Name: Gary Patrick Westcott
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: MI HHC, 8th Radio Research Field Station, 509th Radio Research Group
Date of Birth: 24 April 1951 (Chincoteague VA)
Home City of Record: Pomona CA
Date of Loss: 30 March 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164223N 1065408E (YD028479)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1808

Other Personnel In Incident: Bruce A. Crosby (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 in 2020.


SYNOPSIS: Gary Westcott was a member of the 8th Radio Research Field Station
(RRFS), 509th Radio Research (RR) Group. "Radio Research" was actually a
secret cover designation for certain units operating under the direction of
the U.S. Army Security Agency Group, Vietnam. All missions of this agency
were highly classified. Crosby and Westcott's unit operated under USASA
through its 8th U.S. Army Security Agency Field Station at Phu Bai. The 8th
USASA Field Station handled classified functions related to the safeguarding
of the Army and its affiliated activities including signal security and
electronic intelligence.

In March, 1972, Crosby and Westcott were serving as advisors to the 4th
Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Corps. He was stationed at firebase "Sarge" on
Hill 550 near Don Toan Mountain and the hamlet of Cua Mai Loc Village in Cam
Lo District, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Firebase Sarge was located
in the vicinity of grid coordinates YD028479.

On 30 March 1972, at approximately 12:00 noon, Fire Support Base Sarge was
subjected to an intense enemy artillery attack from the 304th NVA Division.
SP4 Crosby and SP5 Westcott were ordered to maintain radio contact with
Detachment Alpha at Quang Tri and individuals at the firebase. The last
radio contact from Crosby and Westcott was received at 2:45 PM when their
Radio Research bunker took a direct hit from a rocket. The round penetrated
the bunker wall and exploded inside, caving in the roof and setting off an
intense fire. Other members of the advisor group called down into the
bunker, but received no response from either man. No rescue attempt was
possible because of the fire and continuing heavy artillery attack.

Firebase Sarge was abandoned 37 hours after the Radio Research bunker took
the direct hit, and the fire was still burning in it at that time. Reports
from other team members state "everything in the bunker was totally
destroyed," and "there was absolutely no hope that Crosby and Westcott were
alive." The firebase was abandoned at 2:00 AM on 1 April 1972.

Both Bruce Crosby and Gary Westcott were originally listed as Missing in
Action. On 27 June 1972 their status was changed to Killed in Action/Body
Not Recovered (KIA/BNR).





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On March 30, 1972, a fire support base known as "Firebase Sarge" on Hill 550 in Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, was subjected to intense enemy artillery attack. An enemy rocket penetrated a radio bunker on the firebase and exploded inside, igniting demolition charges stored there. The bunker roof caved in and an intense fire ensued. Because of the fire and the ongoing enemy bombardment, other men on the firebase could not attempt to rescue the two radio operators inside the bunker at the time. "Firebase Sarge" was abandoned shortly thereafter, with the remnants of the bunker still burning and everything inside completely destroyed.

Specialist 5 Gary Patrick Westcott entered the U.S. Army from California and was a member of 8th Radio Research Field Station, 509th Radio Research Group. He was one of the two occupants of the radio bunker when it was hit and was lost in the explosion. His remains have not been recovered. Today, Specialist 5 Westcott is memorialized on the 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 Active Pursuit.

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