SWANSON, ROGER WESLEY Name: Roger Wesley Swanson Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division Date of Birth: 08 September 1943 Home City of Record: St. Paul MN Date of Loss: 31 October 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 113941N 1062334E (XT414892) Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1316 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) 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: PFC Roger W. Swanson was a rifleman assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. On October 31, 1968, he and his unit were on a reconnaissance enforce mission near the Cambodian border in Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam. During the operation, the patrol was ambushed. The patrol took cover and proceeded to crawl to the rear. PFC Swanson was hit on the right side of the head by enemy fire. Several members of the patrol saw him crawling in the tall grass toward the rear area, so it was not believed his wound was a mortal one. Artillery strikes were called in and casualties were evacuated by helicopter. However, no one recalled Swanson having been evacuated from the area, and all area hospitals were checked, but had no record of treating him. Searches of the area were conducted without success. It was never learned what happened to PFC Swanson. It seems likely that if he had been killed by friendly artillery fire, some trace would be found to prove that he had died. However, nothing was found, and Swanson was listed Missing in Action. The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Swanson's classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy. Nearly 2500 Americans were lost in Southeast Asia during our miltary involvement there. Since the war in Southeast Asia ended in 1973, thousands of reports relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for have been received by the U.S. Government. The official policy is that no conclusive proof has been obtained that is current enough to act upon. Detractors of this policy say conclusive proof is in hand, but that the willingness or ability to rescue these prisoners does not exist. Swanson, if one of those hundreds said to be still alive and in captivity, must be wondering if and when his country will return for him. In America, we say that life is precious, but isn't the life of even one American worth the effort of recovery? When the next war comes, and it is our sons lost, will we then care enough to do everything we can to bring our prisoners home?