Name: James Reed Johnson
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: Troop B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 26 March 1948
Home City of Record: Indianapolis IN
Date of Loss: 21 August 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 133730N 1073505E (YA796075)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 0436
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 1998.


SYNOPSIS: PFC James Johnson and his unit were conducting a reconnaissance
mission in Pleiku Province, South Vietnam, when they were required to cross
the Ia Drang River on a rope bridge at grid coordinates YA 796 075. The Ia
Drang is a swift, dangerous river and is located in an area that was heavily
infiltrated by enemy forces.

PFC Johnson accidentally fell from the bridge and was swept away by the
river. All attempts to rescue him failed, and searches along the river banks
were unsuccessful. The current in the river was so swift that water searches
were impossible. Three days before, another of the 1st Cavalry, Pvt. Freddie
Kemp, also lost his life in the river, very near this location.

Johnson is thought to have died in the Ia Drang River that day, and was
placed in the category of Killed/Body Not Recovered. He is listed among the
missing because his body was not found to return to the country he served.
He is among nearly 2500 Americans whose fates are unknown from the Vietnam

While Johnson's case seems clear enough, details of the loss of others who
are missing do not lead to a conclusion of death but to a conclusion of
survival. Since the war ended, thousands of reports have been received
relating to Americans still held captive in Southeast Asia.

It is unlikely Johnson is one of them, but experts believe there are
hundreds of Americans waiting for their country to bring them home - alive.