SIMPSON, MAX COLEMAN
Name: Max Coleman Simpson
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: 155th Transportation Company, 5th Transportation Battalion, 1st
Date of Birth: 28 March 1944 (Amarillo TX)
Home City of Record: Carlsbad NM
Date of Loss: 24 January 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 122946N 1090827E (CP080280)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: At 1400 hours on January 24, 1967, PFC Max C. Simpson went
swimming with a group of enlisted men at Special Services beach at Cam Ranh
Bay. After the group began to swim, it was noticed that Simpson was having a
difficult time and was unable to make it to shore. One man swam out to
assist him but the current and undertow caused both men to be thrown up
against the rocks and the two were separated.
Another man attempted to throw a life raft to Simpson, but because of the
wind, was not successful. Simpson went under the water and came to the
surface several times before finally going under and staying down.
Air/Sea search and surface search by boat was conducted. The boat was forced
to turn back to shore because of turbulant water. Divers were sent to search
that day and the two succeeding days, but rough water prevented them from
reaching the point where Simpson was last seen. Flood lights were used the
night of the loss to watch for the body in the water and along the
shoreline, but no trace of Max Simpson was ever found.
For Max Simpson, death seems a certainty. For hundreds of others, however,
simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of nearly 10,000
reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the certain
knowledge that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war were not
released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be prisoners, and
still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers when last seen
alive. Many were known to have survived their loss incidents, only to
disappear without a trace.
The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.
Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to
bring these men home from Southeast Asia?