WALTON, LEWIS CLARK
Name: Lewis Clark Walton
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Task Force 1, Advisory Element (assigned to Support Headquarters,
Date of Birth: 13 May 1934 (Providence RI)
Home City of Record: Cranston RI
Date of Loss: 10 May 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155250N 1073430E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Klaus Bingham; James Luttrell (both missing)
Source: Compiled 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: James Luttrell, Lewis Walton and Klaus Bingham were members of a
long-range reconnaissance (LRRP) team "Asp" which was inserted into western
Quang Nam Province 12 miles from Laos on May 3, 1971.
The Asp team was inserted without ground fire or radio transmission. On May
4, the area was searched by Forward Air Controllers (FAC) who neither saw
nor heard anything from the team.
On May 5, two pilots flying in the area reported seeing a mirror and a panel
signal 50 meters west of the LZ for about 15 minutes. The area was searched
again for about 3 hours, and the FAC attempted to raise the team on radio.
At 1404 hours on May 5, the FAC saw two people wearing dark green fatigues
locating panel signals. Helicopters were launched at 1500 hours that day
with a rescue team, but could not be inserted because of bad weather. The
FAC stayed on station until 1700 hours that day, but no communication was
ever established with the team.
On May 6, weather again prohibited search attempts.
On May 7, hostile fire in the area prevented the insertion of a rescue team.
Poor weather prevented the insertion of a search team until May 14. The team
was extracted the same day, without ever having heard or seen the patrol.
Luttrell, Walton and Bingham disappeared. The three were classified Missing
In Action. They are among nearly 2400 Americans who are still missing from
the Vietnam war. Experts now believe that hundreds of these men are still
Lewis Walton was a seasoned soldier when he disappeared. He was trained for
survival under adverse circumstances. Under the circumstances of his
disappearance, the U.S. Army believes the enemy may know what happened to
him. He could be alive.
In our haste to leave Southeast Asia, we abandoned 2400 of our best.
Surprisingly, in 1988, overtures by many U.S. government officials hint at
normalization of relations with Vietnam, yet no agreements have been reached
which would free those Americans still held in Southeast Asia. In our haste
to return to Indochina will we again abandon our men?
Catherine M. Walton, the mother of Lewis, passed away in the privacy of her
own home on the morning of November 7, 1997 at the age of 87. She never knew
the fate of her son. Perhaps she does now.
During the General Membership Meeting at the SOA Reunion, SOAR XXVIII, Mr
Dickie Hites, Special Advisor, to the CG of JPAC, Hawaii, presented a brief
update on his trip to SE Asia.
He mentioned the remains of Klaus Bigham, Jim Lutrell, and Lewis Walton of
RT ASP from CCN, lost on 10 May 1971 had been found.
POW/MIA Update: January 25, 2007
U.S. PERSONNEL MISSING FROM THE VIETNAM WAR: There are now 1,789 US
personnel listed as missing and unaccounted for by the Department of
Defense. Recently, the identifications of two Americans previously
missing/unaccounted for from the Vietnam War were announced:
Major Benjamin F. Danielson, USAF, USA, MN, MIA 12/5/69, Laos, RR 11/12/03,
Sergeant First Class Lewis C. Walton, RI, MIA 5/10/71, SVN, RR 10/19/04, ID
The League extends best wishes to the families and friends of both men and
hopes that these final answers bring long-awaited peace of mind. The
accounting for these Americans brings to 794 the number of US personnel
accounted for since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Over 90% of the
1,789 still listed as missing were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and
Cambodia under Vietnamese wartime control.
The Sun ChronicleTUESDAY MAY 15, 2007 Last modified: Friday, May 4, 2007 10:32 PM EDT
Editorial: After long vigil, a soldier comes home
A simple bracelet is the reminder this week of the wearying,
enduring nature of all
wars and the difficult truth that their endings never arrive on the same date for everyone involved.
Welcome home to Sgt. 1st Class Lewis C. Walton, U.S. Army, who went missing May 5,
1971 in South Vietnam.....
Staff Sgt. Lewis Clark Walton Sr., who was
posthumously promoted to Sgt. 1st Class, smiles in a photo
taken of him in his Vietnam War era uniform during his time in the Green Berets. His remains were
escorted on May 1 from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command at Hickam AFB,
Guard, for burial.