John Eugen Bodenschatz, Jr
Staff Sergeant
United States Marine Corps
Los Angeles, California
May 29, 1946 to January 21, 1975
(Incident Date August 28, 1966)
JOHN E BODENSCHATZ Jr is on the Wall at Panel 10E, Line 52

Combat Action Ribbon

04 Jul 2006

To John's family: I adopted John through the MIA bracelet. I will pray for his return and for all of you. I had my first experience of visiting the Moving Wall and it is something I will never forget. I am an Army veteran (8 years) and have been guarding the Wall here in Westland, Michigan on this special holiday (July 4). The most touching memory I have is of a man who just laid down next to the Wall. A little while later, we went to him and asked him if he needed anything and he said this was his Father and then slept there all night. If you would like to correspond with me, my e-mail address is I would like to know more abouth your loved one. God Bless.

Patricia Borowski

02 Oct 2007

I was given John's bracelet in 1971 when I was 16 years old by my brother, who was in the Navy at the time. Every day since I have prayed for John's soul because he and his 58,000 brothers and sisters in Vietnam deserve eternal peace.

Jim Kier


A Note from The Virtual Wall

The POW Network reports the disappearance of four Marines as follows:

On the night of 27/28 August 1966, a four-man fire team from 1st Platoon, Kilo 3/1 Marines, was assigned to set up an ambush site about 500 meters south of their platoon night defensive position near Hoa Hai village just south of Danang.

The fire team departed at 3:00 am with instructions to relocate in the same general area or return to their platoon patrol base in the event their ambush site was compromised, and in any case to return no later than 9:00 am that morning. The team failed to return as scheduled, and an immediate search was instituted by Kilo Company personnel but without results. A larger-scale effort was conducted by the 3rd Battalion between 29-31 August, but still without results. On 04 Sep, Kilo Company Marines located part of an American wrist watch and PFC Bodenschatz' identification tags and intensified the search in that area, but no further trace was found. On 13 Sep the Battalion cordoned a large area centered on the Marines' last known location, assembling, screening, and interrogating everyone within the cordon. No additional information concerning the four Marines was obtained.

The 3/1 Command Chronology for August 1966 contains the following entry:

"At 281900H [7pm, 28 Aug], a fire team patrol/ambush from 1st platoon, Company K did not return at the scheduled time from its ambush site in grid square BT0667. At 1915H a squad was dispatched to search out the area for the missing fire team, returning at dark without success. The following day two companies conducted a thorough search within grid square 0667 and within 4000 meters of this area with negative results. Adjacent units were notified of the missing fire team, and in turn conducted an extensive search of those areas bordering the 3/1 TAOR. At this time all searching parties have been unsuccessful. An agent reported that the fire team had been attacked by hand grenades and three Marines were killed. However, no evidence of graves has been discovered. A continued effort is being made to obtain more information on this incident."
The August and early September operations logs contain a number of entries regarding the searches for the four MIAs, but with no results. The Virtual Wall staff did not find any mention of recovery of Pfc Bodenschatz's dog tags or any personal effects in the ops logs.

A Review Board was convened and considered the available information. The Battalion commander's final determination was that the four Marines were "probably captured", but in the absence of proof they were classed as Missing in Action. Eventually the Secretary of the Navy approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the four (ranks shown are those held when the PFod was issued):

  • SSgt Robert L. Babula, Indiana, PA (PFoD 11/07/1974)
  • SSgt John E. Bodenschatz, Los Angeles, CA (PFoD 01/21/1975)
  • SSgt Dennis R. Carter, Lomita, CA (PFoD 09/12/1974)
  • Sgt Robert C. Borton, Benton Harbor, MI (PFoD 08/24/1977)
On 08 Feb 1993 the Vietnamese allowed repatriation of a group of human remains. Between May 1993 and June 1996 the Central Identification Laboratory identified six missing Americans among the remains, including Robert C. Borton. However, Borton's family refused to accept the identification. The other three men have not been repatriated.

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