Remains Returned 711108, ID'd 770422

Name: James Joseph Evans
Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 215, USS HANCOCK (CVA-19)
Date of Birth: 09 May 1930
Home City of Record: Valley Falls KS
Date of Loss: 02 April 1965
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 165500N 1055000E (WD861703)
Status (in 1973): Prisoner of War
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H
Refno: 0063
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1990 with the assistance
of 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.

REMARKS: REMS REC 711108, ID'D 770422

SYNOPSIS: Commander James J. Evans was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron
215 onboard the aircraft carrier USS HANCOCK (CVA-19). On April 2, 1965,
while on a reconnaissance mission over Laos, his aircraft was lost, and he
was placed in a Missing in Action Status. He was operating over Savannakhet
Province, about 5 miles southeast of the city of Ban Muong Sen.

At some point following the loss of Cdr. Evans, U.S. intelligence sources
reported that he was captured. Although the information was never confirmed,
Cdr. Evans was reclassified Prisoner of War. The Defense Intelligence Agency
further expanded Evans' classification to include an enemy knowledge ranking
of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect knowledge" and includes personnel who
may have been involved in loss incidents with individuals reported in
Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or who were lost in areas or under
conditions that they may reasonably be expected to be known by the enemy;
who were connected with an incident which was discussed but not identified
by names in enemy news media; or identified (by elimination, but not 100%
positively) through analysis of all-source intelligence.

In November 1971, skeletal remains were returned from Vietnam and
subsequently, the Armed Services Graves Registration Office (ASGRO) Board of
Review approved the identification of the remains on April 22, 1974 as being
those of James Joseph Evans. No explanation is given in public record as to
the nature of the information that was received precipitating Evans'status
change to POW or how Evans died, or when. Even though his 1973 status was
Prisoner of War, the "enemy knowledge" category assigned to him is Category
2, which does not correlate with a known Prisoner of War, but rather of
someone whom it is merely strongly suspected the enemy has knowledge.

The Navy is not required to release more than basic information on American
Navy personnel missing in Southeast Asia. Many of their files, like other
branches of the service, are still classified after many years. The Defense
Intelligence Agency is mandated to classify most of the reports received
(which by the end of 1989 total nearly 10,000) relating to these same men,
except in cases where it is deemed suitable to release this information to
the appropriate family member. Thus, many of the cases of the missing in
Southeast Asia may forever be clouded with doubt, until and unless all
information is publicly available.