ALDRICH, LAWRENCE LEE Name: Lawrence Lee Aldrich Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Date of Birth: 16 July 1947 (Fayetteville NC) Home City of Record: Ft. Worth TX Date of Loss: 06 May 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 141827N 1090237E (BR890825) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1161 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 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. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: SP4 Lawrence L. Aldrich was a rifleman assigned to Company B., 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade. On May 6, 1968, he was on a search and clear mission in Bien Dien Province, South Vietnam when a friendly air strike was directed at hostile forces in his vicinity. A 750-pound bomb was seen to impact on his last known location. He was the only man in his company to be in this position. A platoon leader was later able to search the area where Aldrich was last seen but found no trace of him. A thorough search of the area revealed no remains that could be identified as his. War is hell. Men are killed by other men whom they call their enemy. But men are also killed by "misadventure" - by senseless drowning, falls, and by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. From all appearances, it seems that Aldrich was in the wrong place - one where the bombs dropped by his own comrades would take his life. At 19, Larry Aldrich had just begun to live. Because no trace was found, Aldrich's name is maintained with honor among those who are missing, prisoner, and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. There can be no chance that Aldrich survived the explosion on May 6, 1968. But for others who are missing, conclusions are not so easy to draw. Some one hundred men were known to have been captured by the enemy, yet never returned. Many were alive and well when last seen, evading, or awaiting rescue. Others simply disappeared. Over 10,000 reports have been received relating to these men, convincing many that hundreds of these Americans are still alive, captive, and want to come home. One can imagine that Larry would gladly serve on one more search mission to help bring them home.
|IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 080-10
January 29, 2010
Soldier Missing in Action from Vietnam War Identified
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial.
Army Specialist Lawrence L. Aldrich will be buried in his home town of Fort Worth, Texas tomorrow.
On May 6, 1968, Aldrich was a member of a search-and-clear mission in Binh Dinh Province in what was then South Vietnam. He was last seen with two other Americans engaged in a battle with enemy forces while manning a M-60 machine gun position. An air strike was called in, but one of the bombs inadvertently landed on Aldrich's position, killing the three soldiers. Members of his unit later recovered the remains of the two other men, but Aldrich could not be found.
In July 1992, a joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam team traveled to the province to investigate the loss. They interviewed a local citizen who remembered a large ground battle in the area in May or June 1968. He took the team to a location where he indicated the remains were buried, but an excavation in 1994 found no evidence of a grave or remains.
Vietnamese officials unilaterally investigated the case in 2006 and interviewed two villagers who recalled finding a body of an American after the battle and burying it where it lay. A second joint investigation in 2007, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, recommended another excavation based on the information provided by the Vietnamese.
The excavation in March 2009 unearthed human remains and other non-biological evidence. The identification of the remains was confirmed by matching the remains with Aldrich's dental records.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.