Name: Freddie Kemp
Rank/Branch: E2/US Army
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 15 November 1944
Home City of Record: New York NY
Date of Loss: 17 August 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 133726N 1073504E (YA998114)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
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.
SYNOPSIS: PVT Freddie Kemp and his unit were on patrol in Pleiku Province,
South Vietnam, when they were required to cross the Ia Drang River on a log
at grid coordinates YA 998 114. The Ia Drang is a swift, dangerous river and
is located in an area that was heavily infiltrated by enemy forces.
PVT Kemp accidentally slipped off the log 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. In three days, another of the 1st Cavalry, PFC James R. Johnson
would also lose his life in the river, very near this location.
Kemp 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 war.
While Kemp'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 Kemp is one of them, but experts believe there are hundreds
of Americans waiting for their country to bring them home - alive.