Name: Joel Corona
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company C, Group Command, USA SUP COM CRB, 1st Logistical Command
Date of Birth: 21 August 1949
Home City of Record: Pharr TX
Date of Loss: 08 November 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 115309N 1091635E (CP123144)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Boat (some lists say ground)
Refno: 1674
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: PFC Joel Corona was assigned to Company C, Group Command, U.S.
Army Support Command at Cam Ranh Bay. On November 8, 1970, PFC Joel Corona
was off duty and decided to go swimming with friends at a hidden cove south
of Howell Beach in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam.

When a piece of styrofoam the group was using went into the water near a
reef, PFC Corona started to retrieve it. He was not a good swimmer, and one
of his friends warned him not to go after it. However, PFC Corona entered
the water and was hit by a wave which pushed him out into the cove. He
called for help, and several individuals attempted to rescue him without
success. He went under water and was floating face down in the water.

A medical team arrived and attempted to recover his body, but were
unsuccessful because of the turbulent condition of the water. PFC Corona's
body was last seen about 125 yards from the mouth of the cove being washed
out to sea. An extensive air, land and sea search was conducted without

Corona's is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever
people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of war is
tragically ironic. He is listed among the missing with honor, because his
body was never found to be returned to the country he served.

Others who are missing do not have such clear cut cases. Some were known
captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were
in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared.

Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those
who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several
million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to
agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Distracters say it would be
far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive
home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains.

Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by
1989.  Most of them are still classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe,
the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are
alive, why are they not home?




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Private First Class Joel Corona, who joined the U.S. Army from Texas, was a member of Company C, Support Command, 1st Logistical Command at Cam Ranh Bay. On November 8, 1970, he went swimming with his comrades at a cove south of Howell Beach, Cam Ranh, South Vietnam. While swimming, a wave pulled him further out into the cove. Private First Class Corona called for help, and several individuals attempted to rescue him without success. He was then pulled under, and was seen floating face down in the water, not moving. A medical team arrived and attempted to retrieve the body, but the turbulent conditions of the water made recovery impossible. Private First Class Corona’s body was last seen drifting out to sea in the vicinity of (GC) CP 123 144. An extensive search for his remains was unsuccessful. Today, Private First Class Corona 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 Non-recoverable.

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