DIXON, DAVID LLOYD

Name: David Lloyd Dixon
Rank/Branch: E4/US Navy
Unit: Naval Support Activity Da Nang, Support Detachment, Cua Viet, South
Vietnam
Date of Birth: 03 April 1945 (Alturas CA)
Home City of Record: Medford OR
Date of Loss: 28 September 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 165340N 1071042E (YD320690)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: LCM006
Refno: 1292
Other Personnel in Incident: David P. Halpin (killed)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
NETWORK 1998.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: Machinist's Mate Petty Officer Third Class David L. Dixon and
Fireman David P. Halpin were assigned to the Naval Support Activity Da Nang,
Support Detachment, Cua Viet, South Vietnam.

On September 28, 1968 at approximately 2:00 p.m., at the Naval Support
Activity Detachment, Cua Viet, South Vietnam, Dixon and Halpin were working
on a boat which was tied up to a barge from which contaminated fuel was
being pumped.

Fireman Halpin was working onboard the boat. Petty Officer Dixon and two
other crewmembers were working in the engine room. A shipfitter, unaware of
the fuel being pumped, came to complete a welding job which had been started
earlier that day on another boat. Almost instantly after the shipfitter
struck an arc with his welder, the fuel fumes near where the fuel was being
pumped into the water ignited. Flames engulfed the entire waterfront.

One sailor in the engine room on LCM006 escaped, stating later that after he
left the boat, he returned to the engine room to see if anyone might still
be there. At the moment he returned, there was no fire in the engine room,
however, it was filled with heavy smoke. He attempted to search for anyone
who might be there, but was forced to leave due to the smoke and heat.

The fire on the water spread quickly and the escaping sailor received burns
on his face and shoulders while swimming ashore. Halpin attempted to get
clear of the boat and was last seen in the vicinity of the fire.

Fire on the water extended far out into the channel, rising to heights of
two hundred feet. Explosions from the boats' ammuniton and fuel tanks
saturated the entire width with burning debris. Due to the intense heat and
flame, the fire raged for over ten minutes before fire-fighting equipment
could be put into effective use. The boat itself was totally engulfed in
flames.

Boats were dispatched to check for possible survivors in the ara. An
extensive search of the entire area was conducted with negative results. Due
to the circumstances, little hope for survival was held for Dixon and
Halpin. Both men were initially placed in a casualty status of Missing, but
Dixon's status was changed that same day to Killed in Action. Halpin was
maintained in Missing status until late November, when a Casualty Status
Review Board changed his status to Determined Dead/Body Not Recovered.

There is little hope that Dixon and Halpin could have survived. For some of
their comrades, however, there is ample reason for hope. Mounting evidence
indicates that hundreds of Americans were abandoned as prisoners of war at
the end of the war and remain in captivity today. For the honor of those who
died in Southeast Asia as well as the honor of our country itself, those
live Americans must be brought home.