Name: Deverton Carpenter Cochrane
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army
Unit: 75th Infantry, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 15 December 1948 (Boston MA)
Home City of Record: Brookline MA
Date of Loss: 17 June 1970
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 121833N 1071134E (YU386618)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: Carl J. Laker (missing)
Refno: 1634

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 2006 with
information provided by Chuck Coffin, H Company (Ranger) 75th Infantry
(Airborne) 1969-1970.  2020


SYNOPSIS: On June 16, 1970, SSgt. Deverton C. Cochran was team leader and
SP4 Carl J. Laker the assistant team leader of a reconnaissance team from
Company H, 75th Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division on an area search mission in

1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry was an aerial reconnaissance cavalry squadron
operating with an aero-scout ("white") platoon; aero-weapons ("red")
platoon, and an aero-rifle ("blue") platoon. The squadron also had a ground
cavalry element. Cochrane is listed as attached to "75th Infantry, 1st
Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division."  Laker, however, is listed as
assigned to Company H of the 75th Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division, which is a
Ranger unit.

Cochrane was the Ranger Team Leader, and had been with the Rangers for a
couple months.  Although he was a Staff Sergeant, he rank had been earned
stateside, he was not particularly experienced in Ranger missions.  Laker
was the Assistant Team Leader.

The 75th Infantry ("Merrill's Marauders") had only been organized the
beginning of 1969 to provide a parent unit for the separate long-range
reconnaissance patrol companies (LRRP). Ranger companies in Vietnam were
particularly elite.

The team was operating just inside Cambodia in Mondol Kiri Province due east
of the South Vietnam city of Dak Song. After a successful infiltration, the
team set up in the vicinity to conduct a trail watch and to establish a
night defensive position.

The next morning, the team moved out to conduct reconnaissance until 1535
hours when, upon entering a wood line, the team leader was fired upon by
enemy troops. Members of the team saw the team leader fall holding his neck
and loin. SP4 Laker tried to crawl forward to assist, and fell on top of
another member of the team who later reported that Laker had been hit above
the left eye, gravely wounded.

The team finally managed to break contact and one member was able to evade
the enemy and return to friendly lines. An extensive search was made of the
battle area for several days, but only 2 wounded members of the team were
rescued. There was no trace of Cochrane or Laker.

Although the Ranger missions were hazardous, few remain missing from them.
Laker was classified as Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered because the
extent of his injuries were known, and they were serious. Cochrane's
injuries, on the other hand, could not be assessed, and it was felt there
was the possibility of survival and ultimate capture. Cochrane was
classified Missing in Action.

Laker and Cochrane are among nearly 2500 Americans still prisoner, missing
or unaccount for from the Vietnam war. Some, like Carl Laker, are
undoubtedly dead. Others were certainly not dead, but in good health the
last they were seen. Still others were seen as prisoners or even
photographed, only to disappear from the prison system.

Unlike "MIAs" from other wars, most of the missing from Vietnam can be
accounted for, if Vietnam chooses to do so. Based on thousands of refugee
reports, most authorities now believe that hundreds of Americans are still
alive today, held against their will. For the honor of those who died, and
for the honor of our country, these men must be brought home.




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On June 16, 1970, a five-man U.S. Army Ranger reconnaissance team deployed from Fire Support Base (FSB) David in Cambodia on an area search mission (vicinity of 48P YU 381 611; Indian 1960 datum). A helicopter inserted the team into the area and they spent the night in a defensive position. The next morning, the team began their search, discovered an enemy bunker and engaged in a firefight with enemy soldiers. The team leader was killed during the action, and the assistant team leader was killed while attempting to reach him. Two other team members were also wounded, and the remaining team member dragged his wounded companions into cover in deep grass and returned to FSB David for help. The following day, a search and rescue (SAR) team managed to extract the two wounded team members, but were unable to locate the team leader and assistant team leader. SAR teams searched for their bodies for the next five days but could not locate them.

Staff Sergeant Deverton Carpenter Cochrane, who joined the U.S. Army from Massachusetts, served with Company H, 75th Infantry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was the leader of the Ranger team who was mortally wounded by enemy fire during this firefight, further attempts to recover his remains were unsuccessful. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Army promoted Staff Sergeant Cochrane to the rank of Sergeant First Class (SFC). Today, Sergeant First Class Cochrane is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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