James Daniel Stride, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Special Forces
Unit: Command & Control North, MACV-SOG
Date of Birth: 27 February 1933
Home City of Record: Denison TX
Date of Loss: 05 October 1968
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 155935N 1072346E (YC564695)
Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group) was a joint-service unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their “cover” while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction into Laos and Cambodia which were called, depending on the time frame, “Shining Brass” or “Prairie Fire” missions.
SSGT James D. Stride was assigned to Command and Control North, MACV-SOG in Vietnam. On October 5, 1968, Stride was the team leader, SP4 Steven D. Engelke, assistant platoon leader, SP4 Lynn M. Black, Jr., radio operator on a reconnaissance patrol in Saravane Province, Laos near the border of South Vietnam, and just about 10 miles south of A Shau. The platoon, in addition to its Special Forces members, consisted of an unspecified number of indigenous personnel.
Upon the team’s insertion into Laos, the team made contact with enemy forces. SSGT Stride ordered the team off the landing zone in order to break contact and to continue the mission. A hundred yards from the LZ, the team was ambushed. In the initial burst of fire, Stride was mortally wounded. The team recovered the body and formed a perimeter. Two hours later, the team was forced to exfiltrate, but Stride’s body was left behind. Because the area was hostile, it was not possible to return for Stride