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 2020.

Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)


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.




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On October 17, 1968, an OH-6A Cayuse (tail number 67-16224) took off from the destroyer USS Eversole (DD-789) with three crew members and one passenger on a support mission off the coast of South Vietnam. After taking off from the Eversole, the helicopter crashed into the water for unknown reasons. Search and rescue teams arrived at the crash site and rescued two members of the Cayuse’s crew. A few days later, the remains of the third crew member were found on a beach some distance from the crash site. The Cayuse's passenger was not recovered following the incident.

Specialist 5 James Phillip Mason, who joined the U.S. Army from Illinois, was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He was the passenger aboard the Cayuse when it went down, and he remains unaccounted for following the incident. Today, Specialist 5 Mason 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.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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