EISENBERGER, GEORGE JOE

Name: George Joe Eisenberger   
Rank/Branch: Sergeant/US Army 
Unit: Company B, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st Infantry Division 
Date of Birth: 02 March 1940 
Home of Record: Pawhuska, OK
Date of Loss: 05 December 1965 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 112552N 1063324E (XT690473) 
Click coordinates to view maps
Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered 
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel In Incident: Morris F. Dibble and Edward C. Upner (missing) 

REMARKS:  KIA GND COMB - REMS NOT LOC - J

SYNOPSIS:  On 5 December 1965, Sgt. George J. Eisenberger, squad leader; PFC Morris Dibble, rifleman; and SSgt. Edward C. Upner, rifleman; comprised an infantry squad assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st infantry Division. The squad was operating as the point element on a combat mission to search out and destroy Viet Cong (VC) activity in the densely populated and hotly contested jungle covered countryside northwest of the South Vietnamese capital city of Saigon.

As the squad moved forward, the point element was ambushed by a well-entrenched and concealed VC force of unknown size. In the initial burst of gunfire, George Eisenberger, Morris Dibble and Edward Upner were struck by machine gun and small arms fire. All three men fell to the ground motionless. Because of the enemy's intense and accurate fire, other members of the patrol were unable to reach the three men whom they believed had been killed in the initial attack.

As the fierce fighting continued, the American position became increasingly precarious. The surviving patrol members were forced to withdraw under heavy fire leaving the bodies of Morris Dibble, Edward Upner and George Eisenberger where they fell.

The next day American forces were able to re-entered the ambush site. A thorough search and rescue/recovery operation was conducted over the next two days in an attempt to find and recover the bodies of Sgt. Eisenberger, PFC Dibble and SSgt. Upner. Unfortunately, there was no trace of the missing squad members or their equipment found.

The search element was also not able to find any signs of freshly dug graves in or around the battle site. It was believed at the time that VC had removed the bodies of the Americans to an unknown location for burial. At the time the formal search was terminated George Eisenberger, Morris Dibble and Edward Upner were listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

The ambush site was located in an area covered with triple-canopy jungle approximately 5 miles northwest of Lai Khe, 12 miles east-southeast of Dau Tieng and 29 miles northwest of Saigon, Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam.

If George Eisenberger, Morris Dibble and Edward Upner died in this enemy ambush, each man has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if they were wounded, they most certainly would have been captured and their fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite different. Either way there is no question the Vietnamese know what happened and could return them or their remains any time they had the desire to do so.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Military men in Vietnam were called upon to operate in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.