|Name:||Charles Luther Young|
|Rank/Branch:||Sergeant First Class/US Army|
|Unit:||Company D, 2nd
25th Infantry Division
|Date of Birth:||04 April 1946|
|Home of Record:||New York, NY|
|Date of Loss:||17 May 1968|
|Country of Loss:||South Vietnam|
Click coordinates to view maps
|Status in 1973:||Missing in Action|
|Other Personnel In Incident:||(none missing)|
SYNOPSIS: On 17 May 1968, then PFC Charles L. Young was assigned as a rifleman in Company D, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. His squad was participating in a combat patrol in the hotly contested and heavily populated rice-growing region north of Saigon.
At 1700 hours PFC Young's squad departed their base in the first of three assault boats to set up a night ambush position to interdict enemy activity in their area of operation. Also on board the boat were six other soldiers from his squad and one boat operator.
Between one and three hours later, as the boats moved toward their destination, they were ambushed by a Viet Cong (VC) force of unknown size approximately 6 miles due north of Saigon, 11 miles south of Lai Khe and 10 miles east of the town of Cu Chi, Gia Dinh Province, South Vietnam.
The first boat was hit and disabled by small arms and two rocket propelled grenades (RPGs). Four of the eight men aboard that boat were located and recovered immediately by the men in the other two boats. In the chaos of battle and the darkness of night, no trace of the other 4 men was found.
The next day a sweep of the area was made by US forces. During the search the bodies of three of the other four Americans were found and recovered. Charles Young's helmet was also found with two bullet holes in it along with bloodstains on the inside of it. Further, the placement of the bullet holes in the helmet and the small amount of blood found in it led US officials to conclude PFC Young could have been wounded instead of killed during the ambush.
The search was conducted along both riverbanks, downstream from the ambush site and in the surrounding area. The search team found no trace of PFC Young, his weapon or other gear anywhere in the area they covered. Because the evidence indicated he could have survived, reached the nearby shore and possibly been captured, Charles Young was listed Missing in Action at the time the formal search effort was terminated.
If Charles Young died in this loss incident, he has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if he survived, he most certainly would have been captured, and his 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.