Name: Leland Stanford McCants III
Rank/Branch: O2/US Army
Unit: Battery B, 3rd Btn, 34th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 31 October 1948
Home City of Record: Alexandria VA
Date of Loss: 30 December 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 100531N 1062149E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Boat
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Refno: 1352

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:  On December 30, 1968 1Lt. Leland McCants of Battery B, 3rd
Battalion, 34th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division, was an artillery forward
observer with an infantry company from the same division.

During the unit's patrol in Kien Hoa Province, South Vietnam, a river
crossing was required, and during the crossing operation, one of the men
fell into the river.  McCants, in an effort to rescue the man, went after
him and subsequently drowned.  There is no further information on the first

Two rifle companies made intensive ground searches and there were searches
by helicopter along the stream, including the Rach An Binh and Naga Tu Kinh
rivers, but all efforts failed to find McCants or his body.  Villagers were
questioned, but no further information was learned.

Leland McCants 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.

Nearly 2500 Americans remain missing or otherwise unaccounted for in
Vietnam. Since the war ended, over 6000 reports concerning Americans still
alive in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government.  Many
experts are completely convinced that hundreds of Americans are now held

One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of
live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return.  Others
place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their
political advantage.  Regardless of blame, no living American has returned
through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports
continue to pour in.  Are we doing enough to bring these men home?




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First Lieutenant Leland Stanford McCants III entered the U.S. Army from Virginia and served with Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 34th Artillery Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. On December 30, 1968, while serving as an artillery forward observer with an infantry company from the same division, he attempted to go to the aid of another soldier who fell into the water during a river crossing. While trying to rescue this soldier, 1LT McCants drowned. Intensive search efforts by air and ground units failed to locate his body. He remains unaccounted for. Today, First Lieutenant McCants 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 Non-recoverable.

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