THOMPSON, BENJAMIN ARTHUR JR. Name: Benjamin Arthur Thompson Jr. Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Unit: Company D, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division Date of Birth: 24 July 1945 (Satsuma AL) Home City of Record: Saraland AL Date of Loss: 25 October 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 100835N 1062619E (XS576215) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1310 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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: SSGT Benjamin A. Thompson, Jr. was assigned to Company D, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. On October 25, 1968, he was serving in a rifle company in Kien Hoa Province about 5 miles south of Thuc Giang in South Vietnam. Thompson's unit was crossing a stream, and Thompson lost his balance and was caught up by the current. Rescue attempts were made immediately but were unsuccessful. Searches were made downstream on the day of the loss, but Thompson could not be located. On the next two days, aerial searches were made by helicopter, but Thompson was never found. SSGT Thompson is listed among the missing because his body was never found to return to his homeland. For his family, there can be the relative peace of mind that he died. For others of the missing, however, answers are not so simple. For other who are missing the evidence leads not to death, but to survival. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 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.