Milton Emmett Prescott, Jr

United States Marine Corps
01 August 1942 - 30 April 1967
Blue Island, Illinois
Panel 18E Line 127



Purple Heart (2 awards), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Milton Emmett Prescott, Jr

24 Nov 2005

Milton E. Prescott, Jr. Killed in Vietnam

Marine Sergeant Milton (Milt) E. Prescott, Jr.'s status changed from 4 1/2 years as "Missing in Action" to "Killed in Action" in September 1971. His remains were escorted back to Illinois by the Marines and a full Military Funeral was held in Honor of him in Willow Springs, Illinois on September 23, 1971.

The message of his death ended a long period of "not knowing" by his family.

His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Prescott Sr, and sisters Elizabeth (Prescott) Schoon and Deborah Prescott never gave up hope that he would come home. However, just knowing that he was not suffering as a POW made the news easier.

Mr. and Mrs. Prescott were involved in The National League of Families and Reunite our Families Groups. Mrs. Prescott gathered thousands of signatures on petitions, then along with other mothers from Reunite our Families flew to Washington D.C. to meet with Congress, presenting the Petitions and an Open Letter to Congress. They were asking the House and Senate to create a joint committee to investigate the treatment of prisoners of war and more information about the names of the missing in action. As a result, President Nixon proclaimed March 21-27, 1971, as a National Week of Concern for Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action in Southeast Asia.

Milt attended Harvard Elementary School in Chicago, kindergarten through 8th grade. He graduated in June 1956. During his time in elementary school he was a Safety Patrol Boy, and also delivered the Southtown Economist Newspaper. After graduating from Harvard, he entered Wescott Vocational High School, also in Chicago. He later transferred to Chicago Vocational High School (CVS). Milt graduated from CVS in June of 1960. Milt was married to Sandra McInerney on September 8, 1962. Milt was employed by Western Electric and left this position in March of 1966 to enter the United States Marine Corps. He was planning to return to this position upon his Honorable Discharge, which was to have been in March of 1968.

Milt received his Marine training at Camp Pendleton, California. He left the States in August of 1966 for Vietnam. He was wounded on December 30, 1966. After a month of recuperation he went back into action. He had a chance to come home at that time because of this injury, but in his words, "I would have felt that I hadn't finished what I started out to do". Milt was classified as Missing in Action, April 30, 1967, after his platoon's mission to seize, secure and defend Hill 881 South.

The Prescotts received letters from President Johnson and President Nixon expressing their deepest sympathy. The elder Prescott had regular correspondence throughout the 4 1/2 years with The White House, Department of the Navy, and The Red Cross. He never rested, and was always searching for an answer.

Finally, commending the elder Prescott for his support given to the POW/MIA groups and the personal correspondence and contact maintained with Congressman Edward J. Derwinski throughout the 4 1/2 years, a flag was flown over the United States Capitol in memory of Milton E. Prescott, Jr. That flag was then donated to the Northwest Building of Richards High School in Worth, Illinois where Deborah Prescott attended as a freshman.

Milton E. Prescott Jr. was a proud Marine as well as an incredibly brave man, who did his job to the best of his ability. He always wanted to make his family proud of him, and he did. He was the kind of person that anyone would be proud of, and also be glad that they knew, if only for a few short moments. His personality won him many true friends. Everywhere he went he came away with at least one true friend, and he was a sincere friend to those. Milt was the kind of person that once you met him, you would never forget him. I, his sister, Deborah, certainly have not.

Deborah L. (Prescott) Williams-McPhee

A note from The Virtual Wall

In early April 1967 the North Vietnamese Army's 325C Division (18th, 95th, and 101st Regiments) moved through Laos and positioned itself to capture the combat base at Khe Sanh. By 25 April the 18th Regiment had emplaced itself on Hill 861, one of three hills which controlled key terrain around Khe Sanh. The 3rd Marine Division commander determined that the three hills had to be denied to the enemy.

After heavy fighting, the Marines captured Hill 661, decimating the 18th Regiment, and turned toward Hills 881 North and 881 South, defended by the NVA 95th Regiment.

The initial assault on Hill 881 South was made by elements of the 3rd and 9th Marines on 30 April and was not successful - the enemy was well entrenched on the crest of the steep hill and vigorously resisted the Marine advance. By nightfall, the Marines withdrew from the hill, having lost 44 men from Kilo 3/9 and Mike 3/3 dead, with well over a hundred wounded. Hill 881 South was subjected to heavy supporting arms fire on 01 May and captured on 02 May.

Mike 3/3 had led the assault. According to Murphy's The Hill Fights, Mike 3/3 started the day with 161 men on their rolls. At day's end, they had 80 - 25 dead had been brought out, 54 were wounded, and 2 were missing in action, an accounting which is supported by the 3/3 Command Chronologies for April and May 1967.

There actually were three missing Marines:

  • Sergeant Milton E. Prescott, who had disappeared and was not found after the hill was secured.

  • Lance Corporal Danny R. Brotz, a rifleman with Kilo 3/9. LCpl Brotz's remains were found on 31 May 1967, but were not identified until 16 January 1974 - more than two years after Sergeant Prescott was brought home to his family.

  • The 2nd Platoon's point man, Pfc Randy N. McPhee, who was killed by grenades just as 2nd Platoon entered the battle. Although he was known dead, his body was not recovered during the withdrawal, nor could he be located after Hill 881S was secured. His remains have not been recovered.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009