LANCASTER, KENNETH RAY Name: Kenneth Ray Lancaster Rank/Branch: SP4/US Army Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, LRRP, 9th Infantry Division Date of Birth: 24 June 1946 (Washington DC) Home City of Record: Silver Springs MD Date of Loss: 03 January 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 122655N 1085844E (BP804769) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Refno: 0961 Source: Compiled 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 in 1998. Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: SP4 Kenneth R. Lancaster was a team leader assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company Long Range Reconnaissance Platoon (LRRP) of the 9th Infantry Division. On January 3, 1968, Lancasters LRRP team was being extracted by helicopter from a designated pickup point in Khan Hoa Province, South Vietnam, near the city of Duc My. About one minute after takeoff, a member of the team saw SP4 Lancaster hanging onto the right skid of the aircraft as the aircraft continued to gain altitude. The pilot was informed and requested to land. When it became evident that the pilot was not able to land due to rough terrain, immediate efforts were made to lower a rope. However, before the rescue attempt could be made, Lancaster fell from the skid of the aircraft while the helicopter was at an altitude of 1000 to 1500 feet above the ground. The area in which Lancaster fell had heavy vegetation and a triple canopy jungle, creating a slim possibility that the trees and heavy vegetation may have broken Lancaster's fall to some degree. The area was searched that day and again on January 7 and January 8 by American and indigenous platoons without success. Efforts to conduct a thorough search were limited because no one was able to pinpoint the precise location where Lancaster fell, and the area was under heavy enemy patrol. It was felt that there was a very high probability that the enemy knew the fate of SP4 Lancaster, alive or dead. Kenny is one of nearly 2500 Americans still missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Reports relating to these Americans continue to mount, and many authorities believe there are hundreds still alive in captivity today. The Vietnamese deny knowledge of Americans in Southeast Asia, and the U.S. Government only acknowledges the "possibility" that some remain. It would be nothing short of miraculous if Kenny Lancaster survived falling 1000 feet into the jungle, but his family cannot mourn until it is known for certain that he is dead. They know someone has the answers. It is devastating to consider that he may have survived to know he was abandoned to the enemy.