Name: Max Coleman Simpson
Rank/Branch: Private First Class/US Army
Unit: 155th Transportation Company,                                
10th Transportation Battalion 
1st Logistics Command 

Date of Birth: 28 March 1944
Home of Record: Carlsbad, NM
Date of Loss: 24 January 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 122946N 1090827E (CP080280)
Click corrdinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: water 
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS:  On 24 January 1967, PFC Max C. Simpson was off duty and attending a swimming party with 16 other members of his transportation company at the Special Services Beach at Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Province, South Vietnam. After a few minutes others saw PFC Simpson being carried to far out into the bay, struggling to swim against the strong current and calling for help.

One man swam out to assist him, but the current and the undertow caused both men to be thrown against the rocks. Another man attempted to throw a lifeline to Max Simpson, but the wind was too strong and the attempt was unsuccessful. PFC Simpson went under the water and rocks several times before finally going under and staying down.

An immediate search and rescue (SAR) effort was initiated utilizing extensive air, sea and land resources. These efforts lasted 4 days, but no trace of PFC Simpson or his remains were ever found. The soldier who swam out to assist PFC Simpson was safely rescued. At the time all formal search efforts were terminated, Max Simpson was listed Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered.

While the fate of Max Simpson is not in doubt, he has the right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country if at all possible. For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

American servicemen in Vietnam were called upon to operate in many dangerous circumstances both on and off duty, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.