CORNTHWAITE, THOMAS GUY
Name: Thomas Guy Cornthwaite
Unit: Decca Navigation Systems, Inc.
Date of Birth:
Home City of Record: Britain
Date of Loss: 05 November 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 112151N 1085258E (BN690570)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Other Personnel in Incident: James E. Simpson (captured)
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.
SYNOPSIS: Thomas G. Cornthwaite, a British civilian, and James E. Simpson, a
U.S. civilian, were both employees of Decca Navigation Systems, Inc. On
November 5, 1968, as they were riding in a jeep on Highway 1 about 20 miles
south-southwest of Phan Rang on the border of Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan
Provinces in South Vietnam, the two men were captured.
According to a rallier who participated in the capture, Simpson and
Cornthwaite were captured by elements of the tax collection unit. Both men
reportedly made an escape attempt a few days later and were killed by
personnel of an unidentified commo-liaison unit in Binh Thuan Province.
Even though the two civilians were captives and killed by the Vietnamese,
the Vietnamese have made no attempt to return their bodies to U.S. control.
For over 20 years, dead or alive, these men have been prisoners of war.
For Simpson and Cornthwaite, death seems a certainty. For hundreds of
others, however, simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of
nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the
certain knowledge that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war
were not released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be
prisoners, and still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers
when last seen alive. Many were known to have survived their loss incidents,
only to disappear without a trace.
The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.
Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say when called to serve if we are unable
to bring these men home from Southeast Asia?