Richard William Fischer
United States Marine Corps
Madison, Wisconsin
June 15, 1947 to December 08, 1978
(Incident Date January 08, 1968)
RICHARD W FISCHER is on the Wall at Panel 33E, Line 84

Combat Action Ribbon

15 Nov 2002

Dear (MIA) Richard, your mother is no longer a Gold Star Mother on Earth. She is now a Gold Star Mother in Heaven: she died November 12, 2002. We hope she is with you, and that you are both finally filled with happiness. It's been a long time.

Judith Singer
2228 N. 115th Street, Wauwatosa, Wi 53226

14 Aug 2007

I am currently wearing and will continue to wear the bracelt bearing Richard W Fischer's name until he is returned home!

Robin Sterletske
222 S Main Street, Brillion, Wisconsin

14 Nov 2007

Richard Fischer's body is being returned to his sister on 11/16/2007. A Memorial Service with full military honors will take place on 11/19/2007 at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin.

From a cousin.
E-mail address is not available.


Marine Missing in Action from the Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Gunnery Sgt. Richard W. Fischer, U.S. Marine Corps, of Madison, Wis. He will be buried on Nov. 19 in Madison.

On Jan. 8, 1968, Fischer was assigned to M Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, on an ambush patrol south of Da Nang in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Fischer became separated from his unit and subsequent attempts by his team members to locate him were met with enemy fire.

16 Nov 2007

I just read that you have come home from your long journey.

Welcome Home, Marine. You now can rest in peace.
"Semper Fidelis", from a US Army Vietnam Veteran who proudly served.
Though I did not know you, you are a brother anyway.

Michael Boxer

26 Nov 2007

Tibia and Ulna bones identified by mitochondrial DNA. Laid to rest in Madison, Wisconsin on November 19, 2007. Welcome home.

From his cousin's wife,
Hannah Fischer
E-mail address is not available.

01 Feb 2008

Welcome home, Richard, I was with you on that day.
It has been a long time but you are home at last.
We searched for you, but you just disappeared!

From a fellow Marine,
Bill Duran
9931 Adams St, Thornton, Co 80229


A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 5th Marines' daily situation report for 08 Jan 1968 contains the following entry:

The incident, which occurred in Dien Tho hamlet on Go Noi Island about 8 kilometers east-northeast of Dai Loc, apparently was the result of the following sequence of events:

Then-Lance Corporal Fischer's squad had set up an ambush near the hamlet. After daybreak, the ambush position was compromised by the normal movements of the Vietnamese civilians. A number of the civilians greeted or otherwise interacted with the Marines, and two young women (one with a leg amputated below the knee) paid particular attention to LCpl Fischer. Fischer separated himself from his squad and was last seen going with the women toward the amputee's house.

When he didn't return the patrol attempted to search the hamlet but was taken under fire by an unknown-size enemy force. After exchanging several hundred rounds, the squad withdrew. A larger force returned later on 08 Jan and searched the village; searches continued for the next two days but without success. Most villagers denied any knowledge of Fischer's where-abouts but an older local resident did say that an American had been taken prisoner.

In 1970, a former Vietnam People's Army Lieutenant Colonel provided information, possibly hearsay, that LCpl Fischer had been killed and buried. LCpl Fischer was carried as Missing in Action until 08 Dec 1978, when the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death. During the time he was MIA he was promoted repeatedly, finally to Gunnery Sergeant.

So matters stood until 20 years later. A JTF-FA investigation in the early 90s found ten villagers, including the amputee, who admitted knowing about the incident. According to her own testimony, the amputee had lured Fischer away from his comrades; he was then killed by VC and his body hidden. During the searches the villagers denied knowledge of what had happened to Fischer. After the searches stopped, they said, Fischer's body was moved and buried in a more permanent location. The burial location was in a low-lying area subject to erosion, and after a few years human bones began to emerge from the soil but were not reburied.

An August 1998 message from JTF describes the excavation of the gravesite area in 1994. Fragmentary remains were recovered and repatriated on 07 Oct 1994. The remains were positively identified on 04 Sep 2007.

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