Incident Date 19640607 MABS-16 Ground Grnd Incident - Ground Capture
Schreckengost, Fred Thomas SSgt Grnd Casualty MABS-16 MAG-16 1974-07-23 (vvm 01E:054)
Greer, Robert Lee SSgt Grnd Casualty MABS-16 MAG-16 1975-11-14 (vvm 01E:054)
Privates First Class Fred T. Schreckengost and Robert L. Greer, two MABS-16 Marines, disappeared from the Da Nang compound on 7 June. Intelligence reports indicated that both men had been captured by Communist guerrillas about five miles south of the airfield while sight-seeing on rented motor bikes. The aerial search produced no signs of the missing enlisted men but reliable Vietnamese sources reported that the Viet Cong had displayed them in several villages. The task element commander finally called off the fruitless search on 15 June, a full week after it had begun.Submitted by: USMC, 20030801
SYNOPSIS: Robert Greer and Fred Schreckengost became friends while they were stationed with the 1st Marine Air Wing at Da Nang. The two often went motor biking together to photograph the countryside and people in the area. It was on such an outing Sunday, June 7, 1964 that the two disappeared near La Chau hamlet in Quang Nam Province, southwest of Da Nang.
On July 15, 1964, the two were reported to be at Dong Nghe Viet Cong Training Center, and might be released because of their "progress." On July 29, an Army report said they were "studying" at the Provincial Agency Reeducation Center. On August 4, an Army report stated the two tried to escape while being moved to another location, but were recaptured. On August 19, a North Vietnam Air Force intelligence report stated that the pair was moved to Hanoi, arriving there August 20, 1964.
On April 9, 1965, an Army report stated that Schreckengost was sighted in the custody of the Viet Cong. A Bright Light Project CIA list of names from a POW camp positively identified Fred as a prisoner.
GREER, ROBERT LEE
REMAINS RETURNED 06/91
Name: Robert Lee Greer
Rank/Branch: E2/US Marine Corps
Unit: Marine Airbase Squadron 16, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 1st Marine
Air Wing, Da Nang
Date of Birth: 28 April 1944
Home City of Record: Pleasant Hill CA
Date of Loss: 07 June 1964
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155634N 1081200E (BT003645)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Fred T. Schreckengost (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated
by the P.O.W. NETWORK.
REMARKS: MOTORBIKES FOUND BT 003 646
SYNOPSIS: Robert Greer and Fred Schreckengost became friends while they
were stationed with the 1st Marine Air Wing at Da Nang. The two often went
motorbiking together to photograph the countryside and people in the area.
It was on such an outing Sunday, June 7, 1964 that the two disappeared
near La Chau hamlet in Quang Nam Province, southwest of Da Nang.
On July 15, 1964, the two were reported to be at Dong Nghe Viet Cong
Training Center, and might be released because of their "progress." On
July 29, an Army report said they were "studying" at the Provincial Agency
Reeducation Center. On August 4, an Army report stated the two tried to
escape while being moved to another location, but were recaptured. On
August 19, a North Vietnam Air Force intelligence report stated that the
pair was moved to Hanoi, arriving there August 20.
April 9, 1965, an Army report stated that Schreckengost was sighted in the
custody of the Viet Cong. A Bright Light Project CIA list of names from a
POW camp positively identified Fred as a prisoner.
July 31, 1974 a DIA report linked Fred to an alleged collaborator, "Salt,"
one member of a "Salt and Pepper" team (one white and one black man)
working with a Viet Cong element. Fred was identified as "Salt".
November 6, 1980, a Jack Anderson column reported that Greer and
Schreckengost had been returned to the United States, threatened with
imprisonment if they revealed their whereabouts and had been given new
Later, a man named Liam Adkins related to an astonished group of POW/MIA
family members a detailed account of the return of "Salt and Pepper" (whom
he said were Robert and Fred although both men are caucasian). Former CIA
employee and returned prisoner of war, Rosemary Conway, confirmed the
story and told the Greer family that the men had been returned after
escaping to a communist bloc country, but their return could not be
publicly acknowledged because "the Government did not want the country to
know live Americans were still being held in Southeast Asia."
Since that meeting, the Greer family has unsuccessfully sought information
from the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Two men,
claiming to be Robert and Fred contacted several people in 1987. Two
photographs of Robert and Fred were mailed to the men's families - with no
explanation. The families of Robert Greer and Fred Schreckengost still
want to know where they are, and what is being done to return them to
SUMMARY SELECTION RATIONAL
NAME: SCHRECKENGOST, Fred T., PFC, USMC
GREER, Robert L., PFC, USMC
OFFICIAL STATUS: DEAD BODY NOT RECOVERED MISSING
CASE SUMMARY: SEE ATTACHED
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION: Both individuals were reported in the custody of
VC forces by many sources subsequent to their disappearance on June 1964.
PFC Schreckengost was seen alive and in good health by both U.S. and
Vietnamese sources on occasions as late as October 1974. No correlated
reports of death have been received for either individual.
REFNO: 0031 7 Apr '76 (C) CASE SUMMARY
1. (U) PFC Robert L. Greer and PFC Fred T. Schreckengost departed the
Marine Base at Da Nang, South Vietnam, in a nonduty status on'7 June 1964.
Both men rented motorcycles. and headed south on Highway #1, telling a
third 'Marine (unidentified) who had been with them that they were going to
the top of a nearby hill overlooking Da Nang Air Field to take pictures.
This was the last sighting of either man by US personnel. (Ref 3)
2. (C) On the afternoon of 7 June, residents of Le Son Village, Hoa
District, in Quang Nam Province, grid coordinates (GC) AT 980 660, saw two
Americans riding motorcycles near their village. On 8 June the villagers
reported that the VC had told them they had captured two Americans near
their village on the previous day. On 15 June, a Self Defense Corps Strike
Force recovered the two motorbikes, (rented by PFC's Greer and
Schreckengost), at (GC) BT 003 645 where the reported capture occurred.
3. (C) (9) The Americans were displayed at the Hamlet of Binh Nam, (GC) AT
990 636, and Binh Tran, (GC) AT 986 630 on the evening of 8 June. On one
occasion the VC announced that the Americans would be given five months of
political training and then returned. (Ref 2)
4. (C) A 16 June report stated that two Americans wearing ,black clothing
similar to that worn by the VC were paraded through several villages in Dai
Loc District. The VC stated that the two Marines would be taken to the
mountains to attend a three month indoctrination course in Communist
ideals, after which they would be released. The two Marines were moved to
Dong Lam Mountain, (GC) AT 380 620, Hieu Duc District in Quang Nam
Province. (Ref 4)
5. (C) A 25 June report indicates that on 8 June the VC took two USMC
personnel to Son Ga Mountain (GC) AT 870 626 Dai Loc District. When they
reached Chau Bai Hamlet, (GC) AT 954 601, Tang Son village, Dien Boi
District, the two Marines attacked one of the VC guards and tried to
escape. The VC allegedly shot and killed the two Marines and reportedly
buried them in Chau Boi Hamlet. (Ref 5)
6. (C) On 10-24 July 1964 there are reports concerning the propose d
release of the two Marines for- the purpose of collecting a reqard offered
by the South Vietnamese Government for their return. (Ref 6 thru 9)
7 (C) On 28 July 1964 two US military personnel were reportedly being held
by the VC at the Quang- Nam VC Province Chief's camp (GC) 848 648. The two
personnel were reportedly taken captive by the VC on 7 June 1964. (Ref 10)
8. (C) From 19-31 August, and on 2 September 1964) three reports stated
that PFC's Greer and Schreckengost were to be moved to Hanoi or had been
moved to Hanoi. (Ref 11,12, &13)
9. (C) On 9 April 1965 two POWs detained by the VC were seen in the
vicinity of (GC) YC 700 950 after being- captured. (Ref 14)
10. (C) In January 1968 a source observed two Americans being detained in a
hut in the vicinity of Hoa Da village, (GC) BT 010 694. The source
identified the photo of PFC Schreckengost as one of the two Americans he
observed. He also stated that both Americans spoke Vietnamese. (Ref 16)
11 (C) In July 1967 or August 1968, a source reported that he observed two
US Prisoners in Quang Tin Province. The prisoners were assigned to the Nam
Son Rice Transportation Group and lived in the Regrouping Training, School
near Hill #1592 Bay Hamlet, Ky Que village in Tam Ky District. The
prisoners were allegedly captured near Ky Son Village on 23 April 1967.
These men were called Mr. White and Mr... Black. The source was positive
that the Caucasian individual was PFC Schreckengost. (Ref 19)
12. (C) In June or July 1968, while infiltrating South Vietnam, a source
reported that he observed two US POW's in Laos near Kontum Province. The
source identified the Photo of PFC Schreckengost as the Caucasian that he
observed. (Ref 21)
13. (C) In October or November 1968 a source reported that he observed a
Caucasian American with 180 North Vietnamese Army and 10-15 Viet Cong
personnel in the vicinity of (GC) AT 805 300. The NVA told the source that
the American was a POW. The source identified the photo of PFC
Schreckengost as the Caucasian that he observed. (Ref 17)
14. (C) In November 1968 a source stated that he observed two Americans in
Can Son village, Cam Xuynh District, Ha Tien Province North Vietnam. The
Americans were riding in a truck heading north toward Hanoi. The source
identified the photo of PFC Schreckengost as one of the prisoners that he
had observed. (Ref 20)
15. (C) In December 1969 a source reported that while infiltrating into
South Vietnam he observed two allied POW's on a trail in Laos. The source
identified the photo of PFC Schreckengost as one of the men that he
observed. (Ref 'L8)
16. (C) On 10 October 1974 an American Caucasian was seen with a VC element
at Co Luy Ferry Landing located at (GC) BS 737 736, Quang Ngai Province,
South Vietnam. Two informants reported that the American had been giving,
gifts to the children and talking with the villagers. A third informant
reported that-- prior to October 1974, and during an engagement with the
enemy forces in Co Luy area, he had heard English being shouted between two
men; one Caucasian and one Negro. The association of these two men in Quang
Ngai Province has been given the nickname of "The Salt and Pepper Team".
All three informants separately selected the photo of PFC Schreckengost-,
and indicated that he looked older. (Ref 22,23, & 24)
17. During the existence of JCRC, the hostile threat in the area precluded
any visits to or ground inspections of -he sites involved in this case.
'These individuals' -names and identifying data were turned over to the
Four-Party Joint Military Team with a request for any information
available. No response was forthcoming. PFC Schreckengost is currently
carried in the status of Dead,, Body Not Recovered. PFC Greer is currently
carried in the status of Missing.
Remains Returned - Arlington National Cemetery
The remains of Staff Sergeant Robert L. Greer and Staff Sergeant Fred T. Shreckengost were returned and interred in Arlington National Cemetery."