Name: Mark John Robertson
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 18 August 1949
Home City of Record: Detroit MI
Date of Loss: 10 February 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162025N 1070647E (YD257076)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A
Refno: 1701

Other Personnel in Incident: Joseph R. Pietrzak (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: WO Mark J. Robertson, pilot, and Sgt. Joseph R. Pietrzak,
observer, were flying aboard an OH6A helicopter on a visual reconnaissance
mission in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam on February 10, 1972. The
helicopter was hit by heavy 51 caliber machine gun fire in the power
compartment and fuel section. It burst into flames and fell vertically and
exploded on impact.

Other helicopters in the area immediately attempted to land and search the
area for survivors, but the crewmen reported that enemy fire and
deteriorating weather conditions prevented them from doing so. None of the
crews conducting visual searches saw survivors or bodies around the blazing
helicopter. Radio frequencies were monitored for a period after that, with
no result. Enemy activity in the area prevented further search in the loss
area near the Laos border.

It was concluded that Robertson and Pietrzak were dead, but their remains
were never recovered, and their names are among those counted missing,
prisoner, or unaccounted for from the Vietnam war.

Since 1975, nearly 10,000 refugee reports have been received by the U.S.
Government relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia, convincing many
authorities that hundreds remain alive today. Although Pietrzak and
Robertson apparently are not among those said to be alive, one can imagine
that they would gladly fly one more mission to help bring their comrades to




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On March 16, 2004, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC, now DPAA) identified the remains of Warrant Officer 1 John Mark Robertson, missing from the Vietnam War.

Warrant Officer 1 Robertson entered the U.S. Army from Michigan and served with the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. On February 10, 1971, he piloted an OH-6A Cayuse (tail number 66-17765) on a reconnaissance mission over Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. During the mission, the Cayuse was hit by enemy machine gun fire, caught fire, crashed, and exploded, killing WO1 Robertson. Friendly forces were unable to recover his remains at the time due to the enemy presence in the area. In the 1990s, a joint investigative team located and excavated the crash site, recovering material evidence and fragmentary human remains. Forensic analysis was subsequently able to identify WO1 Robertson from these remains.

Warrant Officer 1 Robertson is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 


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