Name: Fred Howell McMurray Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Army
Unit: 1st Air Calvary Division
Date of Birth: 16 November 1943
Home City of Record: Charleston SC
Date of Loss: 07 April 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164413N 1064814E (XD925512)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: OH13S
Refno: 1122

Other Personnel In Incident: James J. Powers (rescued)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 March 1991 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: At 1600 hours on April 7, 1968, 1Lt. McMurray was the pilot of an
OH13S helicopter, tail number 63-9084, with one observer/door gunner, Sgt.
James J. Powers. The aircraft departed the 1st Air Cavalry Division base at
Landing Zone Stud with an AH1G armed helicopter escort for a reconnaissance
mission in the support of an operation. 1Lt. McMurray was flying low-level
when he reported seeing several recently-repaired weapons positions and
freshly used trails.

1Lt. McMurray marked the location with a smoke grenade to allow the AH1G to
identify and fire rockets on the target. He also reported sighting NVA
soldiers, whom he engaged. The escort helicopter continued to place
suppresive fire in the area, and transmitted a request for a rifle platoon
which was launched and was over the area in about 15 minutes. During the
fighting, 1Lt. McMurray's aircraft received enemy fire, began burning in
flight, and crashed. Sgt. Powers, badly burned, was recovered some distance
from the aircraft, but McMurray was not.

At that time, efforts to locate McMurray were thwarted by the intense heat
from the burning aircraft. The next day search teams could find no trace of
him. However, one American boot-print was seen, along with McMurray's chest
protector and helmet. Because there was not trace of him in the helicopter,
his family believes there is every reason to believe he was captured.

McMurray is among nearly 2500 Americans still prisoner, missing or otherwise
unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. When the war ended and 591 Americans
were released in 1973, military experts expressed their dismay that "some
hundreds" of POWs were not. Since that time, thousands of reports have been
received, indicating that many Americans are still being held against their
will in Southeast Asia. Whether McMurray is among them is not known. 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.

Fred McMurray attended Porter Military Academy and graduated from Clemson
University in 1966.




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On April 7, 1968, an OH-13S Sioux (tail number 63-9084) departed the 1st Cavalry Division base at Landing Zone Stud along with an escort helicopter for a reconnaissance mission in support of an operation. During the mission, the pilot of the Sioux reported seeing enemy automatic weapons positions and freshly used trails near (GC) XD 925 512. The Sioux marked the area with a smoke grenade to allow the escort helicopter to fire rockets on the target, as well as attack enemy troops spotted blow. During the fighting, the Sioux was hit by enemy fire and began burning in flight before it crashed. After the crash, one of the crew members was observed alive near the crash site and was rescued, but the other crew member was still aboard the helicopter when the remaining munitions on board caught fire and exploded. Several passes were made over the crash site but found no evidence that the other crew member survived.

First Lieutenant Fred Howell McMurray entered the U.S. Army from South Carolina and served in Troop B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was the pilot of the Sioux when it was shot down, and was still aboard the aircraft when the wreckage caught fire. The surviving crew member reported that he suspected there was very little chance that 1LT McMurray survived the incident, and search teams that investigated the crash site found no sign of him or his remains. Further attempts to locate him were unsuccessful. Following the incident, the Army promoted 1LT McMurray to the rank of Captain (CPT). Today, Captain McMurray is Memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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