LANCASTER, KENNETH RAY
Name: Kenneth Ray Lancaster
Rank/Branch: SP4/US Army
Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Company, LRRP, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 24 June 1946 (Washington DC)
Home City of Record: Silver Springs MD
Date of Loss: 03 January 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 122655N 1085844E (BP804769)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
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.
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
SYNOPSIS: SP4 Kenneth R. Lancaster was a team leader assigned to
Headquarters & Headquarters Company Long Range Reconnaissance Platoon (LRRP)
of the 9th Infantry Division. On January 3, 1968, Lancasters LRRP team was
being extracted by helicopter from a designated pickup point in Khan Hoa
Province, South Vietnam, near the city of Duc My.
About one minute after takeoff, a member of the team saw SP4 Lancaster
hanging onto the right skid of the aircraft as the aircraft continued to
gain altitude. The pilot was informed and requested to land. When it became
evident that the pilot was not able to land due to rough terrain, immediate
efforts were made to lower a rope. However, before the rescue attempt could
be made, Lancaster fell from the skid of the aircraft while the helicopter
was at an altitude of 1000 to 1500 feet above the ground.
The area in which Lancaster fell had heavy vegetation and a triple canopy
jungle, creating a slim possibility that the trees and heavy vegetation may
have broken Lancaster's fall to some degree. The area was searched that day
and again on January 7 and January 8 by American and indigenous platoons
Efforts to conduct a thorough search were limited because no one was able to
pinpoint the precise location where Lancaster fell, and the area was under
heavy enemy patrol. It was felt that there was a very high probability that
the enemy knew the fate of SP4 Lancaster, alive or dead.
Kenny is one of nearly 2500 Americans still missing, prisoner or unaccounted
for in Southeast Asia. Reports relating to these Americans continue to
mount, and many authorities believe there are hundreds still alive in
captivity today. The Vietnamese deny knowledge of Americans in Southeast
Asia, and the U.S. Government only acknowledges the "possibility" that some
It would be nothing short of miraculous if Kenny Lancaster survived falling
1000 feet into the jungle, but his family cannot mourn until it is known for
certain that he is dead. They know someone has the answers. It is
devastating to consider that he may have survived to know he was abandoned
to the enemy.