|Name:||Frederick Daniel Herrera|
|Rank/Branch:||Sergeant First Class/US Army|
4th Infantry Division
|Date of Birth:||07 August 1949|
|Home of Record:||Albuquerque, NM|
|Date of Loss:||25 March 1969|
|Country of Loss:||South Vietnam|
Click coordinates to view maps
|Status in 1973:||Missing in Action|
|Other Personnel In Incident:||Prentice W. Hicks and Richard Roberts (missing)|
SYNOPSIS: When North Vietnam began to increase its military strength in South Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had done during the war with the French some years before. This border road was used by the Communists to transport weapons, supplies and troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and was frequently no more than a path cut through the jungle covered mountains. US forces used all assets available to them to stop this flow of men and supplies from moving south into the war zone.
On 24 March 1969, PFC Prentice W. Hicks, and then PFC Richard D. "Dick" Roberts were riflemen assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division on a road interdiction mission northwest of the city of Kontum to block the flow of communist supplies flowing into South Vietnam from the southernmost part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. PFC Frederick D. Herrera, who was assigned to Company B, 4th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, was participating in the same operation.
During the initial contact, PFC Hicks was wounded several times when his unit made contact with an enemy force of unknown size. During the skirmish the Americans were ordered to pull back. PFC Hicks was placed on a litter and carried out of the area for evacuation. However, his wounds were not life threatening and no medivac helicopter was dispatched to pick him up.
On 25 March, as their units were moving toward high ground, PFC Roberts was the point man when they again came in contact with the enemy. During the firefight, the Americans moved back down the hill and Prentice Hicks, Frederick Herrera and Richard Roberts were separated from the main element.
At the time it was believed that PFC Herrera and PFC Roberts stayed behind to assist PFC Hicks. This was the last time the three soldiers were seen. Further, while Prentice Hicks was slightly wounded, both Frederick Herrera and Richard Roberts were uninjured. The location where the three Americans were last seen was in approximately 1 mile north of Dak Seang, 2 miles due west of the tri-border junction where South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia join, 13 miles west-northwest of Dak To and 35 miles north-northwest of the town of Kontum, Kontum Province, South Vietnam.
On 5 April, a search of the area by a reconnaissance team found some letters belonging to PFC Hicks along with the cover from a Bible belonging to PFC Herrera, but there was no sign of the three missing soldiers. Because of the heavy enemy presence in the area, it was believed by the military that it was entirely possible they were captured. At the time the formal search was terminated, Prentice Hicks, Frederick Herrera and Dick Roberts were all listed Missing In Action.
If Dick Roberts, Prentice Hicks and Frederick Herrera died, each man has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if they were captured, their fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, 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 America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.
Military men in Vietnam were called upon to 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.