McMURRAY, FRED HOWELL JR.
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
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.