DeCAIRE, JACK LEONARD
Name: Jack Leonard DeCaire
Rank/Branch: E6/US Army
Unit: HHC, 1st TC Battaion, USNS Corpus Christi Bay, 34th General Support
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
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: 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
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
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. 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?