HAROLD W KROSKE - MAJ
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- July 30, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- February 11, 1969
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
Harold William Kroske, Jr. was born in Trenton, NJ, on July 30, 1947. He graduated from Trenton Central High School in 1965. He was the quarterback of the 1965 high school football team. After high school, he decided to attend a military college in the South but did not remain there long.
Kroske joined the US Army a short time later where he attained the rank of a First Lieutenant (1LT). He trained with the Military Police at Fort Gordon, GA, and in 1967, he was accepted into the Fort Benning Officers' Candidate School. He arrived in Vietnam with the Americal Division but quickly won highly classified assignments, first with the long-range patrol Ranger unit known as E/51, and then to MACV-SOG.
It is believed that Krokse was ambushed on February 11, 1969. He is listed as missing in action.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
1st Lt. Harold Kroske was a reconnaissance patrol leader assigned to Command and Control South, MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group) was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions.
On February 11, 1969, Kroske's patrol was engaged by an enemy force 12 miles inside Cambodia west of Bu Dop and he killed several hostile troops along a trail. Kroske then motioned the point man, Diep Chan Sang, to come with him. There was sudden burst of gunfire, Kroske dropped his weapon, grabbed his stomach and fell to the ground. SP4 Bryan O Stockdale tried to approach him, received no response when he called out his name from twenty feet away, whereupon the patrol was forced to withdraw because of heavy automatic weapons fire. Kroske was believed to be dead, and it was not possible to recover his body. Because of the lack of certainty that Kroske died, he is listed among the missing.
He is declared missing in action- presumptive finding of death - body not recovered by the Department of Defense.
Follow this link to read an article from the May 25, 2006, special addition of the The Trentonian newspaper.
Sources: The Trentonian, POW Network and NJVVMF.
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