Name: Prentice Wayne Hicks
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 11 November 1947 (Milian TN)
Home City of Record: Huntsville AL
Date of Loss: 25 March 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 144018N 1073621E (YB805235)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Frederick Herrera; Richard Roberts (both
On March 25, 1969, PFC Prentice W. Hicks, PFC Frederick D.
and PFC Richard D. Roberts were riflemen on a road interdiction mission
northwest of the city of Kontum, South Vietnam. On March 24, their unit
been in contact with an unknown sized enemy force, and at that time, PFC
had been wounded several times. The unit was ordered to pull back, and
Hicks was placed on a litter and carried out of the area for evacuation.
As the unit was moving toward high ground, they again came in contact
enemy. At that time, PFC Roberts was the point man. During the contact,
unit began to move in a disorderly fashion back down the hill, and
period, PFC Hicks, Herrera and Roberts were separated from the main
It is believed that PFC Herrera and Roberts had stayed behind with PFC
This was the last time they were seen. At that time, neither Herrera or
During a search of the area on April 5, a reconnaissance team found some
letters belonging to PFC Hicks, along with the cover from a Bible
PFC Herrera, but there was no sign of the three missing men. The three
disappeared, and, given the enemy situation in the area, it is entirely
possible that they were captured. They were declared Missing In Action.
hearings were held to declare them dead, although no evidence was ever
that the three died.
Americans captured by the Viet Cong had a terrible and grueling ordeal
The Viet Cong themselves were often deprived of adequate food, and the
be constantly moving only made life more difficult to sustain. Americans
ill-equipped to cope with jungle diseases and drastic change in diet.
was commonplace and cruel. Many were mentally and physically depleted to
point of starvation and death. Towards the end of the war, prisoners
in the south were routinely taken north for detention by the North
and although torture was a daily threat, few died of starvation during
Whether Herrera and the others were captured is not known. The chances
having survived the second attack are good. Alive or dead, however, the
Vietnamese certainly know their fate. Someone knows where they were
Tragically, reports of Americans still held captive in Indochina
continue to be
received, creating a large body of evidence difficult to ignore. It
that some of our military are still held prisoner in Southeast Asia.
Hicks and Roberts could be among them. Isn't it time we brought our men