Name: Edward Arlo Willing
Rank/Branch: E3/US Marine Corps
Unit: Company D, 2nd Battalion, 13th Marines
Date of Birth: 28 August 1949
Home City of Record: Wilmington DE
Date of Loss: 21 July 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155700N 1081300E (BT075659)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
SYNOPSIS: On July 21, 1968, Lcpl. Edward A. Willing left the Marine base near Da Nang to return to duty at his observation post at Tu Cau bridge on Highway 1 in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.
Soon after Willing left the gate, friends heard shots in the vicinity and a perimeter guard saw a man in black pajamas running toward a treeline with a rifle. A group of children were dragging something that possibly was a body.
During the next several days searches were made of the area. Villagers were questioned and a reward was offered, but no information was ever obtained.
Willing had been in Vietnam nine months, having first been assigned to an artillery company as a radio operator shortly after his arrival. He had been in the Marine Corps since November 1966.
Since there existed the possibility that Willing might have been captured, he was listed Missing in Action, and the Vietnamese could probably account for him. However, since the war ended, the Vietnamese have denied any knowledge of Edward A. Willing.
Edward A. Willing was promoted to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant during the period he was maintained missing.
[Note: USG data indicate that Willing was E3 (Lance Corporal), but it seems unlikely that this was the case, as his final rank at point of presumptive finding of death was E7 (Gunnery Sergeant). Although missing men received promotions during the period they were maintained missing, Willing would have received four rank increases, a very unusual situation, two or three being the norm. An article quoting information from his family in the late 1970's gives his rank at that time as Staff Sergeant (E6)]
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