HARRISON, LARRY GENE Remains Recovered - see below
Name: Larry Gene Harrison Rank/Branch: E6/US Army Unit: Troop B, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division Date of Birth: 03 January 1948 Home City of Record: Williamston NC Date of Loss: 26 February 1971 Country of Loss: Cambodia Loss Coordinates: 115938N 1055053E (WU923259) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A Refno: 1709
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 1998.
Other Personnel in Incident: Jon E. Swanson (missing)
SYNOPSIS: Jon Swanson was the pilot of an OH6A with Larry Harrison as observer on a visual reconnaissance mission, while providing close air support to an ambushed ARVN convoy in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.
When the aircraft was flying at a low altitude marking enemy positions, it came under fire from two machine guns and was seen to burst into flames and crash. Another helicopter landed near the site, but was forced to take off when it came under heavy enemy fire. Repeated attempts by both ARVN ground troops and U.S. helicopters to reach the downed helicopter were thwarted by enemy fire.
On February 27, U.S. helicopters returned to the area and saw what they believed to be two remains near the crash site. As late as March 7, the remains were observed near the crash site, but could not be recovered due to enemy fire.
It was a common practice for communist troops to leave "bait" to lure other aircraft hoping to rescue downed aircrews into a hostile area. Because of the enemy presence in the area of the downed aircraft, it is possible that the bodies of Swanson and Harrison were used in this manner. Regardless, the U.S. Government believes that the enemy knows the fate of the two.
Fifteen years after the war ended, the Cambodian government let it be known that they had the remains of nearly 100 Americans. Unfortunately, the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with Cambodia and would not officially respond. Although several U.S. Congressmen have attempted to recover the remains of these Americans, the government of Cambodia clearly wishes an official request from the U.S. Government, which it is unwilling to give.
It is not thought that Americans captured by the Cambodian communists were allowed to survive, but were instead executed. As Vietnamese troops also coursed through Cambodia, as in Laos, however, a significant number of these downed pilots and crew might have been captured by the Vietnamese, thus escaping the post-war holocost caused by the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
The governments of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have been less than forthcoming in response to reports that they still hold American prisoners. The U.S. has been unwilling or unable to obtain the freedom of any living prisoners since the war ended.
============================= National League of Families 02/20/2002
AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR: According to the Department of Defense, there are now 1,942 Americans still missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. The remains of air Force COL William C. Coltman of PA, missing in Laos since September 29, 1972, were jointly recovered and repatriated on August 28, 2000. The remains of LtCol Lawrence G. Evert, USAF, from WY, missing since November 8, 1967, were jointly recovered during successive field operations beginning February 9, 2000. The remains of Navy LT Gene R. Gollahon of OH, missing in Vietnam since August 13, 1965, were jointly recovered April 26, 2000. The remains of Army Jon E. Swanson of CO and S/SGT Larry G. Harrison of NC, both Killed-in-Action/Body-Not Recovered February 26, 1971, were jointly recovered in Cambodia on July 1, 1992. In addition, one Air Force officer, previously missing in North Vietnam, was accounted for through identification of remains recovered during several field operations beginning in January, 1997. No public announcement has yet been made, though it is hoped that will soon occur. Of the total unaccounted for, 1,464 are in Vietnam, 410 in Laos, 60 in Cambodia and 8 in the territorial waters of the PRC. Over 90% of all Vietnam War missing were lost in Vietnam or areas under its wartime control