Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2000 with
information from George Hewitt.
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Remarks: Indications of Shootout W/NVA
SYNOPSIS: On June 22, 1971, Sgt. David M.A. Strohlein and three other U.S.
soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission in South Vietnam. At 0300 hours,
the four-man team entered their mission area by parachute, but were unable
to link up on the ground.
At 0730 hours, Sgt. Strohlein radioed for an emergency medical evacuation
for himself, and that he had sustained injury in the jump. From 0730 until
1100 hours, radio contact was maintained with him, but contact was
eventually broken because of enemy movement near his position.
The following day, a rescue team was inserted in his vicinity. The team
found Strohlein's weapon and evidence of a fire fight, however, they were
not able to locate any other trace of Sgt. Strohlein's whereabouts.
It seems unlikely that the enemy would have left Sgt. Strohlein's weapon
behind if they had crossed his original position, so it is logical to
speculate that Strohlein left his position to try and evade an approaching
enemy; perhaps having expended his ammunition, he discarded the gun.
Category 1 means that the U.S. has information that the enemy absolutely
knows the fate of the individual in the category. Category 1 does not mean
the individual lived or that he died, only that the enemy knows his fate. It
is a category primarily reserved for those who were known to be captured.
Public record does not indicate how badly Strohlein was injured in the jump,
or if there was evidence that he was wounded in the firefight. The record
does not indicate if enemy movement in the area included approach and
capture. However, since he was apparently not mortally wounded (having been
on radio for 3 1/2 hours), it can be safely assumed that Sgt. Strohlein was
captured or killed by the enemy in the area he was last seen.
The U.S. points to enormous "progress" being made in the area of the
missing, having acquired through years of negotiating, almost half of the
American remains that Vietnam is known to have stockpiled.
Meanwhile, over 1,000 eye-witness reports of living Americans who are
captive in Southeast Asia "cannot be proven". One of the hundreds suspected
to be alive by many authorities could be Sgt. Strohlein. How must it feel to
be forgotten and abandoned?