Name: Michael Robert Norton
Rank/Branch: E2/US Army
Unit: C Battery, 5th Battalion, 27th Artillery, 1st Field Force, Vietnam
Date of Birth: 26 January 1948
Home City of Record: Eskdale WV
Date of Loss: 03 November 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 121410N 1072200E (YU557544)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1511

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 2020.

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: On November 2, 1969, Pvt. Michael R. Norton was a gunner with an
artillery battery at a forward fire support base in Quang Duc Province,
South Vietnam near the Cambodian border. The fire base was in jeopardy of
hostile enemy attack and being overrun, therefore, the unit was pulling out
of the area.

During the withdrawal, the unit came under enemy 50 caliber machine gun fire
and the unit dispersed into the jungle. By the time they had regrouped the
next day, it was reported that Pvt. Norton was with the unit.

The unit then moved on to link up with a mobile strike force which was to
guide tham to Bu Prang. When they arrived at Bu Prang, it was discovered
that Norton was NOT present, and it was determined that he was last seen at
an LZ (landing zone) near where the unit began the trip.

Aerial searches of the LZ and surrounding area were conducted with no
success. Pvt. Michael R. Norton was classified Missing in Action. Norton's
family patiently waited for the war to end. They never received word that
Michael had been captured, but understood that it was possible.

When the war ended, and 591 Americans were released from communist prison
camps in Southeast Asia, Michael R. Norton was not among them. Military
authorities at the time expressed their dismay that "hundreds" of men
expected to be returned had not been released. Furthermore, the Vietnamese
denied any knowledge of these men.

Since the fall of Saigon in 1975, refugees have flooded the world, bringing
with them reports relating to the American missing in Southeast Asia. By
1989, the U.S. Government had conducted over "250,000 interviews" and
reviewed "several million documents" related to these men.

Many U.S. Congressmen and others who have had access to this classified
material are convinced that many, many Americans are still held captive in
Southeast Asia. One of them could be Michael R. Norton. It's time we brought
our men home.




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Private First Class (PFC) Michael Robert Norton, who entered the U.S. Army from West Virginia, served with Battery C of the 5th Battalion, 27th Artillery Regiment, 1st Field Force. On November 2, 1969, his unit's fire support base in Dac Lac Province, South Vietnam, came under enemy attack and was in danger of being overrun. The unit withdrew from the base, dispersed into the jungle, regrouped, and moved to link up with a Mobile Strike Force unit which was to guide them to Bu Prang. Private First Class Norton had been with his unit when they regrouped in the jungle, but was found to be missing when the group arrived at Bu Prang. It was determined that he was last seen in the vicinity of grid coordinates YU 577 544. Search efforts were conducted, but failed to locate him. He remains unaccounted for. Following the incident, the Army promoted PFC Norton to the rank of sergeant first class. Today, Sergeant First Class Norton is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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