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 Category: 3 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground Refno: 1490 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 1998. REMARKS: 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 age 19. 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.