Norman PayneMaster Sergeant
FOB 1, CCN, MACV-SOG, 5TH SF GRP
Army of the United States
14 July 1939 - 21 September 1978
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The database page for Norman Payne
Norman Payne (code name Bison) was on a reconnaissance team with MACV-SOG that conducted a deep penetration behind enemy lines into Laos on December 18, 1968.
The team was ambushed by a superior enemy force at last light splitting it into two elements. Bison was last seen moving away from the main element while continuous enemy fire prevented any link up. Several team members were wounded and evaded the enemy until extracted the next morning.
Although a radio signal was reportedly heard from Payne, no further contact was made and enemy strength in the area prevented further search.
Bison joined the team at the last minute to replace another member that became ill.
Although the team did not have the benefit of knowing him well, we would like to pay tribute to a brave man who risked everything to carry out his orders; his courage will always be remembered.
Though I have never known, spoken to, or known anyone who has known you, yet you have changed my life by the bracelet I wear that bears your name. Every day I wonder what happened. I've read your story a million times, you're a true hero. I read your name on my wrist a million times a day, just thinking. Where are you? What happened? One day I hope to go to Laos and look for myself, see if I can't bring you home. My dad is a Vietnam Vet and is supporting me in my efforts. I want to bring you home, Norman, may God guide me to you!
You'll come home, I'll make sure you do!
A Note from The Virtual WallAccording to the biographies on the POW Network and Task Force Omega sites, additional ground forces were inserted on 19 Dec and remained in the area until extracted on the 20th. Although the search team did find evidence that Sergeant Payne was alive after last being seen by his teammates, they did not find him or his body.
Sergeant Payne was carried as Missing in Action for ten years; the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death on 21 Sep 1978, changing his status to Died while Missing/Body not Recovered. During that period he was promoted to Master Sergeant. His remains have not been repatriated.
UPDATEThe Defense Department has announced that Master Sergeant Payne's remains were repatriated on 28 Oct 2004, with identification made on 05 Oct 2006.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Aug 2000
Last updated 08/10/2009