WILSON, RICHARD JR.
Name: Richard Wilson, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: 523rd Transportation Company, 37th Battalion, 26th GSG
Date of Birth: 08 November 1952
Home City of Record: Crawfordsville AR
Date of Loss: 14 June 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163223N 1072729E (YD623301)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none 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: PFC Richard Wilson served as a truck driver for the 523rd
Transportation Company in South Vietnam. On June 15, 1971, at about 1655
hours, his truck went out of control while crossing the An Lo bridge about 5
miles southwest of Hue, in a rainstorm, and veered off the bridge.
On June 17, divers inspected the truck and were unable to locate PFC Wilson.
On June 20, the truck was recovered, but no trace could be found of PFC
Wilson in the truck cab.
On or about June 20, the Vietnamese news reported seeing a body similar to
that of PFC Wilson downstream from the bridge in the river. Efforts to
relocate the body referred to were unsuccessful. A later source report
described a black body (Wilson was a Negro) floating in a flooded river in
the Van Xuan Hamlet of Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. This report
possibly correlates to Wilson, but the body was not located.
Extensive air searches were made with the assistance of ARVN helicopters,
but no sign of Wilson or his body were ever found. Wilson's is one of the
unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever people are. The fact that
he died an accidental death in the midst of war is tragically ironic. He is
listed among the missing with honor, because his body was never found to be
returned to the country he served.
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 missing Americans 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. Distractors 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.
Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by
1989, lending credence to the possibility that Americans are still alive.
Most of these reports are 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?