MCCANTS, LELAND STANFORD III

Name: Leland Stanford McCants III
Rank/Branch: O2/US Army
Unit: Battery B, 3rd Btn, 34th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 31 October 1948
Home City of Record: Alexandria VA
Date of Loss: 30 December 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 100531N 1062149E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Boat
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Refno: 1352

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.

REMARKS: DROWNED IN RIVER CROSSING

SYNOPSIS:  On December 30, 1968 1Lt. Leland McCants of Battery B, 3rd
Battalion, 34th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division, was an artillery forward
observer with an infantry company from the same division.

During the unit's patrol in Kien Hoa Province, South Vietnam, a river
crossing was required, and during the crossing operation, one of the men
fell into the river.  McCants, in an effort to rescue the man, went after
him and subsequently drowned.  There is no further information on the first
man.

Two rifle companies made intensive ground searches and there were searches
by helicopter along the stream, including the Rach An Binh and Naga Tu Kinh
rivers, but all efforts failed to find McCants or his body.  Villagers were
questioned, but no further information was learned.

Leland McCants is listed with honor among the missing because no remains
were found.  His case seems quite clear.  For others who are listed missing,
resolution is not as simple.  Many were known to have survived their loss
incident.  Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and
describing an advancing enemy.  Some were photographed or recorded in
captivity.  Others simply vanished without a trace.

Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing or otherwise unaccounted for in
Vietnam. Since the war ended, over 6000 reports concerning Americans still
alive in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government.  Many
experts are completely convinced that hundreds of Americans are now held
captive.

One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of
live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return.  Others
place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their
political advantage.  Regardless of blame, no living American has returned
through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports
continue to pour in.  Are we doing enough to bring these men home?