PATTON, WARD KARL Name: Ward Karl Patton Rank/Branch: E6/US Navy Unit: Commander Naval Support Activity SGN Detachment YRBM-18 Date of Birth: 18 January 1934 (Louisburg KS) Home City of Record: Fontana KS Date of Loss: 27 July 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 101648N 1060823E (XS248365) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: YRBM-18 Refno: 1239 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 1990 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 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: Petty Officer Ware E. Patton was assigned to Commander Naval Support Activity SGN Detachment, YRBM-18. On July 27, 1968, while his boat was anchored in the upper My Tho River near the Cho Lach District Town, South Vietnam, Petty Officer Patton and another crew member were returning from another craft at about 10:30 p.m. The other crew member was holding a flashlight to light the way when suddenly Petty Officer Patton missed his footing and disappeared from sight. The current in this river was very swift. The crew member went to the spot where Patton had disappeared, but found nothing. He then notified the ship and an alarm sounded immediately. All forces in the area were alerted to assist in the search. An extensive search was conducted along the My Tho and Ham Luong Rivers as well as along the river banks. No evidence of Petty Officer Patton was found. Patton is listed with honor among the Americans still prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia because his body was never recovered. Others who are missing do not have such clear cut cases. Some were known captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared. Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Distractors say it would be far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains. Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by 1989. Most of them are still classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are they not home?