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Hospital Corpsman Second Class Michael Louis Laporte, USN was assigned to the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, Danang, Republic of Vietnam.
On September 3, 1967, Petty Officer Laporte was assigned as the team corpsman of nine man reconnaissance patrol that was inserted by parachute into Happy Valley, Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam.
Petty Officer Laporte was the fifth man in the jump sequence. All nine chutes opened, but a westerly wind of about 30 knots caused the team to drift. Petty Officer Laporte was seen by team members to be drifting out and beyond the others. This was the last time he was observed. He did not join the patrol as planned. An immediate search was conducted by the patrol with negative results. This was Petty Officer Laporte's 13th jump and he was very experienced in such operations, having been in the country about two years. It was the belief of the jump master that Petty Officer Laporte was not injured on landing and that he could evade the enemy.(NOTE: Some sources say that Michael Laporte was a Navy SEAL, although this information is not given in U.S. Navy accounts of his loss incident. NOTE: Subsequent inquiries of Laporte's status as a Navy SEAL has proven this to be untrue. Laporte was NOT a Navy SEAL, and by the nature of their modus operandi could not have been and been lost there as he was.) Later in the day the patrol was hit by an enemy patrol of 5 - 6 Viet Cong. All the members of the reconnaissance patrol were recovered except Petty Officer Laporte. (NOTE: Defense Department lists indicate that Laporte was lost on September 5th. No reason for the descrepancy can be determined, unless the team was inserted on the 3rd and extracted on the 5th at which time Laporte was declared missing.)
Initially, Petty Officer Laporte was listed as Missing In Action. On December 1, 1977, his status was changed to Presumed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. During the period he was listed as Missing In Action, Petty Officer Laporte was advanced to the rank of Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman.
Through the years since Laporte disappeared, reports have filtered in that he was captured by the Viet Cong. In 1979, U.S. Marine PFC Robert Garwood was released from Vietnam, and related that he had known of Laporte. According to Garwood, the Viet Cong had brought Laporte to the camp in Happy Valley where Garwood had been held for some time as prisoner. The camp guards called Laporte "Bill." The last he heard, "Bill" was working as a laborer on a communal farm in North Vietnam in the Quang Thien area -- in 1975 -- two years after the U.S. Government declared that there was no reason to believe any POWs were still alive. Senior Chief Laporte was born August 21, 1944, in Seattle, Washington, and listed Los Angeles, California, as his Home of Record.

The following information is what you will find on HMCS LaPorte should you do a search of him at the Walll page online...

- Regular
33 year old
Born on 08/21/44
His tour of duty began on 09/05/67
Casualty was on 12/02/77 in QUANG NAM,
Hostile, died while missing
Body was not recovered
Panel 26E - - Line 1

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Hall of Honor


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