Name: Deland Dwight Zubke
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: B Battery, 7th Battalion, 15th Artillery, 52nd Artillery Group
Date of Birth: 28 October 1951 (Dickinson ND)
Home City of Record: Grassy Butte ND
Date of Loss: 02 March 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 143300N 1073640E (YB805097)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1713

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.

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: SP5 Deland W. Zubke was serving as a radio operator for a U.S.
Artillery forward observer attached to an ARVN unit in South Vietnam. On
February 28, 1971, at about 1700 hours, his unit came under enemy attack,
and was forced to occupy defensive positions.

At 1410 hours on March 1, the ARVN unit's perimeter was breached and the
unit began to break up, with the survivors attempting to evade capture. The
three other Americans serving with this group evaded capture. Survivors
report last seeing SP5 Zubke inside the defensive perimeter. While the
surviving escaped, they called an air strike on their former position. Zubke
was not seen again.

Zubke was presumed to have been killed in the air strike called in to
protect the surviving members of the team. A cold reality of war is that the
few may sometimes suffer for the greater good of many. The Army believes
this is the case with Zubke, but because, in the confusion there is the
chance that Zubke left the bunker, the Army did not declare him killed, but
listed him Missing in Action. Clearly, the Army accepted the possibility
that Zubke had been captured.

Although Zubke was not among the prisoners returned a the end of the war,
thousands of reports have been received indicating that many Americans are
still alive in Southeast Asia, held against their will. One of them could be
SP5 Deland W. Zubke. If so, what must he be thinking of his country?



Associated Press Newswires
Saturday, June 12, 2004

 MIA bracelet unites women after two decades

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - A bracelet worn for a North Dakota soldier missing
in Vietnam has brought two women together after more than two decades.
"There really are nice people in the world," said Drusilla Zubke, 77, after
meeting Bonnie Barrett, 36, the keeper of her son's missing-in-action





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On February 28, 1971, a four-man artillery forward observer team attached to an Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) unit operating in South Vietnam came under attack by enemy forces and was forced to take a defensive position. The next day, March 1, the unitís position was overrun and the survivors were forced to evade enemy capture. Three men from the forward observer team managed to avoid capture and return to friendly positions; however, the fourth team member did not reach safety and was not seen or heard from again.

Staff Sergeant Deland Dwight Zubke, who joined the U.S. Army from North Dakota, was a member of Battery B of the 7th Cavalry Battalion, 15th Artillery Regiment, 52nd Artillery Group. He was the radio operator for the forward observer team, and disappeared after their position was overrun on March 1. He never returned to duty, and his remains have not been located or identified. Today, Staff Sergeant Zubke 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 Active Pursuit.

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