ROBERSON, JOHN WILL
Name: John Will Roberson
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company D, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade
Date of Birth: 04 January 1947 (Athens TX)
Home City of Record: Malakoff TX
Date of Loss: 22 June 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 110516N 1072650E (YT673267)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground (some lists say Boat)
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
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.
SYNOPSIS: On June 22, 1969, PFC John W. Roberson's unit was on patrol in
Binh Tuy Province, South Vietnam at a point where the province meets
neighboring Long Khanh Province. The unit was involved in crossing a stream
by means of a single rope bridge when the rope broke and PFC Roberson, a
non-swimmer, was swept under. He had been at the deepest part of the channel
and in the swiftest part of the stream.
Another team member was able to pull him to the surface twice, but was
unable to control his struggling. Two other men attempted to assist, but
Roberson was swept under and away again. Witnesses never saw him surface
For a period of two and one-half hours, 3-6 men participated in a search of
an area 30-40 meters downstream and in the immediate area. The following
day, an additional search was made of the river on both sides for 600
meters, but no trace of Roberson was found.
War is hell. Men are killed by other men whom they call their enemy. But men
are also killed by "misadventure" - by senseless drowning, falls, and by
being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
At 22 years of age, John Will Roberson had just begun to live.
Because no trace of Roberson's remains were found, his name is maintained
among those who are missing and captured in Southeast Asia. Experts believe
that hundreds of these Americans are still alive, captive, and want to come
home. One can imagine that John Roberson would gladly serve on one more
patrol to help bring them home.