Monroe, NC

Name: Robert Lee Curlee, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army
Unit: 118th Aviation Company, 145th Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 26 September 1930
Home City of Record: Monroe NC
Date of Loss: 10 June 1965
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 113521N 1065309E (YT056817)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1B
Refno: 0096
Other Personnel In Incident: Joseph J. Compa; Craig L. Hagen; Walter L. Hall; Bruce G.Johnson; Fred M. Owens; Donald R. Saegaert (all 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.


SYNOPSIS: On May 25, 1965, Special Forces Detachment A-342 was airlanded at
Dong Xoai, a district capital of Phuoc Long Province, through which the Viet Cong supply lifeline from Cambodia into War Zone D tracked. The Special Forces Detachment, together with Navy Seabees, built a camp and among other duties, assumed the MACV subsector role for Don Luan district.

Intermittent Viet Cong mortar rounds lobbed into the new camp, and were considered only the usual harassment, but sightings of large VC formations
nearing the town increased.

At 2310 hours on the night of June 9, CIDG teams around the camp's perimeter
were silenced by the 762nd and 763rd VC Regiments. There was no opportunity
to warn the camp, and only a few survived. At 2330, the camp was heavily mortared, and came under a heavy ground assault. The camp was overrun, and
most of the CIDG and LLDB withdrew.

At the camp, 2Lt. Charles Q. Williams, seriously wounded, was directing the defense of the compound with singular valor and would later be awarded the
Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Dong Xoai.

Before South Vietnamese relief forces could arrive, a team of advisors was sent in from Than Son Nhut, where MACV was headquartered. The team was aboard a UH1B helicopter from the 188th Aviation Company flown by Lt. Walter L. Hall. The crew consisted of Sgt. Craig L. Hagen, gunner; SSgt. Joseph J. Compa, crew chief; and WO Donald Saegaert, co-pilot. The advisors from MACV Special Detachment 5891 were SSgt. Robert L. Curlee, the medic; and Capt. Bruce G. Johnson and SFC Fred M. Owens, advisors.

Source: POW Network