|Name:||Anthony Blake "Tony" Cadwell|
and Main Support Company,
188th Maintenance Battalion
Chu Lai, South Vietnam
|Date of Birth:||09 August 1945|
|Home of Record:||Missoula, MT|
|Date of Loss:||17 October 1967|
|Country of Loss:||South Vietnam|
Click coordinates to view maps
|Status in 1973:||Killed/Body Not Recovered|
|Other Personnel In Incident:||(none missing)|
October 17, 1967, Private Anthony B. "Tony" Cadwell and a friend were off
duty when they each obtained a pass to go swimming at the USO Beach adjacent
to their base at Chu Lai, Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam. At 1400 hours,
the two soldiers entered the water. After 10 minutes, the friend noticed
they were being carried away by the current and undertow and that Tony
Cadwell had been carried farther out to sea. The other soldier successfully,
with some difficulty, returned to shore.
When Pvt. Cadwell's friend reached shore, he looked back and saw Tony Cadwell still floating on his back approximately 100 yards offshore. He told two swimmers with air mattresses who were also enjoying time off at the beach of the situation. They began paddling toward Pvt. Cadwell's position.
At the same time, the friend headed toward the lifeguard station to notify them that their services were undoubtedly going to be needed. Shortly thereafter, the swimmers heard Tony Cadwell call for help as he began to flounder in the rough water. Another swimmer, who was made aware that Pvt. Cadwell was in trouble, also swam toward him. However, before the closest swimmer could reach him, Pvt. Cadwell sank below the surface of the water and was not seen again.
A search and rescue (SAR) medical team arrived on site shortly thereafter. They initiated an extensive sea, air and land search operation employing ground troops searching the shoreline, rescue helicopters, ships and US Navy divers in the hope of recovering the missing soldier's body. Search efforts continued the rest of the day and into the next. When no trace of the missing man was found, the formal SAR operation was terminated and Tony Cadwell was reported as Killed/Body Not Recovered.
While the fate of Pvt. Cadwell is not in doubt, he has the right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country if at all possible. Above all else, he has a right not to be forgotten by the nation for which he gave his life. 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.