DeCAIRE, JACK LEONARD
Name: Jack Leonard DeCaire Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Unit: HHC, 1st TC Battaion, USNS Corpus Christi Bay, 34th General Support Group Date of Birth: 24 April 1946 (Ashtabula OH) Home City of Record: St. Petersburg FL Date of Loss: 03 November 1971 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 102335N 1070250E (YS241495) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ship Refno: 1777 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 2006.
SYNOPSIS: The 1st Transportation Battalion (Aircraft Maintenance Depot, Seaborne) was a unique augmentation of the U.S. Army helicopter maintenance capability. Based on a converted Navy seaplane tender, the USNS CORPUS CHRISTI BAY, the ship and battalion became a mobile maintenance facility equivalent to a major rebuilding facility. Through such efforts as those of the 1st Transportation Battalion, the U.S. Army was able to maintain helicopters in numbers sufficient to meet the full range of combat operations.
On November 3, 1971, SP6 Jack L. DeCaire and other members of Headquarters Company, 1st TC Battalion returned from pass to Vung Tau, South Vietnam to the USNS CORPUS CHRISTI BAY.
A companion reported that as he and SP6 DeCaire was somewhat intoxicated, they decided to go to the aircraft flight deck to talk. While there, SP6 DeCaire went to the starboard of the ship to relieve himself, and fell overboard. DeCaire's companion saw him in the water and summoned help immediately.
Although a life boat was launched, attempts to locate him in the darkness were unsuccessful. Searches continued for the next 36 hours without ever a sign of SP6 DeCaire.
DeCaire'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 a 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. Governmetn experts cannot seem to agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Distractors 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?