Missing American
Army Hero
POW/MIA Military

Missing American Hero, US Army, POW/MIA, LAWRENCE LEE ALDRICH, South Vietnam

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

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.


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.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep pushing this issue inside the Beltway...

The need to get specific answers is more important now than ever before. If still alive, some MIAs are now in their 70s...They don't have much time left. We have to demand the answers from the bureaucrats and keep standing on their necks (figuratively speaking) until they get the message that THEY work for US and that we are serious about getting these long overdue responses. Diplomatic considerations aside... We can no longer allow questionable protocols established by pseudo-aristocratic armchair strategists, to determine or influence the fate of the men who were in the trenches while the diplomats were sharing sherry and canapes and talking about "Their Plans" for the future of SE Asia.

Please write your elected State officials and ask him to help bring back our POW/MIA's!

I sent this letter to my Texas elected official Silvestre Reyes at:

I NEVER received a reply.

Missing American Hero, US Army, POW/MIA, LAWRENCE LEE ALDRICH, South Vietnam
"All MIA/POWs should have the
Purple Heart, because all have
paid for it with their lives."
Larry J. Brugh

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