LUTTRELL, JAMES MARTIN
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
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." <email@example.com>