Remains Returned 11/2011

Name: David Earl Lemcke
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: B Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Artillery, 108th Artillery Group
Date of Birth: 28 July 1947
Home City of Record: Hilton NY
Date of Loss: 21 May 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 165608N 1070748E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Refno: 1185
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

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:  SSgt. David Lemcke was assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th
Artillery, 108th Artillery Group at Outpost A1 in Quang Tri Province, South
Vietnam. He was a rifleman for his unit.

On May 21, 1968, Lemcke was  in a personnel bunker with four other
individuals. One of the men was cleaning a weapon when it accidentally
discharged into a box of illumination grenades.  Two of the five men were
near the entrance of the bunker and were able to escape to safety.  The
bunker burned extensively, and there were numerous explosions from the large
amount of ammunition store there. No remains were ever found that could be
identified or related to Lemcke.

Lemcke is listed with honor among the missing because his remains were never
found and returned to the country he served.  His case seems 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

When the war ended, and 591 Americans were released in Operation Homecoming
in 1973, military experts expressed their dismay that "some hundreds" of
POWs did not come home with them.  Since that time, thousands of reports
have been received, indicating that many Americans are still being held
against their will in Southeast Asia.  Whether Lemcke is among them is not
at all likely. What is certain, however, is that if only one American
remains alive in enemy hands, we owe him our best effort to bring him home.




Local soldier’s remains return home to Hilton

Posted at: 11/09/2011 9:11 AM | Updated at: 11/09/2011 7:50 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com

The remains of a soldier missing in action for 40 years are finally home. Army
Sergeant David Lemcke will finally be laid to rest this weekend.

Lemcke was listed as missing in action in 1968 in Vietnam.

The Hilton native's remains were flown into the Rochester airport Wednesday
aboard a military jet. Fellow Vietnam veterans escorted his casket......





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On October 12, 2011, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC, now DPAA) identified the remains of Sergeant David Earl Lemcke, missing from the Vietnam War.

Sergeant Lemcke joined the U.S. Army from New York and was a member of the 1st Battalion, 40th Artillery Regiment. On May 21, 1968, he was in a bunker in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, when a fire broke out due to an accidental weapon discharge. Sergeant Lemcke was killed in the fire, and immediate searches of the site were unable to locate his remains. From 1993 to 2011, joint U.S. and Vietnamese search teams investigated the bunker site after clearing the area of unexploded ordnance. Excavations at the site recovered human remains that, in 2011, were identified as those of SGT Lemcke. 

Sergeant Lemcke is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.