WHITTLE, JUNIOR LEE Name: Junior Lee Whittle Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: 630th Ordinance Company Date of Birth: 08 November 1947 Home City of Record: Indianapolis IN Date of Loss: 24 September 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 10401N 1092023E Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Swimming Refno: 0469 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 1998. REMARKS: SWIMMING - SO CHINA SEA - DROWN SYNOPSIS: SP4 Junior Lee Whittle was assigned to the 630th Ordinance Company in Vietnam. On September 24, 1966, he and his unit were swimming in an area off Tuy Hoa. Whittle asked another man in his unit to go in with him as he was not a good swimmer. Both men entered the water, and were about 200 feet from shore when Whittle began calling for help. Whittle's friend swam toward him and was only four or five feet from him when Whittle went under the water. By this time, several people from shore were swimming out to them to help. Neither they nor the friend were able to rescue Whittle. Searches were conducted throughout the rest of the day and night using flood lights, helicopters and boats, but Whittle was never found. Junior Lee Whittle is listed among the missing because his body was never found. 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. Detractors 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. Well over 1000 first-hand, eye-witness reports of American prisoners still alive in Southeast Asia have been received by 1990. 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?