting
recapture. The Vietnamese included DeLong's name on a list of prisoners who
had died in captivity (saying he died in November 1967), did not return his
remains, and did not offer any explaination.
Sooter, Frank, Henry, Perricone, McMurray and Newell were all released by
the PRG in 1973. Frank was never known to be a prisoner by the U.S. Henry
was injured, and maintains a permanent disability today. The U.S. is certain
the Vietnamese also know the fates of DeLong, Schiele and Vanbendegom, but
the Vietnamese continue to remain silent.
Since the end of the war, only a few score of the many remains the
Vietnamese could provide have been returned to U.S. control. Each return of
remains signals some political move by the Vietnamese. Strong moves towards
normalization of relations began in the mid-80's, which most Americans would
not oppose. As evidence mounts that hundreds of Americans are still held
captive by these same governments the U.S. is rushing to befriend, many
concerned Americans believe that in our rush to leave Indochina, we
abandoned our best men. And that in our rush to return, we will sign their
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
NATHAN B. HENRY
Staff Sergeant- United States Army
Captured: July 12, 1967
Released: March 5, 1973
I am twenty-five years old and still single. I like girls and parties as well
as the outdoors. I was born in Franklin, North Carolina, a small town in
western North Carolina. I am the youngest of three boys and have no sisters.
I was drafted in September 1966 and arrived in Vietnam in February 1967. I was
captured on 12 July 1967 in the La Drang Valley near the Cambodian border west
of Pleiku. I was serving with the Fourth Infantry Division. My job was a radio
operator (RTO). I was on a search and destroy mission when I was captured. I
was in prison five years and eight months. I always kept faith in God and in
my government. I would like to say these are the greatest days of my life
since I have been given back my freedom.
I finished high school in 1965 and plan on going to college and majoring in
forestry. I am thankful to God and the American people for my being alive
today. America is the greatest country in the world and I hope we can keep it
free throughout the future. It is hard to find words to express my gratitude
to the American people. The only thing I can say is God bless you. I love
each and every one of you.
Nathan Henry resided in North Carolina.
Nat B. Henry Obituary - Franklin, North Carolina
Nat B. Henry, 68, of Franklin, passed away Monday, January 11, 2016.
Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late Thurman Henry and Arcilla Woody Henry. Nat was a retired U.S. Army veteran. While serving in Vietnam, Natís unit was attacked and all but five men were lost. Nat was one of them and was taken POW, July 12, 1967, where he was held until March 5, 1973. ...
Nathan Henry, RIP
Nathan Henry was born in 1947 in Franklin, North Carolina. He was drafted into the U.S. Army on September 13, 1966, and was trained as an infantryman at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Polk, Louisiana. Henry deployed to Southeast Asia in February 1967 and was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam. Henry was captured during a firefight with the Viet Cong near the Cambodian border on July 12, 1967, and was held as a Prisoner of War in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and North Vietnam over the next 6 years. After spending 2,063 days in captivity, SSG Henry was released during Operation Homecoming on March 5, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and was medically retired from the Army on July 26, 1973. He passed away on 11 Jan 2016.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Nathan B. Henry distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action as a Prisoner of War in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in Southeast Asia on 6 November 1967. With profound courage and a strong conviction in the Code of Conduct he escaped from an enemy prisoner of war camp, knowing that the odds for success were slight and that if recaptured he would receive torture and long periods in solitary confinement. The success of his escape was short lived, and he was recaptured and punished. This soldier's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflected great credit on himself and the United States Army.
In Memory of Nathan Henry(1947-2016) - Former Vietnam POW
Contributors: Ilona W. Smith (owner), Celia Laska Tamker, Randal West and 3 others -
Updated Taken at American Legion
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