MCCONNELL, JERRY

Name: Jerry McConnell
Rank/Branch: E2/US Army
Unit: 625th Supply & Services Co., 266th SS Btn, 29th General Support Group
Date of Birth: 02 January 1947
Home City of Record: Jamaica NY
Date of Loss: 24 September 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 165408N 1071156E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Boat
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Refno: 1288

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:

SYNOPSIS:  Pvt. Jerry McConnell, 625th Supply and Services Company, was
working on a reefer barge moored in th Cua Viet River on September 24, 1968.
After finishing work, he and several other personnel decided to swim from
the barge to he beach, which was about 50 yards away.

The group entered the water, and Pvt. McConnell yelled at some friends who
were already on the beach, swam in a circle and went down.  He surfaced
once, and a sailor threw a life preserver to him, but he apparently did not
see it. Another sailor, who was a frogman immediately went down looking for
him. A short while later, a surface search was made by 2 river patrol boats
and a diver, but without success.

Jerry McConnell is listed among the missing because his remains were never
found to send home to the country he served.  He died a tragically ironic
death in the midst of war.  But, for his family, the case seems clear that
he died on that day.  The fact that they have no body to bury with honor is
not of great significance.

For other who are missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to
survival.  Since the war ended, over 8000 reports received relating to
Americans still held captive in Indochina have convinced experts that
hundreds of men are still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them.
The notion that Americans are dying without hope in the hands of a long-ago
enemy belies the idea that we left Vietnam with honor.  It also signals that
tens of thousands of lost lives were a frivolous waste of our best men.