Recently, a fellow 2nd Platoon friend, Bill Varsafsky, and I exchanged memories via
e-mail regarding the circumstances that led to Ron's loss. For some long forgotten reason, I did not go out on that particular patrol, but I do remember everone talking about Ron and feeling dejected and
miserable about what happened that day.
While on a routine patrol searching out Viet Cong in the
swamps of the Rung Sat, the 2nd Platoon soldiers were crossing a small river when several of our choppers mistook the men for the enemy.
As the choppers momentarily opened fire, everyone scrambled for safety except Frank Modde who was helping Ron cross the river on a raft. Frank somehow managed to reach shore, but Ron did not and he was lost to friendly fire or by drowning. Everyone searched and searched, but Ron was lost and he was gone forever.
Jack Benedick recently informed me that he had personally
dove into that muddy water time and time again, trying to find Ron. It's my understanding that follow up searches were conducted by other U.S. Army personnel and that every effort was expended to find him.
It's my understanding that one year later, the US Army
changed his status from "Missing in Action" and declared him "Killed in Action".
Ronald Paul Schworer's body was never recovered...
P.S. If other Charlie Company soldiers read this and
can add to the story, it would be very much appreciated. Also, I must sadly report that Frank Modde lost his life in a motorcycle mishap near his Indiana home in the early 1970's.