Name: John Harvey Hoeffs
Rank/Branch:  E4/US Army
Unit: Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 25 February 1946
Home City of Record: Oceanside CA
Date of Loss: 28 November 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 131622N 1091848E (CQ173678)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: water
Refno: 0530
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 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 2020.


SYNOPSIS: SP4 John H. Hoeffs was a rifleman with Company A, 1st Battalion,
8th Infantry, 4th Infantry division. On November 28, 1966, Hoeffs was
swimming with members of his unit in the vicinity of grid CQ 173 678 (about
10 miles north of the city of Tuy Hoa in Phy Yen Province, South Vietnam),
when a large wave came in and swept several individuals out to sea.

All the individuals were able to get back to shore except for SP4 Hoeffs. A
helicopter was used to search off shore and along the shoreline for him, but
he was never found, nor were any remains recovered.

Hoeffs' is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever
people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of 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. Detractors 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
1990. 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?





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Specialist 4 John Harvey Hoeffs entered the U.S. Army from California and was a rifleman with Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. On November 28, 1966, he was swimming with members of his unit in South Vietnam, when large waves came in and swept SP4 Hoeffs and several of the men out to sea. All the other individuals managed to return to shore, but SP4 Hoeffs did not. A search was conducted offshore for SP4 Hoeffs but was unsuccessful, and his remains were not recovered. Today, Specialist 4 Hoeffs is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Non-recoverable.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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