Name: Jose Antonio Graniela, Jr. npa
Rank/Branch: Private First Class/US Army
Unit: Company D, 1st Battalion,
327th Infantry
101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
Date of Birth: 22 June 1944
Home of Record: Brentwood, NY
Date of Loss: 16 August 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 161733N 1071104E (YD344024)
Click coordinates to view (4) maps
Staus in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: On 16 August 1968, PFC Jose A. Graniela, Jr., was a rifleman assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.

At 1100 hours, his unit was on a combat operation in the infamous A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. As they moved through the rocky, jungle covered terrain, the platoon was ambushed by an enemy force of unknown size. Intense enemy automatic weapons fire pinned the platoon down behind a large rock formation at the extreme northwestern tip of the triangular shaped valley, and approximately 4 miles east of the South Vietnamese/Lao border. The platoon leader immediately radioed for artillery fire support mission, then began adjusting the friendly artillery rounds directly on to enemy positions.

Unknown to members of Company D, a communist sniper maneuvered to a position where he could see some of the platoon members. He shot Jose Graniela three times severing an artery in his leg. The platoon medic made his way immediately to PFC Graniela's side. He applied a tourniquet to the seriously wounded soldier's leg to stop the uncontrolled bleeding, then once that was under control, he began attending his other wounds. In spite of the medic's best efforts, PFC Graniela went into shock and died within five minutes of being wounded. All attempts to revive him, including mouth-to-mouth resuscitation administered by the medic, was to no visible avail.

The firefight continued to rage around them. As the platoon's situation rapidly deteriorated, the decision was made to pull back to positions that could be better defended. Because of intense and accurate communist small arms and automatic weapons fire, the platoon was forced to leave PFC Graniela's remains behind. Later a ground search of the ambush site was impossible due to the continued heavy enemy presence in the area. Jose Graniela was immediately listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

While there is no doubt as to Jose Graniela's fate, there is also no doubt that the Vietnamese could return his remains any time they so desired to. Above all else, PFC Graniela has the right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and the country he gave his live for. For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different.

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.

American servicemen in Vietnam were called upon to operate in many dangerous circumstances both on and off duty, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably ever occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.