Name: James Martin Luttrell
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Task Force 1 Advisory Element (assigned to Support Headquarters,
Date of Birth: 14 December 1935 (Milwaukee WI)
Home City of Record: Fayetteville NC
Date of Loss: 10 May 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155240N 1073440E (YC756573)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1745

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: Lewis C. Walton; Klaus Y. Bingham (both missing)


SYNOPSIS: James Luttrell, Lewis Walton and Klaus Bingham were members of a
long-range reconnaissance (LRRP) team "Asp" which was inserted into western
Quang Nam Province 12 miles from Laos on May 3, 1971.

The Asp team was inserted without ground fire or radio transmission. On May
4, the area was searched by Forward Air Controllers (FAC) who neither saw
nor heard anything from the team.

On May 5, two pilots flying in the area reported seeing a mirror and a panel
signal 50 meters west of the LZ for about 15 minutes. The area was searched
again for about 3 hours, and the FAC attempted to raise the team on radio.
At 1404 hours on May 5, the FAC saw two people wearing dark green fatigues
locating panel signals. Helicopters were launched at 1500 hours that day
with a rescue team, but could not be inserted because of bad weather. The
FAC stayed on station until 1700 hours that day, but no communication was
ever established with the team.

On May 6, weather again prohibited search attempts.

On May 7, hostile fire in the area prevented the insertion of a rescue team.
Poor weather prevented the insertion of a search team until May 14. The team
was extracted the same day, without ever having heard or seen the patrol.

Luttrell, Walton and Bingham disappeared. The three were classified Missing
In Action. They are among nearly 2400 Americans who are still missing from
the Vietnam war. Experts now believe that hundreds of these men are still

Jim Luttrell was a young man when he disappeared. He was trained for
survival under adverse circumstances. Under the circumstances of his
disappearance, the U.S. Army believes the enemy may know what happened to
him. He could be alive.

In our haste to leave Southeast Asia, we abandoned 2400 of our best.
Surprisingly, in 1988, overtures by many U.S. government officials hint at
normalization of relations with Vietnam, yet no agreements have been reached
which would free those Americans still held in Southeast Asia. In our haste
to return to Indochina will we again abandon our men?

During the General Membership Meeting at the SOA Reunion, SOAR XXVIII, Mr
Dickie Hites, Special Advisor, to the CG of JPAC, Hawaii, presented a brief
update on his trip to SE Asia.

He mentioned the remains of  Klaus Bigham, Jim Lutrell, and Lewis Walton of
RT ASP from CCN, lost on 10 May 1971 had been found.

December 8, 2008
The family of Jim Lutrell states that his remains have NOT been identified.
It is a shame that Mr. Hites felt it necessary to announce names without
investigations having been completed and positive identifications made.


From: "JOHN PAGEL 2ND." <>
Subject: Donald Luttrell
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 17:25:41 -0700
Just received a phone call from the daughter of our friend Don Luttrell, Don has passed away.
Don was the cousin of M/SGT James M. Luttrell, USASF MIA 5/10/71 in South Vietnam.
A viewing for Don will be held Sunday the 17th of June between 5 and 9 PM at Forest Lawn
Covina and Monday the 18th a memorial service will be held also at Forest Lawn. To those
that knew and loved Don will understand if I call him the "Ole Bugger" one last time.






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On May 3, 1971, a long-range reconnaissance patrol made up of U.S. and South Vietnamese troops was inserted into Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. The patrol was never extracted and did not return to any friendly base, and was never heard from again. Search efforts for the patrol's members were repeatedly stymied by bad weather and enemy presence. Subsequent investigations yielded reports that the patrol had been attacked by local militia forces and suffered casualties, but no remains of patrol members were found by the investigators. One of the U.S. soldiers on this patrol was eventually accounted for, but two others remain missing.

Staff Sergeant James Martin Luttrell, who entered the U.S. Army from North Carolina, served with Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, and was a member of this patrol. He remains unaccounted for. Following the incident, the Army promoted SSG Luttrell to the rank of Master Sergeant (MSG). Today, Master Sergeant Luttrell 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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