Name: Paul Chester King, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Special Forces
Unit: C & C Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 17 March 1949
Home City of Record: Waltham MA
Date of Loss: 04 May 1968
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 160218N 1072345E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Refno: 1159

Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,2020.


SYNOPSIS:  PFC Paul King was a rifleman and a member of a Special Forces
reconnaissance team composed of 2 Americans and 4 indigenous personnel on
a combat mission in Laos.  During the mission, the team made contact with an
enemy force of unknown size, and maneuvered to an area for possible

All attempts to rescue the team failed because of intense enemy fire.  The
team remained in that pickup point overnight, and received sporadic fire
from all sides.  The next morning, the enemy intensified their efforts to
dislodge the team from the site.  During the ensuing action, King exposed
himself while throwing a hand grenade and was hit in the head by large
caliber weapons fire and was killed instantly.

Staff Sgt. Allen, the only survivor of the team stated that he saw King's
body lying very close to that of one of the indigenous personnel.  King and
the 4 indigenous were killed in the action.  Allen evaded capture and was
later extracted.  Because of the intense fire in the area, the bodies of
the King and the rest of the team could not be recovered.  The area in
Saravane Province remained consistently hostile throughout the war, and it
was never possible to reenter the area.

Paul King was listed as killed, body not recovered.  He is listed with honor
among the missing because no remains were found.  His case seems quite
clear. For others who are listed missing, resolution is not as simple.  Many
were known to have survived their loss incident.  Quite a few were in radio
contact with search teams and describing an advancing enemy.  Some were
photographed or recorded in captivity.  Others simply vanished without a

Nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos during the war with Vietnam.  The Lao
communist faction, the Pathet Lao, stated on several occasions that they
held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, but the Pathet Lao were not
included in the Paris Peace agreements ending the war.  As a consequence, no
American POWs held in Laos were negotiated for.  Not one American held in
Laos has ever been released.  They were abandoned to the enemy.




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On May 3, 1968, a six-man reconnaissance team embarked on a combat mission in Xekong Province, Laos. The team made contact with an enemy force of unknown size, and took cover in a bomb crater in the vicinity of (GC) YC 563 745. Friendly helicopters made several extraction attempts but were thwarted by intense enemy fire. After one of the team members was killed by enemy fire while attempting to board a helicopter, the extraction efforts were temporarily called off and the team spent the night in the bomb crater, taking fire from all sides. The next morning, the enemy intensified its efforts against the team and another team member was hit and killed when he stood up to throw a grenade. After an additional three team members were killed while inside the crater, one man managed to evade the enemy and was eventually rescued. Enemy activity in the area prevented any attempts to recover the bodies of the deceased team members.

Private First Class Paul Chester King Jr., who joined the U.S. Army from Massachusetts, served with the Command and Control Detachment, 5th Special Forces Group. He was the team member who was killed when he tried to throw a grenade at the enemy, and his body could not be recovered. Today, Private First Class King 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.

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