ROBINSON, EDWARD Name: Edward Robinson Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Unit: 175th RR Company, 303rd RR Battalion, 509th RR Group Date of Birth: 22 March 1942 Home City of Record: Kansas City MO Date of Loss: 09 March 1970 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 084357N 1062745E (XQ792656) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Raft Refno: 1569 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) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: SP6 Edward Robinson a member of the 175th Radio Research Company, 303rd Radio Research Battalion, 509th Radio Research (RR) Group. "Radio Research" was actually a secret cover designation for certain units operating under the direction of the U.S. Army Security Agency Group, Vietnam. All missions of this agency were highly classified. Robinson's unit apparently operated under USASA through its 303rd Battalion headquarters at Long Binh. All of the missions of the 303rd Battalion were classified during the war. On March 9, 1970, SP6 Robinson was on Temporary Duty assignment (TDY) to Detachment 2, 175th Radio Research Company on Con Son Island 60 miles off the southern coast of South Vietnam, the location of the Coast Guard NORAN station. He was off duty and went for a swim at the beach. That same day, SP5 Leon A. Jones went swimming about 1400 hours. He noticed some military clothing on the beach (which was later determined to be Robinson's), and an individual out in the bay about 1/2 mile offshore. At 1605 hours a Vietnamese national reported that he had seen an individual on a raft making gestures indicating that he needed help. It was determined that the individual was probably SP6 Robinson as all other members of the detachment were present. At about 1630 hours a boat from the NORAN station was launched and retrieved the raft without SP6 Robinson from that vicinity. An extensive search was conducted until dark and resumed the following day and continued until 18 March, without success. Robinson's is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of war is tragically ironic. He is listed among the missing with honor, because his body was never found to be returned to the country he served. 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. Distractors 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. Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by 1989. 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?