Date Of Loss: 22 June 1971
Name: Strohlein, Madison A (Skip)
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: USARV, TAG, Task Force 1 Advisory Element
Home City of Record: Philadelphia, PA
Date of Loss: 22 June 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154910N 1071919E (YC487502)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
INDICATIONS OF SHOOTOUT WITH NORTH VIETNAMESE
At 0730 hours, SGT Strohlein radioed for an emergency medical evacuation for himself, and that he had sustained injury in the jump. From 0730 until 1100 hours, radio contact was maintained with him, but contact was eventually broken because of enemy movement near his position.
The following day, a rescue team was inserted in his vicinity. The team found Strohleim's weapon and evidence of a fire fight, however, they were not able to locate any other trace of SGT Strohlein's whereabouts.
It seems unlikely that the enemy would have left SGT Strohlein's weapon behind if they had crossed his original position, so it is logical to speculate that Strohlein left his position to try and evade an approching enemy; perhaps having expended his amunition, he discarded the gun.
Category 1 means that the U.S. has information that the enemy absolutely knows the fate of the individual in the category, Category 1 does not mean the individual lived or that he died, only that the enemy knows of his fate. It is a category primarily reserved for those who were known to be captured.
During the course of the past year and a half, I have been in contact with Madison's brother. He reported to me that several years ago, a US Army official sent him documents and photo copies of Madison's US Army dog tag, which is currently on display in the DaNang, Vietnem Museum.
I was given permission by Madison's brother to attempt to retrieve Madison's dog tag, and in fact wrote a letter to Mr Robert L Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, (POW/Missing Personnal Affairs), in Washington, DC. Several months later I received my reply from Mr Jones...stating that only a family member could make such a request. Mr Jones made no mention to the fact that I was given permission to pursue the matter.
I then wrote my state senator Santorum for assistance, only to get back a letter from him, with an excerpt from Mr Jones, saying the same thing he said in his letter to me earlier. Again I wrote to Mr Jones and explained the reason Madison's brother granted me permission to act in his behalf, was because of his past dealings with the US Army and government officials, about the true fate of his Madison, which always led to a dead end street, and that he had grown thoroughly disgusted with them, further that he could not face another brick wall.
Mr Jones refused to budge. He further stated that dog tags are simply war spoils, and as such, the opposing country which secures them have right of ownership!
My contention is this.... If our government cannot secure a simple dog tag from a foreign government, how in the name of God, would you expect them to get information from this same foreign government about the fate of our still missing men and women that were left behind?
Our government does a fantastic job of hiding truths, lying, and cover up. Someone knows the truth about Madison and the rest of our men and women. A simple dog tag does not dispell his death. Madison could very well be alive, sitting in a foreign country, forgotten by the very same government he fought so bravely for.
The dog tag remains in the DaNang, Vietnam Museum, records surely must indicate how it was obtained, but no one is talking, or searching for the truth, yet our government continues to molly coddle the Vietnamese government!
May God have mercy on our government officials... I surely don't!!!
The U.S.points to enormous "progress" being made in the area of the missing, having acquired through years of negotiating, almost half the American remains that Vietnam is known to have stockpiled.
Meanwhile. over 1,000 eye-witness reports of living Americans who are captive in Southeast Asia "cannot be proven". One of the hundreds suspected to be alive by many authorities could be SGT Strohlein. How must it feel to be forgotten and abandoned?
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.
If you'd like to see what some others are doing in addition to writing their congressmen, senators and the Whitehouse, check out some of these sites:
All Biographical and loss information on POW/MIA's provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with POWNET regularly for updates.
We live in a nation that has a Constitution and Bill of Rights that allows and encourages "We the people...." to get involved. What we are attempting to do in "Operation Just Cause" is to inform others of some of the problems in the POW/MIA issue and to change the accounting procedures and laws governing present and future POWs and MIAs.
What we have done and will continue to do is to make as many as possible aware of what we have learned about live sightings and about the probability that many men long believed dead, may still be captive in Southeast Asia.
We will work to convince our elected representatives that a full and accurate accounting of the fate of our missing servicemen, is the solemn desire of the majority of the people.
In conclusion, we care about the future of this Country. We cared enough in the past to fight for it. We care enough to fight for if again if necessary and we will always support those who wear the uniform today!
April 3, 1973: Pathet Lao (Laotian Communist) forces declare they are holding more than 100 American POWs and are prepared to give a full accounting of them The U.S. government responds 9 days later declaring they are all dead -- without ever talking to the Laotians about the POWs they admit holding!
1970-1976: After the French pay an unspecified sum of money to the Vietnamese, the communists release POWs captured in 1954! The North Vietnamese had claimed all of then had died.
June 25, 1981: Defense Intelligence Agency Director Eugene Tighe testifies before the House Subcommittee on Asian/Pacific Affairs that live American POWs remain in Southeast Asia.
December 7, 1984: The Washington Times reports that Bobby Garwood, released by Vietnam 1979, saw up to 70 live captive Americans long after the war ended.
June 28, 1985: The Washington Times reports DIA Director Lieutenant General Eugene Tighe testified Hanoi is still holding at least 50-60 live American POWs.
October 15, 1985: The Wall Street Journal reports that at National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane says live American POWs remain in Southeast Asia.
August 19, 1986: The Wall Street Journal reports the White House knew in 1981 Vietnam wanted to sell an unspecified number of live POWs for $4 billion. The White House decided the offer was genuine -- and ignored it!
September 30, 1986: The New York Times reports a Pentagon panel estimates up to 100 live American POWs are held in Vietnam alone.
October 7, 1986: CIA Director William Casey says: "Look, the nation knows they (the POWs) are there, everybody knows they are there, but there's no grounds well of support for getting them out. Certainly, you are not suggesting we pay for them, surely not saying we could do anything like that with no public support."
January 1988: A cable from the Joint Casualty Resolution Center states that during General Vessey's visit to Hanoi, "The Vietnamese people were prepared to turn over 7 or 8 live American POWs if Vessey told then what they wanted to hear. All the prospective returnees were allegedly held in a location on the Lao side of the border."
June 10 1989: The Washington Post reports a Japanese monk released after 13 years in a Vietnamese prison had American POW cellmates who nursed him to health.
September 1990: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Interim Report on POW/MIAs in Southeast Asia concluded that despite public assurances in 1973 that no POWs remained in the region, the Defense Department " . . . in April 1974 concluded beyond a doubt that several hundred American POWs remained in captivity in Southeast Asia."
October 1990: Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach admits Vietnam still holds American POWs but is willing to release "as many as 10 live American POWs." His offer, like others before it, is ignored by Secretary of State James Baker III.
February 1991: Colonel Millard Peck, Chief of the Pentagon's Special Office for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, resigns in protest of being ordered by policy makers in the POW/MIA Inter-Agency Group not to investigate live-sighting reports of American POWs!
April 25, 1991: Senator Bob Smith addresses the Senate and reveals that, of more than 1,400 eyewitness sightings of live POWs, NONE has ever received an on-site investigation!
May 23, 1991: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Examination of U.S. Policy Toward POW/MIAs concludes that the U.S. has ignored thousands of American POWs, and left them to rot in Soviet slave labor camps and North Korean and Vietnamese prisons. "Any evidence that suggested an MIA might be alive was uniformly and arbitrarily rejected."
Summer 1991: A flood of new evidence of live POWs pours from Southeast Asia: pictures, handwriting samples, hair samples, blood samples, fingerprints, foot-prints, maps and other physical proof. The Bush administration disregards the evidence and attempts to discredit it by rumor and innuendo. Some of the photos are scientifically validated -- and have never been scientifically disproven!
To Date: We are still waiting for these abandoned men and women to come home................
This information was compiled by Task Force Omega of Kentucky, Inc.
All these facts are a matter of public record and clearly indicate that we have some serious problems in the POW/MIA arena that our elected officials refuse to acknowledge.
Our elected officials should truly be ashamed of themselves. Mothers cry, Fathers sob, Brothers and Sisters can't understand, and Friends are lost with only memories.