Name: James J. Scuitier
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 14 February 1947
Home City of Record: Summit NJ
Date of Loss: 28 February 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 105203N 1063538E (XT742017)
Status (in 1973): (none)
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: M113 (tank)
Other Personnel In Incident:
Robert W. Hunt (missing)
Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: 730127 PRG SAYS DIC
Robert W. Hunt was a gunner on an M41 Tank assigned to Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division. On February 28, 1968, his unit was engaged in a reconnaissance in force mission just north of Saigon in South Vietnam.
The enemy launched an attack with rocket propelled grenades and heavy automatic weapons fire just after the tank commander had stopped to check the ID of an indigenous person. During the assault, the tank received two direct RPG hits.
Hunt was seen standing in the rear of the tank just prior to the assault. Because of heavy fighting, the area was not secured until the next day, and the tank could not be immediately checked for survivors. When search teams went into the area the following day, Hunt could not be found.
Lost the same day at the same coordinates on ground was James J. Scuitier. His name disappeared from the lists of missing by September 1978, but there is reference to his name in Hunt's files from Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC). JCRC files indicate that both Hunt and Scuitier were captured, but the Army has nothing on file to indicate that Hunt was captured.
The Vietnamese stated that Scuitier died in captivity, and although his name is no longer on the lists of missing, no record can be found of remains being returned that can be identified as his. According to the Army, Scuitier was captured in March 1968 and died in March 1968. Other casualty records show that Scuitier died in February 1968 while on board the tank. Other files indicate that remains identified as those of Scuitier were returned in February 1968. Finally, a cryptic data remark states "730127 PRG SAYS DIC" which could either mean that the Vietnamese stated on January 27, 1973 that Scuitier had died in captivity, or that the Vietnamese stated that he died on January 27, 1973.
Like many of the POW/MIA cases, there are frustrating discrepancies in those of Hunt and Scuitier. It is little wonder that many POW/MIA family members have learned to suspect information given to them by the government about their missing man.
The U.S. Government seems to believe that all Americans left behind in Indochina are now dead. Critics wonder if that is the case, why are the over 10,000 sighting reports still classified? Why are the complete files of the men who are still missing denied to their families? What happened to Robert Hunt and James Scuitier? Are they dead - or alive?