Remains Returned - ID Announced August 1989

Name: Edward Daniel Reilly, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: C Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 16 January 1943
Home City of Record: Philadelphia PA
Loss Date: 26 April 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 112508N 1060159E (XT127624)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0318

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)


SYNOPSIS: At about 1200 hours on April 26, 1966, SP4 Edward D. Reilly Jr.,
rifleman, crossed a small creek with his platoon and stopped for lunch
break. After beginning movement again at 1330 hours, the unit received
sporadic enemy fire. A head count was reportedly taken after the noon meal
and the sniper fire, and all persons were accounted for.

At about 1600 hours, SP4 Reilly was reported missing. From all witness
statements, only one man reported that he actually saw SP4 Reilly, and that
was at 1130 hours, just prior to crossing the creek.

Enemy documents captured at a Viet Cong base camp in the vicinity included
the identification card and personal papers of SP4 Reilly. Also captured was
a handwritten Viet Cong interrogation report about SP4 Reilly, which
indicated that he was a member of the 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.
The month of the interrogation was illegible, but the date was "26" and the
year "1966". A personal Viet Cong letter was also captured, which discussed
questioning the American POW corporal and included the sentence, "after the
interrogation, kill the American." Since Reilly was not a corporal, it is
unclear why this letter was associated with his incident by the Army.

In August 1989, the U.S. announced that remains returned by the Vietnamese
had been identified as those of SP4 Edward D. Reilly. No explaination was
given by the Vietnamese as to why it had taken them 23 years to "discover"
the remains of Reilly, who had been their captive.

In 1989, the U.S. Government made strides towards what they called high
levels of cooperation on the MIA issue. Although nearly 10,000 reports
regarding Americans in captivity in Southeast Asia have been received,
convincing many experts that hundreds remain alive there, the U.S. is
content to guage success on the return of remains - even choosing to ignore
that some of these remains have actually been withheld for years.

While Reilly's family now can lay to rest the question of whether he is
alive or dead, they may never know how - or when he died. How many will die
waiting for the country they proudly served to come to their defense?