HARBER, STEPHEN JAMES
Name: Stephen James Harber
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 08 May 1948
Home City of Record: Fairmont MN
Date of Loss: 02 July 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162525N 1071140E (YD335172)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
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: (Lee N. Lenz, Roger D. Sumrall, both killed)
SYNOPSIS: At 0400 hours on July 2, 1970, SP4 Steven J. Harber, rifleman, was
a member of a unit set up in a night defensive position in Thua Thien
Province, South Vietnam about 25 miles WSW of the city of Hue, when an
unknown sized enemy force attacked.
SP4 Harber occupied a position with Sgt. Lee Newlun Lenz and SP4 Roger Dale
Sumrall. Their position was hit by numerous rocket propelled grenades (RPG),
satchel charges, mortars and small arms fire. After the attack, at
daybreak, a search was made for the unaccounted for personnel.
The remains of Sgt. Lenz and SP4 Sumrall were found, but there was no trace
of SP4 Harber. He was listed Missing in Action.
Harber's family waited until the end of the war with no word of Stephen. But
when 591 Americans were released from Vietnam in 1973, Harber was not among
them, and the Vietnamese denied any knowledge of his fate.
Examination of intelligence reports indicate that there was more than one
prison "system" in Vietnam. Those prisoners who were released were
maintained in the same systems. If Harber was captured and kept in another
system, the POWs who returned did not know it.
Now, nearly 20 years later, men like Harber are all but forgotten except by
friends, family and fellow veterans. The U.S. "priority" placed on
determining their fates pales in comparison to the results it has achieved.
Since Harber went missing, nearly 10,000 reports have been received by the
U.S. concerning Americans still missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities
are convinced that there are still hundreds of them alive in captivity.
Whether Harber survived to be captured, or is still alive, is not known.
What is certain, however, is that we as a nation, are guilty of the
abandonment of nearly 2500 of our best and most courageous men. We cannot
forget, and must do everything in our power to bring these men home.