Name: William Valrie Pharris
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry
Date of Birth: 11 September 1946
Home City of Record: Lake Charles LA
Date of Loss: 07 July 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 110256N 1063015E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0388
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 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.


SYNOPSIS: PFC William B. Pharris was a member of Company B, 2nd Battalion,
14th Infantry in Vietnam. On July 7, 1966, he was serving for his company on
a search and destroy mission just south of the city of Phu Cat in Binh Duong
Province, South Vietnam.

In the afternoon, the company came across a Viet Cong bunker and engaged in
a fire fight. During the fight, Pharris was wounded at least twice in the
initial gunfire. Medical personnel reached his position and examined him,
and believed that he was dead at that time. Because of enemy pressure, it
was necessary to leave Pharris behind as the company withdrew.

Another unit returned later that night to the area Pharris was last seen and
recovered the remains of another casualty, but were unable to find any trace
of Pharris. Search parties went back the next day, but still no trace was

Witnesses believe that William Pharris was killed on July 7, 1966. Others
who are missing do not have such clear-cut cases. Some were known captives;
some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were in radio
contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared.

Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those
who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several
million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to
agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Detractors say it would be
far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive
home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains.

Well over 1000 first-hand, eye-witness reports of American prisoners still
alive in Southeast Asia have been received by 1990. Most of them are still
classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the
secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are they not home?




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Private First Class William Valrie Pharris, who joined the U.S. Army from Louisiana, was a member of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. On July 7, 1966, he was a rifle company's point man on a search and destroy mission in South Vietnam, when the company encountered a Viet Cong bunker complex and the enemy inside opened fire, and PFC Pharris was mortally wounded in the initial burst of gunfire. His comrades retrieved him but he was dead, and his company was forced to leave his body behind to safely withdrawal. At the time of his loss, PFC Pharris’ remains were in the vicinity of grid coordinates XT 643 218. That night, another company returned to the area to search for the remains of the missing, but PFC Pharris was not located and he remains unaccounted-for. Today, Private First Class Pharris 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 Deferred.

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