MURPHY, BARRY DANIEL Name: Barry Daniel Murphy Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Special Forces Unit: Command & Control South, MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group Date of Birth: 07 January 1947 (New York NY) Home City of Record: Cutler Ridge FL Date of Loss: 18 March 1969 Country of Loss: Cambodia Loss Coordinates: 124059N 108329E (XT441912) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1410 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: (none missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: In Vietnam, SP4 Barry D. Murphy was assigned through Special Operations Augmentation from his regular unit in 5th Special Forces to Command & Control South, MACV-SOG. MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group), was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions. On March 18, SP4 Murphy was serving as the assistant team leader of a 10 man team which had been inserted by helicopter on a reconnaissance mission in Kampong Cham Province, located in south central Cambodia. Soon after leaving the helicopter and moving on to the objective, the team was ambushed by an unknown size enemy force. During the ensuing fire fight, Murphy was hit several times from small arms fire and died. Three other team members were killed before the helicopter could extract the survivors. Because of enemy fire, all remains were left behind. Subsequent air search for the remains failed to locate them. There are several discrepancies in the case of Barry D. Murphy. First of all, even though the U.S. Army indicates that four team members' remains were lost in the fire fight and not recovered, only Murphy is missing from the action. Further, Defense Department lists indicate that the coordinates of loss for Murphy are located at Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, some 110 miles from the closest province border point of Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia, and about 35 miles from the closest border point of Cambodia itself. It is not surprising, because of the nature of the missions conducted by MACV-SOG, that some earlier records were distorted to conceal the location of Murphy's loss. It is also quite possible that the Murphy's Army casualty file does not contain all the after action reports and could be missing one which indicates the recovery of the three other personnel lost the same day. After all, Murphy was said to be dead, and there would be no pressing need to track each report as dilligently as if he were thought to have survived. In 1988, the communist government of Cambodia announced that it had several sets of U.S. remains it would like to return to the U.S. (In fact, the number of remains exceeds the number officially listed as missing in that country.) Because the United States has no diplomatic relations with Cambodia, no formal reply was given. Despite the efforts of several concerned U.S. Congressmen, diplomatic pandering has prevented the remains of those said to be U.S. servicemen from being returned home. SP4 Murphy could be one of them. The only fitting tribute he can be paid is to be buried in the soil of his homeland. More tragic still is the horror that hundreds of Americans may be still alive in captivity. After examination of thousands of classified documents relating to the missing in Southeast Asia, many Congressmen and other government officials were forced to conclude that Americans had been left behind, and that they were still alive today. There can be no honorable end to the Vietnam war until all our men are home.