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Help our POWs and MIAs


Heroes All: The await their return. Lets bring them Home.

Bring Our POWs and MIAs Home.

             SCHERDIN, ROBERT FRANCIS

             Name: Robert Francis Scherdin
             Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Special Forces
             Unit: MACV-SOG, FOB 2, Command & Control North
             Date of Birth: 14 February 1947
             Home City of Record: Somerville NJ
             Date of Loss: 29 December 1968
             Country of Loss: Cambodia
             Loss Coordinates: 153650N 1072950E (YB690170)
             Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
             Category: 2
             Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
             Refno: 1351
             Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
             Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 
             1991 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 1998.
             REMARKS: SEVERELY WOUNDED WHEN LEFT
  
             SYNOPSIS: MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, 
             Vietnam Studies and Observation Group) was a 
             joint-service unconventional warfare task force
             engaged in highly classified operations throughout 
             Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled 
             personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a 
             Special Forces group) through Special Operations 
             Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" 
             while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams
             performed deep penetration missions of strategic 
             reconnaissance and interdiction into Laos and 
             Cambodia which were called, depending on the time
             frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions.

             On December 19, 1968, PFC Robert F. Scherdin was 
             the assistant team leader of a MACV-SOG 
             reconnaissance patrol in Rotanokiri Province, 
             Cambodia, near the border of Laos, Cambodia and 
             Vietnam. The team leader, suspecting enemy activity, 
             had taken four members of the team to check out the 
             area. The rear element, with Scherdin in charge, 
             came under heavy automatic weapon fire as they were 
             moving up to the leader's position. Montagnard soldier 
             Nguang in this element, saw Scherdin fall on his right 
             side and tried to help him stand up, but Scherdin only 
             groaned and would not get up. Nguang was then wounded 
             himself and realized that he had been left by the other 
             three Vietnamese of the rear element, whereupon he left 
             Scherdin and joined the rest of the unit.
             The team leader and his element were extracted a short 
             time later, then the rear element was extracted, except 
             for Scherdin. The team leader had been informed that 
             Scherdin had been wounded and because of the tactical 
             situation, had to be left behind. Scherdin was not seen 
             again. 

             On December 30, a platoon was inserted into the area to 
             search for Scherdin, but had to be extracted because of 
             heavy enemy activity. In January, 1969, the rear element 
             of the original team was also reinserted and remained
             four days. They died in a helicopter crash shortly after 
             their extraction. They had not been questioned by the 
             investigation board, and it is not known if they located 
             information concerning Scherdin. 

             There are only three Americans missing who are associated 
             with the loss of a helicopter in January 1969. Lost January 
             23, 1969, in the general vicinity of the Scherdin loss, 
             they are SGT. William R. Henderson, SP4 Frank D. Moorman 
             and PFC Robert L. Luster. These three were lost in the 
             Tri-border area in South Vietnam. Their remains were 
             recovered on January 27, 1969 and positive identifications 
             confirmed February 23, 1976.

             According to Luster's wife, the remains were subsequently 
             buried in a mass grave. She does not accept the 
             identification of her husband. Further, Mrs. Luster states 
             that one of the team "walked off the plane in 1973" (was a 
             released POW). According to all available public records, 
             only Luster, Moorman and Henderson were classified missing 
             from this incident, and no released POW went missing that 
             day. It is believed that these three may have comprised the 
             flight crew of the helicopter extracting the Special Forces 
             search party. [As the remainder of the rear element was 
             probably completely indigenous, U.S. records would not 
             contain reference to them. The individual released may have 
             been an indigenous.]

             Nearly 2500 Americans were lost in Southeast Asia during our 
             military involvement there. Since the war in Southeast Asia 
             ended in 1973, thousands of reports relating to Americans 
             prisoner, missing or unaccounted for have been received by 
             the U.S. Government. The official policy is that no conclusive 
             proof has been obtained that is current enough to act upon. 
             Detractors of this policy say conclusive proof is in hand, but 
             that the willingness or ability to rescue these prisoners 
             does not exist.

             Robert F. Scherdin, if one of those hundreds said to be still 
             alive and in captivity, must be wondering if and when his 
             country will return for him. In America, we say that life is 
             precious, but isn't the life of even one American worth the 
             effort of recovery? When the next war comes, and it is our 
             sons lost, will we then care enough to do everything we can 
             to bring our prisoners home?
Bring Our POWs and MIAs Home.

Meeting Grandpa For the First Time.POW/MIA: Lightning scares me less then being left behind by the country I so love...

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