"As an American asked to serve, I was prepared to fight, to be wounded, to be captured and even prepared to die, but I was not prepared to be abandoned."

(Former POW Eugene "Red" McDaniel )

This page is for Burt to erase when he comes home...

E4/US Army Special Forces, Psyops Specialist (but was assigned in Minh Long as a small arms specialist), C Company, Detachment A-108, 5th Special Forces Group.

Loss Date: 06MAR67

Coordinates: 145918N 1084233E

Situation: Wounded in the left leg during an ambush, taken prisoner.


Other Personnel in Incident: 20 man Vietnamese patrol of the 142d CIDG Company, Jacob G. Roth (rescued) 2 unnamed American advisors (killed, bodies recovered.) The two "unnamed" advisors were part of a reactionary force flown to the ambush site by the C Company helicopter. The brave souls were SSg Michael F. Stearns and MSg Thomas Sanchez.

I have since learned that Mike Stearns was suppose to be on his way "back to the world" when he was killed. He hitched a ride back to Minh Long from Nha Trang via the C Company Helicopter to pick up his forgotten footlocker. When he arrived back, he learned of the ambush and volunteered to become part of the reactionary force led by his friend, MSg Tom Sanchez. Sadly, his family heard of his loss only after they had heard from him that he was out of harms way and on his way back home.

In the "official" internet biographies of Burt there is a mention that returned POW Robert Garwood was asked by the Vietnamese about Burt and whether they were related or not. Colonel Tom McKenney, on my behalf, spoke with Bobby Garwood and sadly, Bobby states that there is no truth to it. Bobby says that he was never asked about, nor did he ever know, Burt Small.

There is also much to-do over the correct spelling of Burt's middle name. According to a Social Security Form Burt filled out in 1963, he spelled his middle name CHAUNCEY, however, in the induction paperwork he filled out for the Army, he spelled it CHAUNCY. Two sets of paperwork, both filled out by Burt - two different spellings.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me ... there's a truth in your eyes sayin' you'll never leave me...

The Ironies of War

Burt was originally assigned to the A-110 Detachment. In correspondence with the 110th's XO, Bob Marler, Bob stated that "Burt was assigned to the 110 team when he arrived in country. "We went to Minh Long with one half the team and two CIDG companies to fortify that camp as a result of intelligence reports indicating a possible attack." "When the threat had subsided, we prepared to leave to open the camp at Con Thien. I received a message from the C team (LTC Parmly) directing me to leave Burt at Minh Long..." "LTC Parmly later told me that he didn't want to send Burt, who was so young, to a new camp which promised to be as dangerous as Con Thien...but as you know, there was no safe place in a SF A camp."

110th Detachment in Da Nang.*
Bob Marler is in the back row, third from the right.

The Camp at Minh Long.*

The Front Gate A-108, Minh Long taken in March 1967.*

Minh Long SF Camp Aerial.*

Bunker, looking down valley.*

Minh Long Aerial.*

Two SF in Jeep after ambush, 3/7/67. Captured VC in back of Jeep.*

SF in Jeep coming from landing field with captured VC 3/7/67.*

These pictures were provided by Mac McIlwain, a SeeBee working at Minh Long expanding the airfield. Mac was there on March 7th and snapped these photos. My thanks to him for sharing them. Does anyone recognize the two SF in the Jeep?

NOTE: * None of the personal "click on pictures" found on this site may be used, duplicated or copied in any form without the express written consent of the site owner. Copyright 1998 - 2016.

On the day of the ambush, the 110th along with Bob Marler, listened in on the one-sided radio call coming from 100 plus miles away to the south and knew that Burt was indeed in harms way. SSg Jake Roth, only American survivor of the ambush told me that "when Burt and I saw the CIDG commander and radioman bug out ... we ran after them in an attempt to get the radio." Jake is unsure when he and Burt became separated but says "when I stopped, I looked around and Burt wasn't behind me." "I started back, looking for him when a group of NVA came over a rise in my direction. I fired at them and ran toward a trail. I threw my pack up the trail and jumped into a ditch. They walked right over me." "I stayed in the ditch until I couldn't hear them...then I heard a chopper...I waved a towel I had until they spotted me." "The chopper pilot, a 19-year-old warrant officer (John J. Parziale) with more courage than common sense, picked me up under heavy ground fire and then circled around, as long as the chopper would fly, searching for Burt."

Jake Roth in 1972 after a second tour in Vietnam. *

Burt with friends shortly before capture*

Bob Marler is tall very blond soldier with hands on hips. Burt stands next to Bob. In back row, far right, is Homer (JR) McCann (in his words)"the little white face you can barely see."

I had a forensic artist do age progressions of Burt. They were done by the very talented Wes Neville of South Carolina - Thanks Wes.

Burt age enhanced to age 53/54.*

Burt with beard age enhanced to age 53/54.*

These enhancements may not be may be used, duplicated or copied in any form without the express written consent of the site owner.

*Copyright 1999 - 2016.

Since Burt was not returned in 1973, I have been researching, trying to track down leads of possible sightings of Burt. I know that in 1971 there were 3 or 4 positive sightings in Burts file at the USARV Headquarters in Long Binh. To date, that file and other Army held files have not been released under FOIA.

I was contacted by Jim Ferguson. Jim was 5th SFG (ABN) He was with the A-107 and A-111 Detachments in Vietnam. He was also Mike Stearns best friend while in Vietnam. Mike as you may remember was part of the reactionary force sent in from Minh Long during the ambush in which Burt was captured. Below is part of what Jim wrote to me.

"My knowledge of what happened when the Reaction Force reached the ambush site is based, largely, on various military records I have seen, on a conversation I had about a week after the action with a member of the Special Forces B-team in Quang Ngai, and a chilling conversation with an ex-Viet Cong who participated in both the initial ambush and the subsequent firefight with the Reaction Force. I met him when he came over to our side as a Chieu Hoi--an ex-VC who came in under an amnesty plan. We served together when I joined A-111. He was an excellent soldier. He was given the command of the point squad."

I am now trying to find any records available about ex VC who came to our side under amnesty plans. Sadly, Jim can't remember this man's name but he does clearly remember talking with this person. This person is obviously an eyewitness - participant - in the ambush and may have the key to "what happened to Burt." Because of the changing loyalties, this person may even be in the USA now.


Burt was the featured POW at Operation Just Cause for the month of September 2000. Click on Moonduster to go to OJC site.

Dave Murray and Gunny Fallon (OJC) at Rolling Thunder. Dave is holding pictures of Burt Small during my speech.*

Me, Dave Murray & Amanda Kidd (top) Amanda, Gunny Fallon and me (bottom)*

Special Forces Reunion in Houston, Texas June 2001.*

From June 21st until June 24th of 2001 I was lucky enough to attend the Annual Special Forces Reunion. The reunion was held in Houston, Texas. I wish to extend a big THANK YOU to Patrick and Laurie Loughney (5th SF Group) for the invitation extended and for the friendship they've offered me over the past few years. Thanks to you both, I had a great time.

On a trip to Savannah, I was able to locate these two pictures of Burt. They are from Savannah High School Yearbooks.They are his Junior year and Senior year pictures. I was also able to get pictures of his name on the Vietnam Memorial there. 1964 ~~ 1965

"The Bracelet" - written by Barbara Ruef

Adopt a POW/MIA Now

Favorite Links

The 5th Special Forces

The Vietnam Memorial Wall

The National Alliance of Families

The Federal Research Database

The POW Network

Vietnam Veterans' War Stories


Special Forces List-Teamhouse

The Wall on the Web

Operation Just Cause

Dowd's Dirty Half Dozen

Gunners Net AU

Veterans Together Forever

The White House E-Mail Address State Senators

State Representatives


Department of Defense

Department of Veterans Affairs

Letters to and Responses from U.S. Senators & Representatives.

These letters are a mere sampling of the volumes of correspondence written and received.

Letter to Senator Fred Thompson

Response letter from Senator Fred Thompson

Response letter from Senator Bill Frist

This letter is interesting as Senator Frist mentions sending me a copy of a letter DPMO sent him. The "copy" sent to Senator Frist in no way resembled the copy I did finally receive. Both letters were, however, dated the same day, from the same person and both were addressed to me. Sadly, the one sent to Senator Frist promised help. The one to me told me to "go away."

Response letter from Representative Ed Bryant

A letter from one who almost came home

Sign My Guestbook Guestbook by GuestWorld View My Guestbook

To Bob Marler - Who provided background information and "in country" pictures.

To Jake Roth - I wish to thank you for all of your insight, information and pictures which round-out Burts page.

To Burt - Not a day passes for me that you are not a part of. I search for the answers and you guide the way...were you the Monarch butterfly?

The background on this site is from a photograph taken by the site owner of Burts name on the Wall in Washington, D.C.

De Oppresso Liber - To Free The Oppressed


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"These Awards are issued to this site by the Advisory Board of the POW/MIA Freedom Fighters Organization, for it's early and steadfast commitment to our missing Warriors."

"Click on image to connect to Australian Artillery Site."

It is with a very heavy heart that I deal with the passing of my friend John DAVE Murray on July 31, 2005. (Dave is in the blue and white shirt) Dave was a tireless POW/MIA advocate who helped me with my search for Burt - never tiring - and never asking anything in return. Dave, I will miss your friendship but I have some comfort in knowing that at least one of us now knows the whole truth.