Corporal/US Marine Corps
G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines,
1st Marine Division
|Date of Birth:||14 August 1948
|Home of Record:||Omaha, NE
|Date of Loss:||18 October 1967
|Country of Loss:||South Vietnam|
|Loss Coordinates:||161419N 1075813E
Click coordinates to view maps
|Status in 1973:||Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered|
|Other Personnel In Incident:||(none
SYNOPSIS:On 18 October 1967, LCpl. Howard Ogden, Jr. was a rifleman assigned to a patrol operating in the densely forested and uninhabited area on the northwest side of Dong Top Mountain, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam.
During the patrol, LCpl. Ogden’s squad was dispatched to assist with the extraction of a reconnaissance team that was engaged in heavy combat with a VC force of unknown size. When the squad reached the vicinity of the battle site, enemy soldiers brought them under attack. During the ensuing firefight, LCpl. Ogden was seriously wounded and possibly killed. Several attempts were made to reach Howard Ogden, but the accurate enemy gunfire prevented them from doing so.
As the battle raged around them, the Americans realized the situation was untenable. The rest of the squad and members of the reconnaissance team were finally able to break contact. However, due to the tactical situation, the other Americans were unable to recover Howard Ogden before they were forced to withdraw under fire. He was last seen lying motionless on the ground. Due to the intense enemy presence, no search and rescue (SAR) operation was possible. Howard Ogden was immediately declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.
The location of loss was near the top of Dong Top Mountain approximately 1 mile south of Highway QL1 and a single track railroad line that ran along the south side the highway, 19 miles southeast of Hue-Phu Bai Airfield and 19 miles northwest of DaNang.
In May 1993, members of the Joint Task Force for Full Accounting (JTFFA) traveled to Thua Thien Province to investigate losses in that region. While pursuing information about the fate of LCpl. Ogden, team members interviewed two witnesses and conducted a surface site survey of the battle site. The site survey yielded no useful evidence.
The first witness interviewed was a member of the VC militia who fought the Americans in this region on many occasions. He reported that the Americans would always collect all of their casualties after a battle. He stated that he had never seen a dead or wounded American. Further he said he never heard of anyone finding an American body. The second witness had no information relevant to this loss, and neither one knew of any grave sites in the area.
If Howard Ogden died in his loss incident as indicated, he has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. Because of the large number of enemy troops actively operating in this region, there is the possibility that someone will come forward with information that will lead to the recovery of his remains. Above all else, Howard Ogden has the right not to be forgotten by the nation for which he gave his life.
For other Americans who remain unaccounted for, 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 America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.
Military men in Vietnam 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.