HAMILTON, ROGER DALE

Name: Roger Dale Hamilton 
Rank/Branch: Gunnery Sergeant/US Marine Corps 
Unit: Company F, 2nd Battalion, 
1st Marine Regiment, 
1st Marine Division 
Date of Birth: 16 August 1948 (Baltimore, MD)
Home of Record: Baltimore, MD 
Date of Loss: 21 April 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 153700N 1081600E (BT050290)
Click coordinates to view maps
Status in 1973: Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) 

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS:  On 21 April 1967, then Lance Corporal Roger D. Hamilton was assigned as a rifleman in Company F. At that time his unit was conducting a ground operation to search out any enemy activity in populated mountain foothills where Viet Cong (VC) troops were suspected to be operating.

At approximately 1630 hours, the Marine unit completed an assault on a VC controlled village located approximately 15 miles southeast of An Hoa, 16 miles southwest of the coastline, 27 miles due south of DaNang and 31 miles northwest of Chu Lai, Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam. Because the village was strategically located roughly 1 mile west of a river, 3 miles south of populated rice fields and 3 miles east of a primary road, control of it was vital to both sides. During the assault, Roger Hamilton had been wounded. As the Marines worked to secure the area, LCpl Hamilton was last seen at the outer edge of the village. Communist forces launched their own attack on US positions catching the Marines off guard and forcing the rest of the unit to withdraw under fire. Unfortunately, Roger Hamilton was left behind during their quick retreat.

The next day a search and rescue (SAR) team was inserted into the village to search for the missing Marine. A thorough search of the village and surrounding area was conducted, but found no trace of Roger Hamilton either live or dead. At that time the formal SAR was terminated, Roger Dale was listed Missing in Action.

In August 1967, US intelligence received information from two VC prisoners that a US Marine had been captured in April 1967 in circumstances similar to that of the loss of LCpl. Hamilton. They were unable to provide any specific information about where he had been taken prisoner, or to his eventual fate.

In August 1989, US field investigators in Vietnam interviewed other witnesses who resided in the area at the time of the assault on the village about the fate of Roger Hamilton, but again the investigators only received vague statements regarding his fate of the missing Marine.

An additional investigation was conducted in January 1991 and it led US investigators to his reported burial site. Members of the team recovered one partial set of remains at one location they were directed to and small bone fragments at the second site located nearby. Once again the reports were vague as to whom the remains actually belonged. At no time was it possible to correlate the remains recovered from these gravesites to this loss incident and Roger Hamilton. Further, forensic examination of the fragmentary remains has been unsuccessful in identifying them even as American or Asian remains.

If Roger Hamilton died of wounds sustained on the assault of that communist village, he has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if he survived them, there is no doubt he would have been captured and his fate, like that of many other Americans who remain unaccounted for today, could be quite different. Either way, the Vietnamese know exactly what happened to him.

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 America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

American military men were called upon to fly and fight 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.