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PFC Ronald Kirksey Company D

46th Engineer Battalion


I have decided to add my Two cents to the cause of MIAs still unaccounted for in Viet Nam. I am appalled at the lack of accountability of over 2500 souls still Missing In Action in Southeast Asia. Our government must demand accountability of our missing personnel and any normalization of relations with the government of Viet Nam should only come with disclosed accountability of our Missing In Action. "We will not forget."
B.M. Jetter

If you are able, save for them a place inside of you, and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them though you may or may not always have. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.
Major Michael D. O'Donnel
January 1, 1970
Dak To Viet Nam
Thanks to Camp Brandenburg

Name: Robert Louis Kirksey
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company D, 46th Engineer Battalion
Date of Birth: 17 December 1945 (Thomaston AL)
Home City of Record: Mobile AL
Date of Loss: 01 January 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 102107N 1070603E (YS304444)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0226
Other Personnel In Incident: (none 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 1998.
SYNOPSIS: PFC Robert Kirksey was assigned to Company D in the 46th Engineer Battalion in Vietnam. On the morning of January 1, 1966, he was off duty and left his clothing and valuables with a friend near the beach at Vung Tao, South Vietnam to go swimming. His friend did not see him enter the water, but when he looked up about 10 minutes later, he realized he could not find Kirksey.
The friend began searching for Kirksey on the beach and in the water, and enlisted others to help in trying to find him, but had no luck. The friend returned to his own unit and reported the incident. The Vietnamese Navy and police in Vung Tao assisted in searching for Kirksey, but he was not found.
U.S. Advisors with the Vietnamese Navy indicated that if Kirksey had drowned, his body would have been washed out to sea, rather than on the beach because of the prevailing currents in the area. It was assumed, after pursuing every opportunity to find Kirksey, that he had drowned.

Units assigned to coastal areas in Vietnam frequently took advantage of the beaches for their recreation. Unfortunately, a number of accidental drownings occurred - deaths that are tragically ironic in the midst of a war. Kirksey is listed among the missing because his body was never found to return to the country he served. He is among nearly 2500 missing inVietnam.

For Kirksey, death seems certain. The cases of many of the other missing are not as clear, however. Some were seen taken away by enemy forces. Others were photographed in captivity. Many reported by radio an approaching enemy force, and some just simply disappeared.
As reports mount that Americans are still captive in Southeast Asia, and the U.S. engages in a publicity campaign leading towards normalization with the countries holding them, one must wonder if in our haste to leave Vietnam, we coldly abandoned our own men. And in our haste to return, will we again abandon them? Where is our honor?