Name:  Joel Corona
Rank/Branch: Private First Class/US Army
Unit:  Company C, Group Command, 
US Army Support Command 
1st Logistical Command 
Date of Birth: 21 August 1949
Home of Record: Pharr, TX
Date of Loss: 08 November 1970 
Country of Loss:  South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  115309N 1091635E (CP123144) 
Click coordinates to view maps
Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  Boat (some lists say ground)
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS:   PFC Joel Corona was a supplyman assigned to the major US Army supply center located at Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Province, South Vietnam. On 8 November 1970, PFC Joel Corona was off duty when he decided to go swimming with friends at a hidden cove just south of Howell Beach in Cam Ranh Bay.

A large piece of styrofoam the group of soldiers had been using as a float accidentally fell into the water near a reef located just off shore close to the point of land where the men were resting. PFC Corona voiced his intention to retrieve it. Since he was not a good swimmer, one of his friends suggested he just let it go, that they really didn't need it any more. However, Joel Corona was determined to recover it and entered the water at a point near the float.

He was immediately hit by a large wave that pushed him out into the cove. He was heard calling for help as he floundered in the rough water. Other individuals enjoying time off at the beach attempted to rescue him, but were unable to do so before they saw him go under water several times. The other men on the beach saw him floating face down in the water.

A search and rescue (SAR) medical team arrived on site shortly thereafter. They attempted to recover his body, but like others before them, were unable to reach him in the turbulent water. The young man's body was last seen about 125 yards from the mouth of the cove as it was being washed out to sea. An extensive sea, air and land search was initiated, but no trace of the soldier was found. Joel Corona was immediately listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

While the fate of PFC Corona 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.