Name: James Thomas Egan, Jr.
Rank/Branch: First Lieutenant/ USMC
Unit: Battery H, 3rd Battalion, 
12th Marines,
3rd Marine Division 
Date of Birth: 31 May 1943 (Summit, NJ)
Home of Record: Mountainside NJ
Date of Loss: 21 January 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 144800N 1084100E (BS521369)
Click coordinates to view maps
Status in 1973: Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground
Other Personnel in Incident: none missing


SYNOPSIS:  James T. Egan joined the Marine Corps in 1964 after graduating Notre Dame. He completed OCS training at Quantico, Virginia with a 95 average which allowed him to select his assignment/duty station. He chose Hawaii.

Once in Hawaii, then 1st Lt. Egan was assigned to Battery H, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. His unit was unexpectedly ordered to Vietnam. On 21 January 1966, 1st Lt. Egan was an Artillery Forward Observer with a Reconnaissance Patrol which was operating about 15 miles southwest of the city of Quang Ngai in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. At 1705 hours his patrol was ambushed by VC/NVA (Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army) forces. In the ensuing darkness and heat of battle, 1st Lt. Egan was separated from the rest of his patrol. When the other patrol members were able to disengage from the fire fight and reach safety, they discovered him missing. Because of the darkness and heavy enemy presence in the area, no search could be conducted for fellow team member, 1st Lt. Egan

Some years later, an South Vietnamese soldier who escaped Vietnam reported he had been held prisoner with Egan during the war. He reported he believed the communists executed Egan because the American was removed from the prison camp and not returned to it. When he asked where the American was taken, the guard said they executed him.

Whether James Thomas Egan was executed or merely removed to another prison camp is not known. What is known is that 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 Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

American military personnel were called upon to fight in many dangerous circumstances, 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.

James T. Egan, Jr. graduated from Notre Dame in 1964