On 14 April 1969, Staff Sergeant Charles V. Newton
team leader of Reconnaissance Team 6;
Sergeant Charles F. Prevedel (Lima, Ohio), then Specialist Four
Douglas E. Dahill (St. Louis, Missouri) and 3 unidentified Vietnamese Special
Forces were inserted into the extremely rugged jungle covered mountains of northwestern South Vietnam.
They were to conduct a reconnaissance mission into northwestern Quang Nam and southwestern Thua Thien
Provinces to locate, observe and report on enemy activity filtering into this region of South Vietnam.
Their area of operation included a primary gateway from the notorious Ho Chi Minh Trail into strategic
sections of northern South Vietnam. When North Vietnam began to increase its military strength in South
Vietnam, NVA and Viet Cong troops again intruded on neutral Laos for sanctuary, as the Viet Minh had
done during the war with the French some years before. This border road was used by the Communists to
transport weapons, supplies and troops from North Vietnam into South Vietnam, and was frequently no
more than a path cut through the jungle covered mountains. US forces used all assets available to them
to stop this flow of men and supplies from moving south into the war zone.
On 16 April the team
reported making contact with the enemy, but radioed that it was continuing the patrol in spite of the
fact they had been detected. After making its scheduled morning radio transmission reporting all relevant
information, as well as the team's current position, they continued with their mission heading generally
to the north and west. At 1206 hours, SP4 Dahill reported to the airborne Forward Air Controller (FAC)
they were in a streambed and under attack by a numerically superior enemy force. They further stated they
needed an immediate emergency extraction. When rescue helicopters arrived onsite a short time later, they
were unable to make radio contact with the team. By 1400 hours, thunderstorms rolled into the area and
prevented the insertion of a relief force.
The next day, a Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) team was successfully inserted into the area
where Team 6 had been ambushed. They encountered Viet Cong (VC) personnel wearing tiger
striped fatigues and bearing rifles and grenades of the type used by Team 6. Formal air and
ground search and rescue (SAR) efforts were immediately initiated. This included a thorough
search of the streambed, surrounding area and their preplanned evasion route. SAR operations
continued from 18 to 25 April, but yielded no trace of SP4 Dahill, Sgt. Prevedel, SSgt. Newton,
or the Vietnamese team members. At the time the formal search was terminated, Douglas Dahill, Charles Prevedel
and Charles Newton were listed Missing in Action.
The Team's last known location was in the very rugged area covered in double and triple canopy jungle
approximately 9 miles east of the South Vietnamese/Lao border, 17 miles southeast of the A Shau Valley
and 40 miles due west of DaNang, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam.
In mid-May, 1969, a Viet Cong
POW reported he had seen two US POWs in Quang Nam Province, but could provide no information about their
location. The report was correlated to SSgt. Newton and Sgt. Prevedel on the basis of time, location and
compatibility of the physical descriptions to those two men.
In 1970, four photos were extracted from a 1969 communist Christmas propaganda film showing American POWs
celebrating the holiday. Three of those pictures were correlated to Charles Newton and one to Charles Prevedel
by CIA analysts. Unfortunately, there has been no further information about Douglas Dahill since the date of
For every insertion like this one that was detected and stopped, dozens of others safely slipped past VC and
NVA lines to strike a wide range of targets and collect vital information. The number of missions conducted
with Special Forces reconnaissance teams operating in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia was the most sustained American
campaign of raiding, sabotage and intelligence-gathering waged on foreign soil in US military history.
In March 1991, Vietnam returned one tooth, uniform parts and a small quantity of human remains that were
purportedly associated with the members of Team 6. A review board determined that the limited quantity of
material could not conclude any correlation to SSgt. Newton, Sgt. Prevedel and/or SP4 Dahill.
Remains identified in August 2010.
Special Forces vets Delta Team 6 members Douglas Dahill,
Charles Newton, and Charles Prevedel, lost on 15 April 69 in Thua Thien Province have been recovered and
identified. Visitation with family to share stories is scheduled for 4 Oct 2011, 6 - 8 PM at Murphy's
Funeral Home in Arlington. Team burial with full military honors on 5 Oct 2011, at Arlington National
Cemetery. Service at 10:45 AM in the Fort Myer Post Chapel.
Team burial at Arlington National
Cemetery with Sergeant First Class Dahill of Lima, Ohio; and Sergeant First Class of Charles E. Prevedel
of St. Louis, Missouri.
"IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 849-11, October 03, 2011
Missing Vietnam War Soldiers Identified - The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced
today that the remains of three servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and
returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
Master Sgt. Charles V. Newton of Canadian, Texas; Sgt. 1st Class Douglas E. Dahill of Lima, Ohio; and
Sgt. 1st Class Charles F. Prevedel of St. Louis, Mo., all U.S. Army, will be buried as a group on Oct. 5
at Arlington National Cemetery. Newton was also individually identified and will be interred individually
at Arlington on the same day as the group interment. On April 17, 1969, the men and three Vietnamese
soldiers were on a long-range reconnaissance patrol operating in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the
border of Laos. That afternoon the patrol was ambushed by enemy forces and radioed for air support but
thunderstorms in the area prevented rescue attempts. Search and rescue teams reached the site the next
day but over the next week found no signs of the men.
Between 1990 and 1993,joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by Joint POW/MIA
Accounting Command (JPAC), interviewed witnesses, investigated leads and excavated the site associated
with the ambush. The teams recovered human remains, personal effects and military equipment. In 2003,
some of the recovered remains were identified as those of Prevedel. In 2006 and 2007, joint U.S./S.R.V.
teams returned to the site and recovered additional remains and military equipment.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC and the
Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA in the
identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans,
visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169."
Read full news article posted October 3, 2011 by Amarillo Globe News, Amarillo Texas
Family's long wait over - Remains found near Laos identified as MIA Green Beret from Canadian
Also read article and see photo of funeral services at Arlington for MSG Newton.
See additional photos of Arlington Group Burial of the 3 men.
-- The Virtual Wall