PAUL, JAMES LEE Name: James Lee Paul Rank/Branch: W1/US Army Unit: Troop D, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division Date of Birth: 13 October 1948 (Detroit MI) Home City of Record: Riverview MI Date of Loss: 05 February 1971 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 164031N 1064457E (XD865443) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: AH1G Refno: 1699 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) 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. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: WO1 James L. Paul, co-pilot,and WO1 Carl M. Wood, pilot, were flying a Cobra gunship (tail #66-15340) on an extraction mission on February 5, 1971, in the general vicinity of Khe Sanh, Military Region 1, South Vietnam. Shortly after the start of the extraction, WO1 Paul's aircraft entered a heavy cloud cover which forced the pilot to go on instruments to climb out of the weather. It was during the climb that the Cobra impacted a mountainside and exploded. Aircraft accompanying the Cobra immediately began a visual reconnaissance of the area and sighted the crash. Ground search teams were inserted and a 50 meter area surrounding the crash was searched. The search indicated there had been a violent explosion upon impact. WO1 Wood's remains were recovered from the wreckage of the aircraft. Weather delayed further search until February 10, 1971, during which a baseball cap containing Paul`s name, a watch, part of a ring and map and a chinstrap were found 1 meter from the wreckage. The team also discovered an unidentifiable hand under the wreckage. Search was discontinued, and from all indications, it was determined that Paul was dead. WO1 Paul is listed among the missing because his remains were never found. For his family, his fate seems clear. For others missing, conclusions cannot be so easily drawn. Many were known to have been prisoner of war, or last seen alive. Others disappeared without a trace. Since the war ended, thousands of reports have been received relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia, and many authorities believe there are hundreds still alive in captivity. While Paul may not be one of them, one can imagine him willingly flying one more mission to bring them to freedom.