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[Spacer] [Army - 1.2K] Joseph Edward Fitzgerald
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  • Name: Joseph Edward Fitzgerald
  • Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
  • Unit: LLRP, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (See note in text)
  • Date of Birth: 25 November 1948 (St. Johnsbury VT)
  • Home City of Record: Northbridge MA
  • Date of Loss: 31 May 1967
  • Country of Loss: South Vietnam
  • Loss Coordinates: 145215N 1085242E (BS718450)
  • Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
  • Category: 2
  • Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
  • Other Personnel in Incident: Brian K. McGar; John A. Jakovac (both missing)

  • REMARKS: Remains returned 02/97
    Updated by the P.O.W.  Network 03/97
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    [Up - .1K] [Spacer] SYNOPSIS [Spacer] [Down  - .1K]

    SYNOPSIS: On May 31, 1967, PFC Brian K. McGar, PFC Joseph E. Fitzgerald, riflemen; Sgt. John A. Jakovac, ammo bearer; Cpl. Charles G. Rogerson, and SP4 Carl D. Flowers were members of a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) deployed in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam.

    The LRRP unit was inserted to move to the base of Hill 310 and to check out an area along a hedge row where several Viet Cong had been seen and fired upon by gunships earlier that day.  Then, at night, the patrol was to move to the top of Hill 310 to establish an observation point.  Early that afternoon, a report was received that the patrol had established a position and reported everything was normal.

    At 2030 hours, the patrol reported that they were going to proceed to the top of the hill
    to establish the observation point as briefed.  Radio contact with the patrol was lost after that, as the patrol failed to made a scheduled report at 2145 hours.

    On the morning of June 1, search elements began sweeping the area.  During the search, bodies of Rogerson and Flowers were discovered in fresh graves.  The search element also found an extended NAK-47, 5.56 and 7.62 millimeter brass as well as hand grenade fragments.  Blood trails were discovered leading from the area.  Searches conducted from June 2 through July 12 proved unsuccessful.

    There is very good reason to believe the communist government of Vietnam knows what happened to these young men, but as yet, no word has surfaced on them.  They are among 2500 Americans who did not come home from the war in Vietnam.  As evidence continues to mount that hundreds of Americans are still captive in Southeast Asia, the Fitzgerald, McGar and Jakovac families must wonder if their sons are among those said to be still alive, and wonder why they were abandoned by the country they loved.

    NOTE: In April 1967 elements of the 196th Infantry Brigade, the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division were selected to form
    a provisional division-sized unit called Task Force OREGON and then moved to the
    I Corps Tactical Zone where it operated in Quang Ngai and the southern part of Quang Tin Provinces.  When OREGON was replaced by 23rd Infantry Division (AMERICAL) 25 September 1967, only the 196th remained in its descendant division.  The other units were returned.

    While U.S.  Army records place Fitzgerald, Jakovac and McGar in 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, this unit was operating in the other end of the country.  The three, therefore, must have been among the element chosen to comprise Task Force OREGON.

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