WELSH, LARRY DON Name: Larry Don Welsh Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Unit: Date of Birth: 16 Jun 1947 Home City of Record: Kansas City KS Date of Loss: 07 January 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 112642N 1060200E Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Vehicle: Ground Refno: 1356 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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: Larry Welsh is the oldest of four children born to William and Rosemary Welsh of Kansas City, Kansas. He has one brother and two sisters. Larry grew up in Kansas City on a small acreage on the west side of the city, and enjoyed working with the calves, pigs, chickens and especially horses. He was a Boy Scout and earned the God and Country award, and is a Life Scout. He is a Christian and a member of Sunset Hills Christian Church. Before going into the Army, he worked as a switchman for Santa Fe Railroad. He entered the service in January 1968 and was sent to Vietnam in December 1968 as a platoon sergeant. Larry's platoon was engaged in a firefight with the Viet Cong on January 7, 1969 northwest of Tay Ninh City, Tay Ninh Province, about 8 miles from the border of South Vietnam and Cambodia. Larry, slightly injured by fragmentation wounds, removed his shirt and told another wounded soldier that he was going for help. The soldier then observed Welsh walk down a path toward an area where artillery shells were falling. Returning to the battle scene the next day, searchers found one man dead and a wounded man hiding in a hollow log. The wounded man told the searchers what he knew about Larry. The search team found Welsh's eyeglasses, wallet, shirt and the watch with the silver chain wristband that he wore, but Larry was not seen again. He was the only man unaccounted for in Vietnam on that day. Larry's parents have written letters and sent packages over the years, but they have been returned unopened. They say, "We always felt that Larry was taken prisoner by the Viet Cong. The last time anybody saw him, he was alive." Larry's young wife has since remarried, and his parents do what they can to bury their sorrow and uncertainty. Over the years, they have, to their complete frustration, learned there is little they can do. One cannot simply travel to Vietnam to try and find someone the Vietnamese say does not exist. The U.S. seems to place a low priority on the return of the missing from Vietnam. Since the war ended, however the U.S. Government has conducted over "250,000 interviews" and pored over "several million documents" relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Many authorities, including a former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, have concluded that many Americans are still alive in captivity today. Whether Larry Welsh is among them is unknown. Santa Fe Railway is still holding his job. Even though many have forgotten, Larry's friends and family have not. It's time we brought our men home.