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SSGT Glenn Ernest Tubbs

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SSGT Glenn Ernest Tubbs

  • Birth 24 Jan 1940 Amarillo, Potter County, Texas, USA
  • Death 13 Jan 1970 Vietnam
  • Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
  • Plot Courts of the Missing
  • Memorial ID 61818622

In Memory of ..... SSGT. Glenn Ernest Tubbs.
*** Staff Sergeant Tubbs was a member of Command and Control South, 5th Special Forces Group. On January 13, 1970, he was a member of a long range reconnaissance patrol along the Cambodian-South Vietnam border. As he tried to cross a stream, he lost his grip on the crossing rope and was swept away by the current. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 35
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Jan 24, 1940
Marital Status: Married - Pamela J. Tubbs. Sgt. Tubbs kissed his wife and two children goodbye April 28, 1969, in Amarillo, before his deployment.
Father, William Brown Tubb - Born, Aug. 11, 1894 in Tennessee and Died, Oct. 26, 1977 in Sulphur Springs, Texas and Mother, Vera Viola Griffin Tubb, Born, Apr. 7, 1900 and Died May 1, 2000. Married Vera Viola Griffin 2 July 1916 at Hopkins County Texas.
***** Paul Glenn Tubbs, now 41, resides in Lampasas, and Cynthia Lynn McElroy, now 38, is an Army wife living in Kempner, near Fort Hood

***** Our friends son dated the daughter of Sgt. Tubbs in the early 80's. Her name is Cindy and she had a brother named Paul. Their mother had not re-married at that time and was active in everything that related to POW/MIA's. I have not seen Cindy in many years, but I think her brother is a newscaster on one of the local TV channels in Amarillo.
Mary Shumaker
Amarillo, TX

His tour began on Jan 13, 1970
Casualty was on January 13, 1970
Non-Hostile, died missing, GROUND CASUALTY

Body was not recovered
Panel 14W - Line 31

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

On 13 January 1970, then Sgt. Glenn Tubbs was a rifleman assigned to a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) along the Cambodian/South Vietnam border to search out and report on NVA activity infiltrating through this sector of Cambodia into the acknowledged war zone.

The patrol was attempting to cross the Tonle San River by means of a safety line.

Sgt. Tubbs, who was at the time wearing shorts, jungle boots, and had a CAR 15 rifle slung over his shoulder, was the last man in the team's formation to cross the river. When Glenn Tubbs reached the middle of the fast flowing river, it appeared to others who were watching his progress that the force of the swift current was tugging at his shorts and he was struggling to keep them up.

As they continued to watch, he lost his grip on the safety line and was rapidly swept downstream. Sgt. Tubbs was seen to go under water 5 times, and each time reappear before being swept around a bend in the river and out of view. Other team members reported that as he struggled against the strong current, he seemed to be trying to swim against it instead of at an angle to it or with it.

The team leader immediately made radio contact with a nearby Forward Air Controller (FAC) reporting the situation and requesting an immediate search and rescue (SAR) operation. Shortly thereafter the FAC flew over the location of loss, followed the river down stream and passed the bend in the river for a distance of approximately 1 ½ to 2 miles. The pilot reported he observed "hundreds of alligators churning up the water," but found no sign of Sgt. Tubbs.

The entire search effort was hampered when helicopters flying low over the area received sporadic enemy ground fire.

When no trace of Glenn Tubbs was found, the formal SAR operation was terminated and he was reported as Missing in Action.

LOOKING FOR - The National Alliance of Families is looking for the family of Sgt. Glen E. Tubbs. Sgt. Tubbs was lost January 13, 1970. His home city of record is Amarillo, Texas. If you know the whereabouts of the Tubbs family, please contact the National Alliance of Families at
718-846-4350. It is very important that we contact the Tubbs family.

Return of MIA bracelet to wife of Vietnam soldier a reminder of the Unknowns
Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2004
The Amarillo Globe-News
Pam Tubbs has become a one-woman honor guard for her husband's memory.

Beneath the American flag she hoists every fair-weather weekend flies another representing the unknowns that have clouded her life for almost 35 years. The mourning-black Prisoner of War/MIA flag waves for Army Sgt. Glenn E. Tubbs, who was reported missing in action in Southeast Asia in 1970.
In her picture window, sheer curtains frame two service stars printed in blue, to represent active military service.
"One is for my son-in-law," an Army sergeant assigned to South Korea, she said. "One is for my husband. He's still serving, as far as we know. Until we know something, he's still serving his country. The star is white if the soldier is deceased."
Tubbs has learned limbo is an elastic suspension of time. Though resilient, she experiences a constant pull back to Jan. 13, 1970 -- when her husband was declared missing in action in Vietnam.
Sometimes, it is triggered by an outside source, when another who once tended the memory of the missing seeks her out.
Pennsylvania resident Sherri Brooks started wearing a metal bracelet inscribed with Glenn Tubbs' name and MIA date as a teenager - partially because the Vietnam War was affecting so many around her and partially, she admits, because it was cool.
"We definitely realized the significance of what the bracelets were," Brooks said in a telephone interview from her Baden, Pa., home. "I think at that age you want to stand for something. You're looking for a cause to believe in."
Echoes of Vietnam in recent discussions of war in Iraq and in presidential politics sparked Brooks' curiosity about the bracelet's namesake.
"You wear something around and lug it around in your jewelry box all these years, and you just kind of wonder about the person - if he was drafted, if he enlisted," she said. "Being a mother, I thought the bracelet would probably mean a lot to his kids."
When her own search for the Tubbs family proved fruitless, Brooks contacted the Globe-News for help finding Pam Tubbs, who still lives in Amarillo where she grew up, where she received the news of her husband's disappearance and where she took a public stand demanding that the U.S. government provide more information to families of soldiers missing or captured in Vietnam.

Brooks isn't the first to reach out.
"Periodically, I hear from people that wore Glenn's bracelet," Tubbs said. "I think there's a rekindled interest because of what's going on today."

Reminders cause Tubbs to occasionally page through an album of photos from a roll of undeveloped film discovered among her husband's belongings.
"I'll hear something that will really trigger an emotional memory and the need to look again," she said. "You're prepared for the worst, but when they hit you with 'missing,' you can't compute."

Pictures show her 29-year-old husband interacting with pals, working with natives at his Green Beret encampment and waiting for a mail call by a helicopter nicknamed "Jolly Green Giant."
"I'm sure there's a story behind every one of these that I'll never know," Tubbs said.

Piecing the Story Together - Sgt. Tubbs kissed his wife and two children goodbye April 28, 1969, in Amarillo, before his deployment. Pam Tubbs last saw her husband four months later, on an R&R trip to Hawaii and last spoke to him on New Year's Eve that year.
"He called and told me not to worry, that I wouldn't hear from him for a few days," Tubbs said.
The Green Beret was assigned to a Special Forces camp working with indigenous troops in Vietnam and Cambodia, Tubbs said.

Years later, she learned he telephoned before a reconnaissance mission. "He was going into Cambodia before it was kosher to be in Cambodia," she said. "Eleven of them made it. My husband didn't." The geographical coordinates where Sgt. Tubbs disappeared - classified and beyond her reach in March 1970 - were declassified in February 1973. The new map military officials sent her had been revised from South Vietnam to the border between Cambodia and South Vietnam. "It's a jigsaw puzzle," Tubbs said.

During the years, she has filled in some of the blanks, but other details still elude her.

Glenn Tubbs lost his grip on a rope while crossing a river with his unit. Strong currents swept him away. From there, the story gets murky, she said.

"I really believe, at one point in time, he probably was alive," she said. Accounts conflicted. A search-and-rescue helicopter pilot reported seeing a man's body on top of a river rock. Other searchers suspected Tubbs had been killed by alligators they'd seen thrashing in the water. Still other statements surfaced that he had been taken prisoner.

In July 1973, the Pentagon requested details of tattoos, birthmarks and other distinguishing characteristics when a body fitting Sgt. Tubbs' description was recovered.
"There were broken bones in the same areas. The body size was the same," Tubbs said. "Evidently, it was not Glenn. We were never notified, so I have to assume it was not Glenn.

The Women Behind the Men - Government officials didn't expect the soldiers' wives to question the trickle of information they granted, Tubbs said. "Back then, as we were notified, we were told not to let anybody know (about their soldiers' MIA status), that if it got into the press, it could possibly get into enemy hands and could be used against our people in captivity," she said. "A lot of us families bought that for a period of time, and then we got very public, very political. They thought we could be swept under the carpet and stay there, but we didn't."

Tubbs traveled to Washington, D.C., for gatherings that spawned the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia., formed in May 1970, Globe-News files show. On the homefront, she enlisted city and area leaders and residents in campaigns to send letters to North Vietnam demanding POWs be treated according to the rules of the Geneva Convention.

"We want to hit Hanoi with 10 tons of mail between now and Christmas," Tubbs said in a Nov. 19, 1970, Amarillo Daily News article. The women met with legislators, Pentagon officials, anyone who might help, she said.

"My first trip to Washington was an eye-opener," Tubbs said. "I never thought of myself as a country girl until then. I was a little girl from the sticks, and I was learning how the world went 'round." A military escort accompanied each woman from the time she left her hotel room until she turned in for the night - leaving no way to talk privately, she said. "That's when you learn to sneak out of hotels," Tubbs said, recalling how she and other women slipped by their escorts by climbing out a lobby restroom window. The escorts soon found them at a nearby restaurant and took them back to the hotel, claiming the streets of Washington were no place for unaccompanied women, Tubbs said.

Military briefings proved heated.
"We knew they weren't telling us the truth," Tubbs said.
Her children didn't understand why she returned with no answers. "They knew I was going to Washington to try to do something to find out where Daddy was," Tubbs said of her children.

Paul Glenn Tubbs, now 41, resides in Lampasas, and Cynthia Lynn McElroy, now 38, is an Army wife living in Kempner, near Fort Hood. "They didn't understand, when I got home, why I couldn't tell them anything," she said.

Tubbs never thought of herself as an activist, she said.
"I don't think we looked at ourselves that way. We were defiant women because we were going public against powers telling us that we shouldn't. We were taking on the Pentagon. "On occasion, when we got too demonstrative or probably said too much in the press, we were reminded that our husbands, if they were alive, their careers could suffer."

The women remained undeterred, Tubbs said. "First of all, if they wanted to bust my husband down to a buck private, they had to find him," she said. Continually, she weighed whether she had done all she could to help her husband, whose status was officially changed to killed in action in November 1975. "I think I'd do it again," she said. Not Knowing Tubbs also recalled how military escorts tried to shield the wives from war protestors. "They tried to protect us," she said. "You were called a war-monger's wife or a baby killer's wife."

Tubbs said her husband believed in his mission in Vietnam.
"They were trying to bring freedom to people who had been oppressed for centuries," she said. The protests could be ugly, Tubbs said. "Basically, we all wanted the men home," she said. "We just had, I guess, different approaches to doing it." When she contacted Sherri Brooks by telephone, Tubbs said, "I tried to answer all her questions. She only knew the protest end of the war."

The MIA bracelet's arrival by mail bounced Tubbs back again to 1970. "It takes you back in time," she said. "And you can't help but wonder about the people and why they are returning it." Tubbs prefers not to think that receiving a bracelet means its wearer has given up on the return of its namesake, she said.

"Every bracelet that we've had returned has been returned so the family could have it to do with what we wanted," she said. "I appreciate their concern. It meant a lot to them when they wore it, and evidently, it still means enough to them for them to want the family to have it." When the pull of that fateful day hits, Tubbs said, she finds the rubbing she has of Glenn's name, as it's etched in the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"I'll rub his name and think, 'Another year. We've made another year. When are you gonna let me know something?"'
Pam Tubbs


Family Members

Gravesite Details Looking for location of his Memorial Headstone.





  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 18 Nov 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 61818622
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT Glenn Ernest Tubbs (24 Jan 1940–13 Jan 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 61818622, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .