Name: Harold William Kroske, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Army Special Forces
Unit: C & C South, MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 20 July 1947
Home City of Record: Trenton NJ
Date of Loss: 11 February 1969
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 115923N 1063331E (XU697258)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
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 2020.

SYNOPSIS: 1Lt. Harold Kroske was a reconnaissance patrol leader assigned to
Command and Control South, MACV-SOG. MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command,
Vietnam Studies and Observation Group) was a joint service high command
unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations
throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channelled 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 February 11, 1969, Kroske's patrol was engaged by an enemy force 12 miles
inside Cambodia west of Bu Dop and he killed several hostile troops along a
trail. Kroske then motioned the point man, Diep Chan Sang, to come with him.
There was a sudden burst of gunfire, Kroske dropped his weapon, grabbed his
stomach and fell to the ground. SP4 Bryan O. Stockdale tried to approach him,
received no response when he called out his name from twenty feet away,
whereupon the patrol was forced to withdraw because of heavy automatic weapons

Kroske was believed to be dead, and it was not possible to recover his body.
Because of the lack of certainty that Kroske died, he is listed among the
missing.  He is among nearly 2500 Americans still missing, prisoner or
unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.

When the war ended, refugees from the communist-overrun countries of Southeast
Asia began to flood the world, bringing with them stories of crash sites they
had seen, dog tags they had found, and of live GI's still in captivity in their
homelands. Since 1975, nearly 10,000 such stories have been received. Many
authorities believe that hundreds of Americans are still held in the countries
in Southeast Asia.

The U.S. Government operates on the "assumption" that one or more men are being
held, but that it cannot "prove" that this is the case, allowing action to be
taken. Meanwhile, low-level talks between the U.S. and Vietnam proceed,
yielding a few sets of remains when it seems politically expedient to return
them, but as yet, no living American has returned.



From - Sun May 31 18:12:49 1998
From: MKS
Subject: Harold William Kroske, Jr.

I am a first cousin to 1Lt. Harold William Kroske, Jr. I last saw him at a going away party when I was four years old.
The memory of him still haunts me. I always felt guilty that I never kissed him good-bye. Since then he has been
listed as an MIA. I wore the POW/MIA bracelet bearing his name and hoped for his return. Both of his parents (my
aunt and uncle) have passed on too. Yet there is still the question of what really happened and the yearning to
know what his final days were and how he spent them.

If anyone can provide some insight of his final days, please contact me via my email address.

Thank you.





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First Lieutenant Harold William Kroske Jr., who joined the U.S. Army from New Jersey, served with the Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group. On February 11, 1969, he was the team leader of a six-man reconnaissance patrol inserted into Cambodia. As the team moved from the landing zone to its objective, it encountered enemy soldiers in the vicinity of (GC) XU 697 258. 1LT Kroske shot and killed two Viet Cong before he was hit in the stomach by enemy fire. His patrol members attempted to recover him but a persistent enemy fire forced them to break contact and leave. The men split up and evaded the enemy overnight, and the next morning, the five were successfully extracted by helicopter from three different landing sites. The helicopters searched for 1LT Kroske's body, but were unable to locate it. While carried in the status of MIA, the Army promoted 1LT Kroske to the rank of Major (Maj). Today, Major Kroske 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.

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