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Harry Lambert recalls the Cox and Workman Killings

(Note: Eugene Cox and James Workman, two MPs assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion in Saigon, were killed on June 30, 1969, in a Saigon Bar named "The Ivory Tower" (Tour d'Ivoire). Harry Lambert, an MP serving in Vietnam at the time of the killings, recalls several personnel reassignments that followed the deaths of the two young MPs.     LK)


I just read your story about Cox and Workman and can add a little to it. I was a 95B who in 1969 was functioning as the Company Clerk in C Company, 720th MP BN based in Long Binh. On July 1, 1969, I received a call from Bn personnel saying they had two new persons for C Company. I had the CO’s driver go and pick them up and much to my surprise the new person was SP4 Jacob Brocato; I had been in MP school with him and he had been assigned to the 716th MP BN in September of 1968. The other was PFC Wilson who had arrived in Vietnam sometime in 1969 and was in the same company of the 716th as Jake. After we had talked for a while and I processed them in, I asked him why he had been transferred out with 7 weeks to go to DEROS. He ducked the issue and said they had too many MP’s in his company; Wilson did not talk other then yes or no. There was no record of any disciplinary action against either MP in their personnel file and battalion also had no idea why they had been transferred, We heard about Cox a couple of days later, when I asked Jake about it all he would say was that he knew Cox and that Cox had taken Wilson under his wing.

Wilson had issues with us, we assigned him to convoy escort but he did not follow instructions, he played music loudly in the barracks disturbing everyone else. He got one article 15 and we had to take him off convoy escort, the First Sgt caught some grief from him and wanted to court martial him but I was able to convince him to have Wilson referred to the Psych unit of the 93rd Evac where he saw a doctor once but did not talk. After two attempts we gave up; he was then assigned to a detail to work in Battalion except when I dropped him off at the front door he ducked out the back, finally he was, I believe, sent up to LBJ pending court martial.

As for Jake, he extended as did I and we left Vietnam together on 11/6/69. Finally on the plane he told me that he had been threatened never to talk about what he knew about the shootings or something bad would happen, As I recall, he said he was in the first jeep responding after the shooting but with time that maybe incorrect. He did say when he got off duty he was questioned and then escorted in to pack his stuff.

A week or so after Jake was assigned to us, another MP (whose name I forget but who was also in my class at MP school) showed up at the orderly room. We recognized each other right away and he asked about Jake; later Jake told me that he had also been in his company with the 716th and he had been transferred out the same day to Long Binh. This person wound up with the 615th MP Company, 95th MP BN.

The 716th, 720th and 95th BN’s were all part of the 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade. Cox was from Jackson Heights, Queens and that is where I went to High School. We had a couple of guys in my company that were also from Jackson Heights so we had taken an interest in the story.



Harry Lambert
February, 2011
New York



To read the story about the Cox and Workman murders, follow the link below.
Murder at Midnight