TRUJILLO, ROBERT STEVEN
Name: Robert Steven Trujillo
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company A, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry
Date of Birth: 03 August 1946
Home City of Record: Santa Fe NM
Date of Loss: 07 January 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154047N 1081347E (BT032353)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: James M. Stone (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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: PFC Robert S. Trujillo, rifleman, and 1LT James M. Stone, company
commander, were on a combat operation with their unit near the border of
Quang Nam and Quang Tin Provinces in South Vietnam on January 7, 1968.
During a fire fight with a superior enemy force, their battalion was forced
from their position and began a breakout maneuver.
Members of Trujillo's unit saw him stand up and start to advance with the
armored personnel carriers (APCs) that were attached to his unit. That was
the last time he was seen, and he was not wounded at that time.
In the same action, 1LT Stone was accompanied by members of his company as
they executed the breakout maneuver. While making their way down a hill with
the APCs, the small group encountered automatic weapons fire and were forced
to take cover. When the firing stopped, one of the men noticed that 1LT
Stone had his blood-stained hands over his face. A medic checked him and
stated that there were no vital signs. His body was left behind.
A search of the area was conducted on January 8 and again on January 16, but
Stone's body was not recovered, and Trujillo was never found.
591 American Prisoners of War were released in 1973, but nearly 2500 were
not. Thousands of reports have been received by the U.S. Government that
indicate hundreds of Americans are still alive and held captive in Southeast
Asia, yet the government seems unable or unwilling to successfully achieve
their release. Policy statements indicate that "conclusive proof" is not
available, but when it is, the government will act. Detractors state that
proof is in hand, but the will to act does not exist.
Henry Kissinger has said that the problem of unrecoverable Prisoners is an
"unfortunate" byproduct of limited political engagements. This does not seem
to be consistent with the high value Americans place on individual human
lives. Men like Trujillo and Stone, who went to Vietnam because their
country asked it of him are too precious to the future of this nation to
write off as expendable.