Have We Forgotten Our Heroes? Chapter 5 – Walker

OrienJWalkerJrName: Orien Judson Walker, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Headquarters, MACV
Date of Birth: 27 September 1933
Home City of Record: Boston MA
Date of Loss: 23 May 1965
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 092100N 1050500E (WR098325)
Status (in 1973): Killed in Captivity
Category: 1
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Orien Judson Walker, Jr. was born on September 27, 1933, in Boston, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on February 12, 1951, and received an honorable discharge on September 26, 1954. He then attended the University of New Hampshire, where he received his commission as a 2dLt in the U.S. Army through the Army ROTC program there on January 29, 1957, going on active duty beginning May 30, 1957.

Lt Walker next attended basic infantry officer training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and at Fort Riley, Kansas, from May 1957 to January 1958, followed by service as a Platoon Leader, Assistant S-2, and Executive Officer with Company B, Company C, and Combat Support Company, 2nd Battle Group of the 2nd Infantry Regiment at Fort Riley and in West Germany from January 1958 to August 1962.

After attending additional training with the Infantry School at Fort Benning and at Fort Hood, Texas, Capt Walker served as S-3 for Air with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion of the 46th Infantry Regiment at Fort Hood from July to October 1963, and then as Commanding Officer of Company B, 1st Battalion of the 46th Infantry Regiment at Fort Hood from October 1963 to May 1964.

His next assignment was as Battalion Adjutant and then Battalion Executive Officer with 1st Battalion of the 46th Infantry Regiment from June to July 1964. He then attended the Military Assistance Training Advisors Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from July to October 1964, before serving as an advisor to the South Vietnamese Army with the U.S. Military Assistance Command in South Vietnam was an advisor to the South Vietnamese and attached to Headquarters, MACV.

He was working with an ARVN unit on May 23, 1965 in An Xuyen Province, about 10 miles northwest of the city of Quan Long when the unit was ambushed and he was captured by the Viet Cong. For the next year, Walker was held in several POW camps throughout South Vietnam.

Orien J. Walker, Jr. died in the arms of COL (then 1LT) Nick Rowe, twenty-eight days after being transferred into the POW Camp in the U-Minh Forest. COL Rowe called him “Tim Barker” in Five Years to Freedom to protect his identity. CPT Walker died of starvation and disease, and inability to respond to hand feeding by Nick Rowe. Any reference to Walker’s presence in a POW camp in Hue is false, because he was never in that area. He had been captured in the Delta region; and kept as a POW in a group of ARVNs for a year before being transferred to Rowe’s camp.

The Vietnamese informed the U.S. that Walker died February 4, 1966. They have made no effort to return his remains.


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