ROMINE, ALBERT WAYNE Remains Recovered 31 May 1968, ID'D 11 November 1979 Name: Albert Wayne Romine Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: 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. REMARKS: 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.