MARTINEZ-MERCADO, EDWIN JUAN Name: Edwin Juan Martinez-Mercado Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Unit: C Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborn Brigade Date of Birth: 07 December 1946 (San Germain, PR) Home City of Record: New York NY Date of Loss: 11 November 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 143548N 1073634E (YB825184) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 0905 Other Personnel In Incident: John Stuckey; Gary Shaw; Robert Staton; (all 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 1998. REMARKS: BTL - LFT FR DED - LATR BOD GONE - J SYNOPSIS: On November 11, 1967, PFC Edwin Martinez-Mercado, PFC Gary Shaw, PVT John Stuckey and SP4 Robert Staton were all members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade on a search and destroy mission in Kontum Province, South Vietnam, when the unit engaged an enemy force. Following the battle, the three were judged to have been killed in action, and were left on the battlefield for later recovery. A few days later, the area was searched for casualties, but their bodies could not be found. The three members of the 173rd killed on November 11, 1967 are listed with honor among the missing because no remains were found. Their cases seem quite clear. For others who are listed missing, resolution is not as simple. Many were known to have survived their loss incident. Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and describing an advancing enemy. Some were photographed or recorded in captivity. Others simply vanished without a trace. When the war ended, and 591 Americans were released in Operation Homecoming in 1973, military experts expressed their dismay that "some hundreds" of POWs did not come home with them. Since that time, thousands of reports have been received, indicating that many Americans are still being held against their will in Southeast Asia. Whether the men from the 173rd are among them is not at all likely. What is certain, however, is that if only one American remains alive in enemy hands, we owe him our best effort to bring him home.