Name: Steve Maurice Trivelpiece
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company E, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 08 October 1948 (Modesto CA)
Home City of Record: Stockton CA
Date of Loss: 04 April 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 101628N 1062443E (XS575400)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1118
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 2020.


SYNOPSIS: On April 4, 1968, PFC Steve M. Trivelpiece was a machine gunner
with the 3rd platoon, Company E, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, aboard a Navy
armored troop carrier. As the boat was making a landing in Hien Hoa
Province, South Vietnam, heavy automatic weapons fire was received. As
Trivelpiece was moving forward to set up his machine gun, he was struck in
the neck and wrist by gunfire and was killed.

Because of the confusion of the battle and the withdrawal of his unit from
the area. Trivelpiece's body was not recovered. On September 1, an aerial
search for his remains was conducted along the My Tho River from the
vicinity of the incident for some 35 kilometers, but nothing was found.

Witnesses believe that Steve Trivelpiece was killed on April 4, 1968. 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. Detractors 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.

Well over 1000 first-hand, eye-witness reports of American prisoners still
alive in Southeast Asia have been received by 1990. 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?




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Private First Class (PFC) Steve Maurice Trivelpiece, who joined the U.S. Army from California, served with Company E, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division as a machine gunner. On April 4, 1968, a Navy armored troop carrier transported PFC Trivelpiece's unit to a landing point on the My Tho River in Kien Hoa Province, South Vietnam. The ramp was lowered in the vicinity of grid coordinates XS 546 360, and as the troops began disembarking, they were hit by heavy automatic weapons fire. Sixteen soldiers, including PFC Trivelpiece, were killed before the troops could set up machine guns and suppress the enemy fire. The casualties were taken aboard a nearby ship using a basket carrier attached to a pulley system. As Private Trivelpiece's body was being lifted aboard the ship, the rope broke and his body dropped into the river. Immediate efforts to recover the body failed, as did a later extensive search for the remains. After the incident, the Army promoted PFC Trivelpiece to the rank of corporal. Today, Corporal Trivelpiece is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.    

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Non-recoverable.

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