Sergeant- United States Army
Headquarters & Headquarters Company
2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, 25th Infantry Division
Home of Record: Centralia,Missouri
Date of Loss: May 02, 1970
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 114512N 1060827E (XU243013)
Status in 1973: Missing in Action
Aircraft / Vehicle / Ground: UH1H "Iroguois" Helo AKA:Huey
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: Raw data from U.S.
Government agency source, correspondence with POW-MIA
families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the POW
Network in 1998.
Other personnel in incident: Michael Varnado, Bunyan D. Price , Dale W. Richardson,
Robert M. Young ( All Missing ). Frederick H. Crowson,
Daniel F. Maslowski ( Returned POW's ). Tommy Karreci (evaded
Remarks: Helo found, no trace of any of the men
UNACCOUNTED FOR POW-MIA's : World War II---78,000
Korean War---8,100 including 389 who were
at one time listed as POW's.
Vietnam War--2,100 Fourty of the Vietnam
POW-MIA's are from my home state of
The candles above will continue to burn until we have a full accounting of all
POW-MIA's from all war's. Remember Rodney Lynn Griffin and all POW-MIA's
and their families in your prayers. We must never loose the vision of their return
alive or dead,either way they belong on American soil,
On May 02, 1970 a UH1H helicopter from Company B, 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st
Cavalry Division flown by WO1 Michael B. Varnado was hit by ground fire and was
forced to land just over the border of South Vietnam near the city of Memot, Cambodia. The helicopter was transporting members of H&H Company, 34th Armor
25th Infantry Division, SP4 Rodney L. Griffin,SP4 Bunyan D. Price Jr, WO1 Daniel
F. Maslowski, Capt. Dale W. Richardson, and Capt. Robert M. Young.
Also aboard were PFC Tommy Karreci, SP4 Frederick H. Crowson, helicopter crew
The men were part of an attempt to stop North Vietnamese forces from gaining any
strongholds in Cambodia. President Nixon announced the request by Cambodia for
American assistance on April 30. Had we not assisted, the North Vietnamese, in addition to having an effective sanctuary to which they could retreat without reta-
liation, would also have South Vietnam completely outflanked.
Everyone survived the crash, and had only 30-40 seconds on the ground to decide
what to do. They all attempted to evade, each in different directions. Only 18 year
old Tommy Karreci managed to make it back to U.S. forces lines, in about 3 days.
Crowson, Maslowski, Varnado and Young were all captured by the NVA and VC
forces. Price according to Defense Department records, was also captured. Rodney Griffin and Captain Richardson took off through the very tall elephant
grass and Rodney was last seen firing his rifle at the enemy.
Crowson and Maslowski were released by the North Vietnamese in 1973 and in their debrief-
ings stated that Varnado and Young had died in captivity, while detained in Cambodia. The
Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam officially acknowledged their deaths,
listing Varnado's death as September 21, 1970, and Young's death as November 17, 1972.
According to Maslowski, Young died of illnessin his arms in the fall of 1972. Daniel Maslowski saw Michael Varnado about two months after capture. "Vito" (Varnado) had been shot in the
leg and in the side when he was captured, and according to Maslowski, "looked like hell". His
side wound had healed, but the wound in his leg,in the kneecap, was badly infected. He could
not walk, and told Maslowski that the Viet Cong had been transporting him in a hammock. The
V.C. had told Varnado that he was to be taken to a hospital to have this leg taken care of. The
Vietnamese state that he died two months after Maslowski saw him in the POW camp (about 4
months after capture).
On August 01, 1989, it was announced that the Vietnamese had "discovered" the remains of
Michael Varnado, returned them to the U.S. His remains were positively identified, much to
the relief of family and surviving comrades, and Michael Varnado could finally be buried with
the HONOR HE DESERVED....
The remains identification did not contradict the Vietnamese statement that Varnado died 4
months after being captured.
The fate of Price is uncertain...... Maslowski always believed Price had
been captured.......but never saw him in any POW camps he was held
in. One report from escaped ARVN (Army republic of Vietnam) POW
stated that he was captured by the Khmer and because the ethnic
groups normally did not cooperate,the Khmer would not likely have
given Price over to the Vietnamese,who had captured the other four.
THERE IS VERY STRONG REASON TO BELIEVE THAT AMERICANS ARE STILL HELD CAPTIVE IN SOUTHEAST
ASIA TODAY. YET PRESIDENT AFTER PRESIDENT HAS
FAILED TO BRING THEM HOME,WILL IT EVER CHANGE?
RODNEY GRIFFEN WAS DECLAIRED DEAD, BODY NOT RECOVERED IN 1974
What if Rodney is still alive and being held in Southeast Asia, what must he be
thinking about our government, and his countrymen who left him behind and
never even tryed to gain his release? HOW WOULD YOU FEEL? WHAT WOULD
YOU BE THINKING ???? THERE IS NO PROOF THAT RODNEY IS DEAD............
This page was last updated on: July 26, 2008
This page was last updated on: July 26, 2008