MASUDA, ROBERT SUSUMU Name: Robert Susumu Masuda Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 605th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division Date of Birth: 19 October 1947 (Cleveland OH) Home City of Record: San Jose CA Date of Loss: 13 May 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 110326N 1062847E (XT618227) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 1 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1442 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 1998. Other Personnel In Incident: David L. Munoz (missing) REMARKS: POSSIBLY THROWN INTO WELL SYNOPSIS: SP4 Robert Masuda and PFC David L. Munoz were serving as a machine gun team on a reconnaissance enforce mission northwest of Saigon in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam on May 13, 1969. At about 0900 hours, their unit, Company B, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry, found a large quantity of rice in a village, and both Masuda and Munoz assisted in destroying the rice cache, believed to be supplies stored by or intended for the Viet Cong. At about 1100 hours, the unit began moving toward their night position. At 1800 hours, it was determined that Masuda and Munoz were missing. Elements of Company B began to retrace the day's route and search the area where the rice had been found and destroyed. A well found in the area that had been recently filled in with dirt was partially excavated in search of the two men, but excavation was stopped with the approach of darkness. Freshly fired AK47 rounds and scattered bits of blood-soaked sand were found in the position in which these two men were last seen. The next day, Company A of the same battalion made another unsuccessful search of the area, and on May 18, Company B returned to the area and found an 82nd Airborne patch in a pack of cards that may have belonged to Masuda. In February 1975, a well in the vicinity of Cu Chi was excavated and the remains of an American serviceman and a local female were found. After digging a few more inches, the workers unearthed an old, live hand grenade, and suspended operation pending the arrival of American Department of Defense personnel. Subsequent digging unearthed an old rusty bayonette scabbard, and when the EOD mine detector found evidence of further material (which perhaps indicated that the well had been booby-trapped), the investigation was halted and never completed. The remains found were not correlated to either Masuda or Munoz. It is known that the Vietnamese have certain knowledge of the fate of Masuda and Munoz, but it is uncertain if they were taken prisoner or killed. Defense Department notations indicate that both men were "possibly thrown into well". Whether the two were killed or captured, the Vietnamese pledged to release all prisoners and provide information on those missing for whom they have information. They have been less than forthcoming with this pledge, and the U.S. Government has not insisted that they provide the information OR the prisoners of war many authorities are convinced they still hold. While we as individuals cannot directly secure the release of Robert Masuda and David Munoz, alive or dead, we CAN insist that our government do everything possible to secure the release of Americans held captive in Southeast Asia and the return of those who have died.