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Paul C. King, Jr.



In Memory of Paul C. King, Jr.

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  • Name: Paul Chester King, Jr.
  • Rank/Branch: E3/US Army Special Forces
  • Unit: C & C Detachment 5th Special Forces Group
  • Date of Birth: 17 March 1949
  • Home City of Record: Waltham MA
  • Date of Loss: 04 May 1968
  • Country of Loss: Laos
  • Loss Coordinates: 160218N 1072345E
  • Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
  • Category: 2
  • Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
  • Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

SYNOPSIS: PFC Paul King was a rifleman and a member of a Special Forces recon-naissance team composed of 2 Americans and 4 indigenous personnel on a combat mission in Laos. During the mission, the team made contact with an enemy force of unknown size, and maneuvered to an area for possible extraction.

All attempts to rescue the team failed because of intense enemy fire. The team remained in that pickup point overnight, and received sporadic fire from all sides. The next morning, the enemy intensified their efforts to dislodge the team from the site. During the ensuing action, King exposed himself while throwing a hand grenade and was hit in the head by large calibre weapons fire and was killed instantly.
Staff Sgt. Allen, the only survivor of the team stated that he saw King's body lying very close to that of one of the indigenous personnel. King and the 4 indigenous were killed in the action. Allen evaded capture and was later ex-tracted. Because of the intense fire in the area, the bodies of the King and the rest of the team could not be recovered. The area in Saravane Province remained consistently hostile throughout the war, and it was never possibile to reenter the area.
Paul King was listed as killed, body not recovered. He is listed with honor among the missing because no remains were found. His case seems quite clear. For others who are listed missing, resolution is not as simple. Many were known to have survived their loss incident. Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and describing an advancing enemy. Some were photographed or recorded in captivity. Others simply vanished without a trace.
Nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos during the war with Vietnam. The Lao communist faction, the Pathet Lao, stated on several occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, but the Pathet Lao were not included in the Paris Peace agreements ending the war. As a consequence, no American POWs held in Laos were negotiated for. Not one American held in Laos has ever been released. They were abandoned to the enemy.


Thanks to Ron Fleischer.


"All Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with POWNET regularly for updates."


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