LAWS, DELMER LEE Name: Delmer Lee Laws Rank/Branch: E7/US Army 5th Special Forces Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Company Date of Birth: 07 August 1935 Home City of Record: Mineral Point MO Date of Loss: 29 July 1966 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 163109N 1063606E (XD709269) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 0409 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 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 2012. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: SSgt. Delmer Laws was part of a Special Forces reconnaissance team which consisted of three U.S. and seven ARVN military personnel conducting a recon mission just inside Laos and southwest of Khe Sanh, South Vietnam. The team was operating in Savannakhet Province at grid coordinates XD 709 269. As the unit stopped by a small stream, they were ambushed by an enemy force of unknown size. The team dispersed along a trail, and survivors state that Laws was last seen in a crouched position. He communicated by hand signal with the team leader that he had heard something in the rear of the patrol, and at that time the unit was fired upon at the rear and flank positions by automatic weapons. During the action, two ARVN and one of the three Americans were killed immediately. The team leader rallied the remaining team members, but was unable to locate Laws. The unit then moved north to evade capture. Laws had not been seen hit and was not seen again. On July 31, a recovery team recovered the remains of one U.S. and one ARVN from the site of the ambush. Other remains were seen but could not be recovered or identified because of the proximity of the enemy. Evidence obtained by this particular patrol at the scene indicated that everyone caught in the killing zone had been killed instantly. In July 1987, one of the recovery team met quite by accident with Delmer Laws' sister. Although his complete after-action report had never been included in Laws' file, the team member was certain and was able to substantiate to both Laws' sister and the Army that Laws had died the day his unit was ambushed. For many years, Delmer Laws' family wondered if he was dead or alive. Years of senseless torment were caused by haphazard recordkeeping. Considering that many files of the missing are still classified, one wonders how many other families are being needlessly tormented. Considering the thousands of reports received that indicate hundreds of Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia, one wonders how many years we will torment them by abandoning them.
------------------------------------From: "Lisa Lipari" <firstname.lastname@example.org>