Press Release

June 30, 2005

No. 05-010

Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000 Ext. 146
(301) 996-0901


Vietnam Veterans of America Helps Account for Twelve Missing

(Washington, D.C.) – After 37 years, the families of those who died in the Battle of Ngoc Tavak have been informed their loved ones are coming home, this as the result of a 12-year effort by Vietnam Veterans of American’s Veterans Initiative, veterans in the U.S., Australia, and Vietnam, along with governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The forensic identification process following the 1998-99 recovery of the remains is complete and has allowed the U.S. government to begin the notification of the families. The remains of 11 U.S. Marines and one American Special Forces soldier have been recovered. Five have been positively identified by forensic DNA processes. 

The men were killed May 10, 1968, in one of the most ferocious battles of the war, at the forward operating base at Ngoc Tavak, a sub camp of the larger Special Forces camp, Kham Duc, which fell to enemy hands two days later. These battles resulted in the single largest number of missing Americans associated with any battle during the entire war.

"We are pleased that after more than three decades, the families will be able to benefit from the recovery of their loved ones," said VVA President Thomas H. Corey.

"It is common knowledge that this battle field never would have been excavated had not VVA sent teams of veterans to Vietnam, including the Ngoc Tavac battlefield, in 1994, 1995, and again in 1998," said Bill Duker, former chair of the Veterans Initiative Task Force.

Providing the U.S. government with maps of body locations, videotapes of meetings with Vietnamese officials and veterans, along with minefield locations, VVA enabled a safe and productive recovery of the remains by the U.S. military in 1998-1999.

U.S. Marine veterans and Australians who participated in the defense of Ngoc Tavak and Kham Duc were personally involved in VVA’s Veterans Initiative effort to bring home their brothers-in-arms.

"Members of Platoon Delta X-Ray, including Major Robert Adams, USMC Ret., Corporals Dave Fuentes, Henry Schunck, Greg Rose, Scott Thomas, U.S. Navy corpsman, joined Major John White of the Australian Army in this effort," said fellow platoon member Tim Brown.

"Further details and information will be released after the Marine Corps finishes the notification process," Corey added.


Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

     Home | Membership | Publications | Events | Government Relations | Contact Us
Press Releases | Benefits | Meetings & Special Events | Collectibles | Contributions and Sponsorships | Site Index

Vietnam Veterans of America ® 
8719 Colesville Road, Suite 100, Suite 400
Silver Spring, Maryland  20910-3710
301-585-4000, Fax 301-585-0519, 1-800-VVA-1316  

Copyright © 2005 by the Vietnam Veterans of America. All rights reserved.