506th Crest

Missing in Action Report

 

 HARBER, STEPHEN JAMES  

Name: Stephen James Harber 
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army 
Unit: Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Infantry Division 
Date of Birth: 08 May 1948 
Home City of Record: Fairmont MN 
Date of Loss: 02 July 1970 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam 
Loss Coordinates: 162525N 1071140E (YD335172) 
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action 
Category: 2 
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground 
Refno: 1646  
Source: Compiled 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 in 1998.  
Other Personnel In Incident: (Lee N. Lenz, Roger D. Sumrall, both killed)  
 
SYNOPSIS: At 0400 hours on July 2, 1970, SP4 Steven J. Harber, rifleman, was a member of a unit 
set up in a night defensive position in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam about 25 miles WSW 
of the city of Hue, when an unknown sized enemy force attacked.  SP4 Harber occupied a position 
with Sgt. Lee Newlun Lenz and SP4 Roger Dale Sumrall. Their position was hit by numerous rocket
propelled grenades (RPG), satchell charges, mortars and small arms fire. After the attack, at 
daybreak, a search was made for the unaccounted for personnel.  The remains of Sgt. Lenz and 
SP4 Sumrall were found, but there was no trace of SP4 Harber. He was listed Missing in Action.  
Harber's family waited until the end of the war with no word of Stephen. But when 591 Americans 
were released from Vietnam in 1973, Harber was not among them, and the Vietnamese denied any 
knowledge of his fate.  Examination of intelligence reports indicate that there was more than 
one prison "system" in Vietnam. Those prisoners who were released were maintained in 
the same systems. If Harber was captured and kept in another system, the POWs who returned did 
not know it.  Now, nearly 20 years later, men like Harber are all but forgotten except by 
friends, family and fellow veterans. The U.S. "priority" placed on determining their 
fates pales in comparison to the results it has achieved. Since Harber went missing, nearly 
10,000 reports have been received by the U.S. concerning Americans still missing in Southeast 
Asia. Many authorities are convinced that there are still hundreds of them alive in captivity.
  Whether Harber survived to be captured, or is still alive, is not known. What is certain, 
however, is that we as a nation, are guilty of the abandonment of nearly 2500 of our best and 
most courageous men. We cannot forget, and must do everything in our power to bring these men 
home.

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