SWITZER, JERROLD ALLEN
Name: Jerrold Allen Switzer
Rank/Branch: E2/US Marine Corps
Unit: 1st CAG, 3rd Marine Amphibious Force
Date of Birth: 31 October 1946
Home City of Record: Paris IL
Date of Loss: 18 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 152302N 1084649E (BT618019)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Air mattress
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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: On March 18, 1968, PFC Jerrold A. Switzer tried to save the lives
of Vietnamese children who were being swept out to sea, and was himself
drowned. He was in South Vietnam, in the Quang Ngai River in the province of
the same name. Whether the children were saved is not noted in public
Switzer's is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever
people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of war is
tragically ironic. He is listed among the missing with honor, because his
body was never found to be returned to the country he served. His family,
though grieved to lose him, is undoubtedly very proud of him.
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. Distracters 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?