CLINE, CURTIS RAY
Name: Curtis Roy Cline
Rank/Branch: E2/US Army
Unit: Company D, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 29 July 1949 (Coldwater MI)
Home City of Record: Burlington MI
Date of Loss: 18 September 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 142527N 1074950E (ZA048697)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: Curtis Cline joined the Army in January 1969. He wanted to
complete his obligation to his country then pursue his education. After his
training at Fort Lewis, Washington, he was sent to Vietnam in May, 1969, at
Curtis Cline, according to his mother, "wanted so much to be free" that he
volunteered to take a vacancy in Company D, 12 Infantry because, he said,
"I'll get home one day sooner than the others."
On September 18, 1969, PFC Cline was serving as a rifleman in Comnpany D,
when his unit was attempting to make a river crossing in South Vietnam.
(Note: State Department records list this loss in Pleiku Province as do JCRC
records; however, Defense Department coordinates place the location on the
Se San River in Kontum province, about 15 miles north of Pleiku Province.)
PFC Cline was the second man with combat gear to cross. When he reached a
point about mid-stream, he got water in his mouth, and released the vine
being used as a hand-hold. The swift current carried him a few meters
downstream, where he caught hold of a safety line. In his attempt to release
his rucksack and equipment, he began to splash vigorously, and seemed to be
in a state of panic.
Two members of the platoon immediately entered the water in an attempt to
reach him, but were unsuccessful. One of the men got caught in a whirlpool,
and the other was within 10 meters of him when PFC Cline went under water
and was never seen again.
Other members of the unit went downstream along the banks of the river, but
lost sight of PFC Kleine. An extensive search was begun, including the use
of observation helicopters and infantry troops. After one week, the search
was terminated with no success.
Cline was in Pleiku province, South Vientam, when he was reported Missing in
Action. There are nearly 2500 Americans who remain missing in Southeast
Asia. Reports continue to mount that some are still alive, held captive
against their will.
Curtis Cline's family would like to know whether he is dead or alive. The
Vietnamese, according to the Peace agreement signed in Paris in 1973, would
release all American prisoners of war and account for the missing. They
have not done so. The U.S. Government has named the return and accounting
of Americans "highest national priority", yet has dealt with the issue with
less than "high priority."
Cline and the others deserve the full effort of their country to bring them
home. They are running out of time. We are running out of honor. They
deserve the full effort of their country to bring them home.