MASON, JAMES PHILIP Name: James Philip Mason Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Unit: HHC, 1st Btn, 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborn Division Date of Birth: 09 October 1949 Home City of Record: DeKalb IL Date of Loss: 17 October 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 162306N 1075804E Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A Refno: 1305 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 1998. Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: On October 17, 1968, SP5 James Mason, passenger; WO1 Ralph O. Daugherty, pilot; Lcpl. Dan R. Moore and Sgt. Robert D. Ashman, observers; were flying onboard an OH6A aircraft, tail numberr 67-16224, on a support mission off the coast of South Vietnam. The helicopter had landed on the USS Eversole to pick up SP5 Mason to return him to his unit. At 1925 hours, the OH6 took off for unknown reasons, and crashed 500 meters from the USS Eversole. Rescue efforts began immediately, recovering Sgt. Ashman and Lcpl. Moore. Ashman and one of the rescuers reported seeing a third man in the water prior to his rescue. Extensive searches failed to locate Mason, but on October 28 the body of WO1 Daugherty was found on the beach in the vicinity some 13 kilometers from the crash site. Mason was never found, nor was any information learned pertaining to him or his fate. DJames Mason is listed with honor among the missing because no remains were found. 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 trace. When the war ended, refugees from the communist-overrun countries of Southeast Asia began to flood the world, bringing with them stories of live GI's still in captivity in their homelands. Since 1975, over 6000 such stories have been received. Many authorities believe that hundreds of Americans are still held in the countries in Southeast Asia. The U.S. Government operates on the "assumption" that one or more men are being held, but that it cannot "prove" that this is the case, allowing action to be taken. Meanwhile, low-level talks between the U.S. and Vietnam proceed, yielding a few sets of remains when it seems politically expedient to return them, but as yet, no living American has returned.