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.


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.





On March 13, 1968, a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number 67-17254) carrying four crew members and six passengers was conducting a round-trip logistics flight from Camp Evans to Phu Bai Air Base, South Vietnam. On the return leg, three to five miles southeast of Camp Evans, the helicopter was hit by enemy ground fire, which subsequently forced its landing. After the landing, five of the ten individuals proceeded on foot in the direction of Camp Evens and arrived safely; however, the remaining five formed a security perimeter around the downed aircraft and were immediately involved in a heavy firefight with the enemy. In a later search of the area, U.S. forces recovered the remains of two men from a shallow grave, but the other three members were missing.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jimmy Lee Watson, who joined the U.S. Army from North Carolina, served with Company A, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Division. He was the pilot of the helicopter that was forced down, and remained with the security detail at the helicopter. CW2 Watson is believed to have been killed in the subsequent enemy attack. His remains have not been recovered. After the incident, the Army promoted Chief Warrant 2 Watson to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3. Today, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Watson is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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Service Members Associated with CW3 WATSON's Loss