MIDGETT, DEWEY ALLEN Name: Dewey Allen Midgett Rank/Branch: E2/US Army Unit: 355th Assault Helicopter Company, 145th Combat Aviation Battalion, Phu Hiep Date of Birth: 29 December 1947 (Elizabeth City NC) Home City of Record: Chesapeake VA Date of Loss: 25 November 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 130500N 1091800E (CQ245365) Status (in 1973): AWOL Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: ground Refno: 2056 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: In Vietnam, military experts devised a system to try to relieve the battle fatigue experienced in earlier wars by those who served long tours with their units intact. In Vietnam, soldiers were rotated after roughly one-year tours. The practice had noble intent, but it served to isolate the soldier and interrupted continuity. Virtually as soon as a man learned the ropes, he was shipped home and a green replacement arrived to fill the gap. Some were quite literally, in the jungles one day and at home the next. The emotional impact was terrific and thousands of veterans are dealing with it two decades later. Vietnam was also a limited political war, and had peculiar problems: a vague enemy, restrictive rules of engagement, an uncertain objective, non-military State Department minds directing many aspects of the war. In certain periods of the war, military morale was lower than perhaps any other time in our history. Adding to these factors was the extremely young age of the average soldier shipped to Vietnam. For example, the average combatant's age in World War II was 25 years, while Vietnam soldiers were 19. The young fighters became jaded -- or old -- or died -- long before their time. For various reasons, some soldiers deserted or even defected to the enemy. Their counterparts in the U.S. fled to Canada, manufactured physical or mental problems, or extended college careers to escape the draft. There are only a handful of American AWOL/deserters maintained on missing lists. At least one of these was known to have fallen in love with a woman whom he later learned was a communist. Another fled because he had scrapped with a superior and feared the consequences. This man was declared dead, and his AWOL record expunged. There is little information regarding those listed as AWOL on the missing lists, and sometimes that information is conflicting. For instance, on the afternoon of November 25, 1967, Pvt. Dewey A. Midgett was given pass privileges with instructions to return to his unit at Phu Hiep by 1700 hours the same day. Pvt. Midgett did not return to his unit at the specified time, and has not been seen since. Unconfirmed information indicated that Midgett was in the vicinity of the beach, coordinates CQ 412381, Phu Hiep on the afternoon in question. A report was filed with the military police and the CID at Phu Hiep on November 26, 1967. Further, a check was made with graves registration and the 91st Evacuation Hospital at Phu Hiep. All agencies had negative information. Midgett was administratively presumed dead on February 4, 1980. Pvt. Midgett's records have changed over the years. At times, he was presumed dead, and at other times he was classified Absent Without Leave (AWOL). Then, by 1983, his name again appeared on lists of missing. Intelligence reports have been received on Pvt. Midgett that he was at one time living openly in South Vietnam. Most records indicate that Midgett was on the way to the beach on a pass. Some reports say that he was captured by the Viet Cong and has been sighted several times, both as a prisoner, and living freely. His family cannot know what to think - whether he was a legitimate prisoner - or abandoned his unit. Some of the reports among the over 10,000 received relating to Americans missing or prisoner in Southeast Asia have to do with deserters, although there is no evidence they have been asked if they want to come home. In light of the amnesty granted draft dodgers by the United States Government, can we be less forgiving of them?