POW / MIA Adopted Page:
NAME: Prentice Wayne Hicks
Rank: E-3 / U S Army
Unit: Company B 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 11 November 1947 ( Milan, 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
Acft / vehicle / ground. ground
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agancy sources, correspondence with POW / MIA families, published surces, interviews. Updated by the POW NETWORK in 1995.
Other Personnel in Incident: PFC Prentice W. Hicks; PFC Richard D. Herra and PFC Richard D. Roberts were rifkemen on a road unterdiction mission northwest of the city of Kontum, South Vietnam. On March 24, their unit had been in contact with an unknown sized force, and at that time, PFC Hicks had been wounded several times. The unit was ordered to pull back, and PFC 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 wth the enemy. At that time, PFC Roberts was the point man. During the contact, the unit began to move in a disorderly fashion back down the hill, and during that period, PFC Hicks, Herrs and Roberts were seperated from the main element.
It is believed that PFC Herra and Roberts had stayed behind with PFC Hicks. This was the last time they were seen. At that time, neither Herra or Roberts were injured.
During a search of the area on April 5, a reconnaissance team found some letters belonging to PFC Hicks, along with a Bible belonging to PFC Herra, but there was no sign of the three missing men. The three man had disappeared, and given the enemy situation in the area, it is entirely possible that they were captured. They were declared Missing in Action. Later hearings were held to declare them dead, although no evidence was ever received that the three died.
Americans captured by the Viet Cong had a terrible and grueling ordeal ahead. The Viet Cong themselves were often deprived of adequate food, and the need to be constantly moving only made life more diffucult to sustain. Torture was commonplace and cruel. Many were mentally and physically depleted to the point of starvation and death. Towards the end of the war, prisoners captured in the south were routinely taken north for detention by the North Vietnamese, and although torture was a daily threat, few died of starvation during these late years.
Whether Herra and the others were captured is not known. The chances of their having survived the second attack are good. Alive or dead, however, the Vietnamese certainly know their fate. Someone knows where they were taken that day.
Tragically, reports of Americans still held captive in Indochina continue to be received, creating a large body of evidence difficult to ignore. It seems that some of our military are still held prisoner in Southeast Asia. Herra, Hicks and Roberts could be among them, isn't it time we brought our men home ?
"MISSING IN ACTION, PRISONERS OF WAR"
Lord, I'm here to take a stand
For all those missing from our land
Missing in action, prisoners of war
Lord, bring them home to America once more.
When America needed them they were there
Lord, let us show them we care
It may not be an easy task
But let us bring them home at last.
Lord, put an end to all their turmoil
Bring back home to American soil
Missing in action, prisoners of war
Lord, bring them hone to America once more
Copyright 2000 Gloria J. Shuttlesworth
Thanks Gloria for permission to use your poem on my site. Please do not copy this poem without consent from Gloria.