Third Recon Battalion Missing In Action

We Pray That One Day They Will All Return Home

Updated 20 Aug. 2011
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The Recon Marines that are listed were members of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, United States Marine Corps. All were lost in South Vietnam. Over the years they have each been classified in different categories according to Government Policy's in effect at the time. At the present time all have been declared dead with a presumptive finding of Killed In Action Body Not Recovered. They are listed here either as KIA/BNR - Killed In Action Body Not Recovered, MIA - Missing in Action or KK - Prisoner of War with Remains Repatriated. Egan, Grissett and Ibanez were all known to have been captured and taken POW. Egan and Grissett were captured during same incident. Grissett died in a SVN POW Camp on 02 December 1968. His remains were repatriated and identified during 1989. It is believed that Egan was Executed by the Viet Cong. Ibanez was snatched out of a Harborsite by an NVA Patrol. La Porte became MIA after a parachute insertion and was never seen again after being observed by teammates with a good chute open. The other Recon Marines are all known or believed to have been Killed In Action and their remains have never been recovered.

The Remains of Lt. Donald Matocha were recovered March of this year. (2004)

See more on Donald Matocha below:

Aug 8, 2004 AP Story

SMITHVILLE, Texas - The remains of an American soldier who had been missing since the Vietnam War are coming home after being located with help from a former enemy.

Marine 2nd Lt. Donald John Matocha of Smithville was killed in a firefight in April 1968 on Dong Ma mountain in what was then the Republic of South Vietnam, but his body was not recovered.

The Defense Department had essentially given up trying to locate his remains by 1993, said Hattie Johnson, a case officer with the Marine Corps casualty office in Washington. "They had exhausted all means of looking," Johnson told the Austin American-Statesman.

Then in 1996, Nguyen Van Loc, a 58-year-old farmer who had been a squad leader of the 320th Division of the People's Army of Vietnam, appeared at the Army's POW/MIA office in Hanoi. He said he'd found a dead American on Dong Ma mountain in the spring of 1968 and helped bury him in a bomb crater.

Matocha's grave was found in March, and dental records established positive identification. A nephew is scheduled to escort Matocha's remains to Smithville on Sept. 16.

Also found near the gravesite was a dog tag that belonged to Stan "Doc" Sellers. Stan has been in contact wit the Matocha family and plans to attend the burial.

Loretta Eiben, one of Matocha's eight younger siblings, said her family will always appreciate Nguyen Van Loc's help.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to him and his willingness to make a repeat visit to the site," she said.

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Biography

Matocha Family Website

POW / MIA Remains ID List

Remains of McGrath, Nahan, and Wolpe were recovered and brought home in July, 2001.

The remains of Corporal Jim Moshier, Somersail-One, have been identified and returned home to Bakersfield, CA on July 17,2007

21 Nov 64
LCpl.
Nipper
David
-
Delta
KIABNR 
1E
73
21 Jan 66
Capt.
Egan, Jr.
James
T.
1st Force
MIA
4E
81
08 Jul 66
LCpl.
Longanecker
Ronald
L.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
9E
7
18 Aug 66
LCpl.
Rykoskey
Edward
J.
Charlie
KIA/BNR
10E
17
10 May 67
2ndLt.
Ahlmeyer, Jr.
Heinz
 
Alpha
KIA/BNR
19E
77
10 May 67
HM3
Miller
Malcom
T.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
19E
84
10 May 67
LCpl.
Sharp, Jr.
Samuel
A.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
19E
86
10 May 67
Sgt.
Tycz
James
N.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
19E
88
05 Jun 67
GySgt.
Ibanez
Di
R.
Alpha
MIA
21E
58
11 Jun 67
Pfc.
Chomel
Charles
D.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
87
11 Jun 67
LCpl.
Christie
Dennis
R.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
87
11 Jun 67
LCpl.
Foley, III
John
J.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
88
11 Jun 67
LCpl.
Havranek
Michael
W.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
89
11 Jun 67
LCpl.
Kooi
James
W.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
90
11 Jun 67
Sgt. 
Moshier
Jim
E.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
91
11 Jun 67
Pfc.
Widener
James
E.
3rd Force
KIA/BNR
21E
93
30 Jun 67
Cpl.
Allen
Merlin
R.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
22E
86
30 Jun 67
HM3
Judd
Michael
B.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
22E
88
30 Jun 67
LCpl.
Killen, III
John
D.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
22E
88
30 Jun 67
Cpl.
Runnels
Glyn
L.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
22E
90
03 Aug 67
HN
McGrath
James
P.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
24E
73
03 Aug 67
LCpl
Nahan, III
John
D.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
24E
73
03 Aug 67
LCpl
Wolpe
Jack
Alpha
KIA/BNR
24E
75
05 Sept 67
HMC
La Porte
Michael
L.
1st Force
MIA
26E
1
05 Sept 67
LCpl
Prather
Martin
W.
Delta
KIA/BNR
26E
3
14 Sept 67
HM3
Wilson
Gary
R.
Alpha
KIA/BNR
26E
73
09 Nov 67
Cpl.
Rehn
Gary
L.
Delta
KIA/BNR
29E
62
05 Apr 68
2ndLt.
Matocha
Donald
J.
Delta
KIA/BNR
48E
15
18 May 68
LCpl.
Padilla
David
E.
Echo
KIA/BNR
66E
22
02 Dec 68
Sgt.
Grissett
Edwin
R.
1st Force
KK
4E 
82

Total - 26