DAYTON, JAMES LESLIE
Name: James Leslie Dayton
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: 281st Aviation Co., 10th Aviation Btn 17th Aviation Group, 1st
Date of Birth: 23 February 1947
Home City of Record: Granite City IL
Date of Loss: 08 May 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155517N 1073857E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: George T. Condrey; Robert E. Jenne; Daniel E.
Jureck (all 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.
REMARKS: EXPLODE - N SIGN SUBJ OR CRASH - J
SYNOPSIS: George Condrey, pilot, James Dayton, aircraft commander, Daniel
Jurecko, crewchief and Robert Jenne, crewman were on a combat support
mission 35 nautical miles southwest of Da Nang on May 8, 1968.
During the mission, the helicopter was completing a turn from the east to
the west when it exploded in midair and plunged into the Buong River bank.
The violent midair explosion of the aircraft indicated that it had been hit
by an explosive projectile.
Shortly after the incident, recovery personnel landed in the vicinity of the
crash, but were unable to find any signs of life. On 12 May a ground patrol
located the remains of 4 bodies. Two bodies were found in the wreckage, one
along side, and one was 2 meters forward of the aircraft. All bodies were
burned beyond recognition. Due to enemy activity and the badly deteriorated
state of the remains, the remains were not recovered.
All personnel aboard were classified as killed, body not recovered. They
are among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam
war. They are among the dead because evidence exists that they did not
survive. They are listed among the missing because no formal identification
of remains was made.
Although it would appear unlikely that the crew of that UH1C helicopter
survived, other cases are not so clear. Many of the missing were known to
be alive at the time they disappeared. Some were photographed in captivity.
Yet the Vietnamese deny knowledge of them, and the U.S. seems unable or
unwilling to do what it takes to account for them.
With reports mounting that hundreds of Americans are still alive in prison
camps in Southeast Asia waiting for the country they proudly served to bring
them home, the phrase "Peace With Honor" has little meaning.