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POW Medal

Sargeant First Class Rank Insignia

Sargeant First Class Jerry Michael "Mad Dog" Shriver

Sargeant First Class Jerry Michael Shriver



Name: Jerry Michael "Mad Dog" Shriver
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army Special Forces
Unit: CCS - MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces
Date of Birth: 24 September 1941 (De Funiak Springs FL)
Home City of Record: Sacramento CA
Date of Loss: 24 April 1969
Country of Loss: Cambodia (some older records say Laos)
Loss Coordinates: 165048N 1063158E (XT441913)

Area where SFC Shriver was lost

Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4 -- Unknown Knowledge
A. Individuals whose time and place of incident are unknown (e.g., aircrews members downed at the unknown locations or ground personnel that were separated from their units at an unknown time or place), and
B. Who do not meet criteria of categories 1 through 3.

Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1431

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 2001 with material provided by a family member.

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: SFC Jerry M. "Mad Dog" Shriver was a legendary Green Beret. He was an exploitation platoon leader with Command and Control South, MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a joint service high command 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 which were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions.

On the morning of April 24, 1969, Shriver's hatchet platoon was air assaulted into Cambodia by four helicopters. Upon departing the helicopter, the team had begun moving toward its initial target point when it came under heavy volumes of enemy fire from several machine gun bunkers and entrenched enemy positions estimated to be at least a company-sized element. Shriver was last seen by the company commander, Capt. Paul D. Cahill, as Shriver was moving against the machine gun bunkers and entering a tree line on the southwest edge of the LZ with a trusted Montagnard striker. Capt. Cahill and Sgt. Ernest C. Jamison, the platoon medical aidman, took cover in a bomb crater. Cahill continued radio contact with Shriver for four hours until his transmission was broken and Shriver was not heard from again. It was known that Shriver had been wounded 3 or 4 times. An enemy soldier was later seen picking up a weapon which appeared to be the same type carried by Shriver.

Jamison left the crater to retrieve one of the wounded Montagnards who had fallen in the charge. The medic reached the soldier, but was almost torn apart by concentrated machine gun fire. At that moment Cahill was wounded in the right eye, which resulted in his total blindness for the next 30 minutes. The platoon radioman, Y-Sum Nie, desperately radioed for immediate extraction.

Maj. Benjamin T. Kapp, Jr. was in the command helicopter and could see the platoon pinned down across the broken ground and rims of bomb craters. North Vietnamese machine guns were firing into the bodies in front of their positions and covering the open ground with grazing fire. The assistant platoon leader, 1Lt. Gregory M. Harrigan, reported within minutes that half the platoon was killed or wounded. Harrigan himself was killed 45 minutes later.

Helicopter gunships and A1E aircraft bombed and rocketed the NVA defenses. The heavy ground fire peppered the aircraft in return, wounding one door gunner during low-level strafing. Several attempts to lift out survivors had to be aborted. Ten airstrikes and 1,500 rockets had been placed in the area in attempts to make a safe extraction possible. 1Lt. Walter L. Marcantel, the third in command, called for napalm only ten yards from his frontline, and both he and his nine remaining commandos were burned by splashing napalm.

After seven hours of contact, three helicopters dashed in and pulled out 15 wounded troops. As the aircraft lifted off, several crewmen saw movement in a bomb crater. A fourth helicopter set down, and Lt. Daniel Hall twice raced over to the bomb crater. On the first trip he recovered the badly wounded radio operator, and on the second trip he dragged Harrigan's body back to the helicopter. The aircraft was being buffeted by shellfire and took off immediately afterwards. No further MACV-SOG insertions were made into the NVA stronghold. Jamison was declared dead and Shriver Missing in Action. On June 12, 1970, a search and recovery element from a graves registration unit recovered human remains that were later identified as Sgt. Jamison, but no trace was found of Shriver.

For every insertion like Shriver's that were detected and stopped, dozens of other commando teams safely slipped past NVA lines to strike a wide range of targets and collect vital information. The number of MACV-SOG missions conducted with Special Forces reconnaissance teams into Laos and Cambodia was 452 in 1969. It was the most sustained American campaign of raiding, sabotage and intelligence-gathering waged on foreign soil in U.S. military history. MACV-SOG's teams earned a global reputation as one of the most combat effective deep-penetration forces ever raised.

The missions Shriver and others were assigned were exceedingly dangerous and of strategic importance. The men who were put into such situations knew the chances of their recovery if captured was slim to none. They quite naturally assumed that their freedom would come by the end of the war. For 591 Americans, freedom did come at the end of the war. For another 2500, however, freedom has never come.

If Jerry Shriver died in this battle, he has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. However, if he survived, he most certainly was captured and his fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite different. Either way there is no question the Vietnamese could return him or his remains any time they had the desire to do so.

Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to missing Americans in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S., convincing many authorities that hundreds remain alive in captivity. Jerry Shriver's friends claim they heard on "Hanoi Hannah" that "Mad Dog" Shriver had been captured. They wonder if he is among the hundreds said to be alive today. If so, what must he think of us?

Military men in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were called upon to fly and fight in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country so proudly served.

Jerry Shriver received his nickname from Radio Hanoi when they referred to him in a propaganda broadcast as being a "MAD DOG." At the time he became Missing in Action, Jerry Shriver had 10 days left on his tour of duty in Vietnam.

[smith2.94 07/31/94]

Mark Smith 07/06/94
NOTE: this report IS NOT repruduced in its entirety.

1. Burt Small......Garwood was asked if Burt Small was his brother.....

2. Willie Stark was found at the crash site, when he was
missing on the ground....DIA list him missing on a helicopter....

3. Russell Bott....indigenous reports on Bott are numerous and come from
the same area as Stark.

4. Jerry Shriver ....Shriver remained on the radio for four hours after
legend has it he was supposed to have died.....

5. Donald Carr .....Much was made of a picture provided to LTC RET Jack
Bailey of the USAF. This photo was only a very small part of an
overwhelming case for Carr's survival to this day....follow up
conversations with Carr's Lao daughter.... show Carr very much alive. He
has a wife and one child. He is also missing fingers from an accident
with a rice mill...

6. Walter Moon....persistent intelligence on Walter Moon surfaces from
time to time......although Bo Gritz was accused of fabricating
intelligence on Moon, in all fairness, his intelligence was consistent
with all other information. Though other prisoners related Moon's death,
none actually witnessed it........reported alive as late as 1990....


Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 18:29:51 -0700

From: a family memnber

I do not have the proper time to drag out my research and give you all of the exact information right now, I should have waited til summer when I have more time. I apologize but I just get tired of the generated disinformation out there on my brother. There are two or three books being currently being written and researched with the true facts about Jerry. Some of what is printed at these bio sites are correct but none is absolutely correct. But I can tell you that I have all of the official documents including all of the debriefings. I have also talked to Capt. O'Rourke (now deceased) who was suppose to be in charge of the misson, and was on the helicopter that had mechanical difficulties, and therefore never made it to the destination. But the guys from that chopper listened to the entire episode over the radio. O'Rourke turned command over to Capt. Cahill, who wanted to abort the mission realizing something was wrong, but was order to go in anyway. I have also spoken to and Col. Trabue, who was if I recall correctly was in charge of SOG at the time or at least one of the higher ranking officers, who was over the sight with Major Benjamin Kapp.

Jerry is currently on the last known alive case list. I may have been mistaken and wrote to you instead of the proper sight, I apologize for this. I think I got the bio through your sight to one or both of the others you spoke of. First "Jerry lost radio contact almost immediately," second Jerry disappeared in the tree line with one to four of his yards. I do not recall the exact number without looking at the records. Also no one saw Jerry after that point and no one had any knowledge of him being wounded at all. Next the witness (who died about a year later in a parachuting accident in the states) that saw the gun that appearred to be Jerry's claimed the Vietnamese yelled something like 'Vietnamese Liberation, we are number one' than someone else yelled back in Vietnamese 'Don't kill the prisoner unless he tries to kill you' or something to those affects. I can give you more exact details when I have more time. I plan on updating my research on Jerry this summer. Also if you look at Senator Bob Smith letter entitled "U.S. POW/MIA's Who May Have Survived in Captivity" you will find Jerry on that list with the name of a POW who came home with Jerry's name and says "Charles seems positive this man is PW." I actually have a copy of the official document from what is probably the debriefing. This is one of many things the government neglected to tell us or admit, until I confronted them with my research. You can find this list at which I think is part of one ofthe sights you included in you letter. They do however misspell Shriver as Schriver, a very common mistake that aways irritated me as a child.

Most sincerely,