CPL Robert S. Masuda and PFC David L. Munoz were serving as a machine gun team on a reconnaissance in-force mission northwest of Saigon in Binh Duong Province, South Vietnam on May 13,1969.
At about 0900 hours, their unit, Company B, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry, found a large quantity of rice in a village, and both Masuda and Munoz assisted in destroying the rice cache, believed to be supplies stored by or intended for the Viet Cong.
At about 1100 hours, the unit began moving toward their night position. At 1800 hours, it was determined that Masuda and Munoz were missing. Elements of Company B began to retrace the day’s route and search the area where the rice had been found and destroyed.
A well found in the area that had been recently filled in with dirt was partially excavated in search of the two men, but excavation was stopped with the approach of darkness. Freshly fired AK-47 rounds and scattered bits of blood-soaked sand were found in the position in which these two men were last seen.
The next day, Company A of the same battalion made another unsuccessful search of the area, and on May 18, Company B returned to the area and found an 82nd Airborne patch in a pack of cards that may have belonged to Masuda.
In February 1975, a well in the vicinity of Cu Chi was excavated and the remains of an American serviceman and a local female were found. After digging a few more inches, the workers unearthed an old, live hand grenade, and suspended operation pending the arrival of American Department of Defense personnel. Subsequent digging unearthed an old rusty bayonet scabbard, and when the EOD mine detector found evidence of further material (which perhaps indicated that the well had been booby-trapped), the investigation was halted and never completed. The remains found were not correlated to either Masuda or Munoz.
Robert Susumu Masuda
Promoted to SSG as MIA
Born: 19 October 1947
Home: San Jose, California
Vietnam Memorial Wall
Panel 25W, Row 106
David Louie Munoz
Promoted to SFC as MIA
Born: May 2, 1948
Home: Los Angeles, California
Vietnam Memorial Wall
Panel 25W, Row 107
Company B, 1st Battalion, 508th PIR, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division
Date of Loss: 13 May 1969
Loss Coordinates: 110326N 1062847E (XT618227)
Status: Declared KIA