Name: James D. Hunter
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Company A, 1st Btn, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 20 February 1949
Home City of Record: Portland TN
Date of Loss: 29 October 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163329N 1073955E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Boat
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Refno: 1315

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:  PFC James Hunter was a rifleman assigned to Company A, 1st
Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.  On October 29, 1968, he
and members of his unit were swimming in Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam.
Hunter was on an air mattress and was last seen when a wave swept him from
it, and he disappeared under the water.  A search was conducted for him or
for his body, but was unsuccessful.

For the units assigned on coastal areas, swimming was a great recreation.
The beaches in many parts of Vietnam rival any others in the world.
Unfortunately, there occurred a number of accidental drownings - deaths that
are tragically ironic in the midst of a war.

James Hunter listed with honor among the missing because no remains were
found. His case is quite clear.  For others who are listed missing,
resolution is not as simple.  Many were known to have survived their loss
incident.  Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and
describing an advancing enemy. Some were photographed or recorded in
captivity.  Others simply vanished without a trace.

As reports mount that have convinced experts that hundreds of Americans are
still alive as captives in Southeast Asia, one must think of the frivolity
of tens of thousands of lives spent, and question whether our national honor
can remain intact until and unless all our men are brought home.




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Private First Class James D. Hunter, who joined the U.S. Army from Tennessee, was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. On October 29, 1968, he was swimming with members of his unit at the Colco Beach Recreation Area in the vicinity of (GC) 48Q YD 844 324 in South Vietnam, when a wave overturned the air mattress that he and a companion were riding on. While the other man was pulled onto another mattress, PFC Hunter disappeared under the water. Two lifeguards searched the area where PFC Hunter submerged, but could not locate him. Further helicopter and ground searches of the area found no trace of PFC Hunter. His remains have not been recovered, and he remains unaccounted for. Today, Private First Class Hunter 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.

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