Name: Deland Dwight Zubke
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: B Battery, 7th Battalion, 15th Artillery, 52nd Artillery Group
Date of Birth: 28 October 1951 (Dickinson ND)
Home City of Record: Grassy Butte ND
Date of Loss: 02 March 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 143300N 1073640E (YB805097)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident:
SP5 Deland W. Zubke was serving as a radio operator for a U.S. Artillery forward observer attached to an ARVN unit in South Vietnam. On February 28, 1971, at about 1700 hours, his unit came under enemy attack, and was forced to occupy defensive positions.
At 1410 hours on March 1, the ARVN unit's perimeter was breached and the unit began to break up, with the survivors attempting to evade capture. The three other Americans serving with this group evaded capture. Survivors report last seeing SP5 Zubke inside the defensive perimeter. While the surviving escaped, they called an air strike on their former position. Zubke was not seen again.
Zubke was presumed to have been killed in the air strike called in to protect the surviving members of the team. A cold reality of war is that the few may sometimes suffer for the greater good of many. The Army believes this is the case with Zubke, but because, in the confusion there is the chance that Zubke left the bunker, the Army did not declare him killed, but listed him Missing in Action. Clearly, the Army accepted the possibility that Zubke had been captured.
Although Zubke was not among the prisoners returned a the end of the war, thousands of reports have been received indicating that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia, held against their will. One of them could be SP5 Deland W. Zubke. If so, what must he be thinking of his country?