WATSON, JIMMY LEE
Name: Jimmy Lee Watson Rank/Branch: W2/US Army Unit: Troop A, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry; 1st Cavalry Division Date of Birth: 28 July 1946 Home City of Record: Lucamo NC (Local residents say correct spelling is LUCAMA> Date of Loss: 13 March 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 163650N 1072618E (YD601383) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1B Refno: 1085
Other Personnel In Incident: Cleveland Evans; Steven Heitman (both missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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 2012.
SYNOPSIS: On March 13, 1968, SP5 Heitman, Sgt. Evans, passengers, WO Jimmy Watson, pilot, SFC Eugene Gubbins, PFC Larry Moore and 1st LT Robert Charles Perda, crewmembers and 4 unidentified passengers of the 101st Airborne Division were aboard a UH1H helicopter (tail #67-17254) which proceeded north from Phu Bai airfield on a logistics mission to Camp Evans, Republic of Vietnam.
About 3-5 miles southeast of Camp Evans, the helicopter was hit by enemy fire and was forced to land. All 10 persons exited the aircraft and split into two 5-man teams in an attempt to evade to friendly lines.
1st LT Robert Charles Perda and the four 101st Airborne personnel walked into Camp Evans at 2000 hours. An intensive search was initiated, but failed to reveal any trace of the aircraft or the 5 missing. On March 28, elements of the 1st Cavalry Division found 2 bodies in a shallow grave in the area of the crash site. They were later identified as those of SFC Gubbins and PFC Moore. The fates of the other 3 remained a mystery and the three were classified Missing in Action.
Since the war ended, thousands of reports have convinced many authorities that hundreds of Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia. The three survivors of the helicopter crash on March 13, 1968 could be among them. They also could be dead. Until the U.S. seriously pursues his fate, we may not know with certainty what happened to Jimmy Watson.