LEAVER, JOHN MURRAY JR.
Name: John Murray Leaver, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O5/US Navy
Unit: Operations Officer, Commander Cruiser Destroyer Group, 7th Fleet
Date of Birth: 17 August 1933 (Boston MA)
Home City of Record: Arlington MA
Date of Loss: 08 May 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 182105N 1075959E (AL170315)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: Edmund B. Taylor , Chief of Staff, missing,
Rear Admiral Rembrandt C. Robinson, KIA/BR.
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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 2020
SYNOPSIS: Commander John M. Leaver was assigned as a staff officer to Commander
Cruiser Destroyer Group 7th Fleet. On May 8, 1972, he and Captain Edmund B.
Taylor were passengers aboard a helicopter attempting to make a night landing on
the fantail of the USS PROVIDENCE (CLG-6). The helicopter crashed and fell
Leaver and Taylor were both lost in the crash and their remains were never
located. They are listed with honor among the missing because no remains were
found. Their cases seem quite clear.
For others who are listed missing, however, 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.
Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing or otherwise unaccounted for in Vietnam.
Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports concerning Americans still prisoner,
missing or otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the
U.S. Government. Many experts are completely convinced that hundreds of
Americans are now held captive.
One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of
live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return. Others
place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their
political advantage. Regardless of blame, no living American has returned
through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports
continue to pour in. Are we doing enough to bring these men home?