Remains Recovered 31 May 1968, ID'D 11 November 1979

Name: Albert Wayne Romine
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Date of Birth: 01 March 1945
Home City of Record: Burlingame KS
Date of Loss: 16 May 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 141913N 1080447E (YA962855)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1176

Other Personnel in Incident: Anund C. Roark (remains returned)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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. NETWORK 1998.


SYNOPSIS: On May 16, 1968 Cpl. Albert W. Romine and Sgt. Anund C. Roark were
on an operation with their unit a few miles southeast of the city of Kontum
in Kontum Province, South Vietnam.

Although U.S. Army information is sketchy, apparently Roark and Romine were
in close proximity when Roark threw himself on an incoming grenade to shield
others in the unit. Both Roark and Romine were reported to be killed (and
possibly others), but no remains were recovered at that time. Romine, at
least, was held for an unspecified period in Missing in Action status before
a finding of death was made.

On May 31, 1968, remains were recovered which were given to the Than San
Nhut Mortuary on June 2. Eleven years later, on November 11, 1979, these
remains were identified as being those of Roark and Romine, and returned to
their families for burial. According to the Army's DD-1300 (death
certificate), however, the remains were identified on the same day they were
recovered - May 31, 1968.

Disturbing questions arise when remains are returned: "Is it really who they
say it is?" and "How -- and when -- did he die?" Since the war ended, there
have been several cases of erroneous identification of remains, and some
accurate identifications of men who died AFTER the war was long over.

Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia.

As long as reports continue to be received which indicate Americans are
still alive in Indochina, we can only regard the return of remains as a
politically expedient way to show "progress" on accounting for American
POW/MIAs. As long as reports continue to be received, we must wonder how
many are alive. The only issue is that one living man. We must bring them
home before there are only remains to negotiate for.

Albert Wayne Romine was promoted to the rank of Sergeant during the period
prior to a finding of death.