James Henry McLean
Medic assigned to Advisory Team 88, MAC-V
Date of Birth:
16 June 1944
Home City of Record:
Los Angeles CA
Date of Loss:
09 February 1965
Country of Loss:
Status (in 1973):
Prisoner of War
Other Personnel In Incident:
CAPTURE CONF BY VIET PWS
Compiled by 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.
SP4 James H. McLean was a medic assigned to Advisory Team 88,
MAC-V, serving with a South Vietnamese Regional Forces unit at Duc Phong,
Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam. On February 9, 1965, at about
midnight, Duc Phong came under attack and was seized by the Viet Cong.
The following day, an ARVN unit was inserted into the area, and learned that
an American had been observed being held captive in the vicinity of Duc
Phong. Enemy fire drove observing helicopters away. By mid-afternoon on
February 10, the ARVN unit that had been inserted had recaptured the camp
and recovered the remains of 3 American advisors. As none of them was
McLean, it was determined that the captured American was McLean.
Several released and escaped South Vietnamese captured in the same incident
or held in various camps with McLean later reported that SP4 McLean had been
captured uninjured. He was last seen alive in late 1966, having detained
all this time in camps in northern Phuoc Long Province.
Although one of the released POWs stated that he had seen McLean sick and
then never saw him again, McLean's name never appeared on lists provided
which named those who died in captivity. He was not released in 1973 in the
general prisoner release.
McLean is one of nearly 2500 Americans who remain prisoner, missing or
otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. There can be no question that
the Vietnamese know his fate. With thousands of reports being received
relating to Americans still held prisoner, one has to wonder if McLean is
one of those that experts believe are still alive. If he is, what must he
be thinking of us?
extracted from the newsletter by: NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF FAMILIES FOR THE
RETURN OF AMERICA'S MISSING SERVICEMEN WORLD WAR II - KOREA - COLD WAR -
DOLORES ALFOND - VOICE/FAX - (206) 881-1499 LYNN O'SHEA ---- VOICE/FAX -
(718) 846-4350 BITS 'N' PIECES JANUARY 6, 1996
IN OUR OCTOBER 7TH EDITION WE DISCUSSED PROJECT X. WE HAVE HEARD FROM SIX
FAMILIES WHO WERE UNAWARE OF THE EXISTENCE OF "PROJECT X" AND ITS RELATIONSHIP
TO THEIR LOVED ONES CASES. NO "PROJECT X" INFORMATION WAS EVER PROVIDED TO
THESE FAMILIES AND NO "PROJECT X" INFORMATION WAS CONTAINED IN CASUALTY FILES
REVIEWED BY THESE FAMILIES. THE OBVIOUS QUESTION -- WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE
THAT THE FAMILIES DON'T KNOW ABOUT?
ONE OF THE "PROJECT X" CASES IS JAMES MC LEAN, CONFIRMED
CAPTURED. WE DECIDED TO LOOK AT THE CASE OF JAMES MC LEAN TO SEE WHAT
INFORMATION WAS AVAILABLE. HERE BASED ON OUR LIMITED EFFORTS AND RESOURCES IS WHAT
WE HAVE ON JAMES MC LEAN.
THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE "PROJECT X" REPORT: "RATIONAL FOR
THERE ARE REPORTS THAT SP4 MC LEAN WAS CAPTURED ALIVE AND UNINJURED, AND NUMEROUS LATER
REPORTS IDENTIFIED HIM AS A PRISONER OF WAR. NO REPORTS OF DEATH HAVE BEEN RECEIVED
SUBSEQUENT TO THESE SIGHTINGS."
SUMMARY OF PROJECT X SUMMARY: A: VIETNAMESE CAPTURED IN SAME INCIDENT AND
RELEASED 27 MARCH 1965 REPORTED AT TIME OF CAPTURE MC LEAN "HAD NOT BEEN
B: IN JUNE 1965 - AN ARVN RANGER HELD BY THE VC FROM 11 MAY 1965 TO 9
JUNE1965 REPORTED SEEING MC LEAN IN THE SAME CAMP.
C: AUGUST 1966 - A MONTANARD CAPTURED IN AUGUST 1965 AND ESCAPED
SOMETIME IN MAY OR EARLY JUNE 1966 STATED HE
MET MC LEAN AND
WAS GIVEN THE DUTY OF CARING FOR HIM. MC
LEAN WAS ILL WITH DIARRHEA
AND MALARIA. THE MONTANARD STAYED AT THE CAMP TWO
D: TWO ARVN RELEASED IN SEPT 1965 STATED THEY WERE HELD WITH A PW
BELIEVED TO BE MC LEAN.
E: 20 OCT. 1966 - AN ARVN INTELLIGENCE AGENT REPORTED THAT HE SAW
AN AMERICAN PW AT (GC) YU 336 155.
THE AMERICAN IS BELIEVED TO
BE MC LEAN.
AFTER REVIEWING PROJECT X WE
WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE ON JAMES MCLEAN? WE FOUND THAT THE INFORMATION ON JAMES
MC LEAN IS CONTAINED IN EACH OF THE DOCUMENTS OR LISTS MENTIONED BELOW. HERE BASED
ON OUR LIMITED EFFORTS AND RESOURCES IS WHAT WE HAVE ON JAMES MC LEAN.
JANUARY 1973 - KISSINGER LIST APRIL 18, 1973 - DEPT. OF ARMY MEMO -SUBJ:
PW OF WHOM PRG/DRV SHOULD HAVE KNOWLEDGE JUNE 1973 - LIST OF 67 -
"HOSTILE CAPTURED" JULY 3, 1973 - MEMO TO CHIEF US DELEGATION FOUR
JOINT MILITARY TEAM (FPJMT) - PROBABLY CAPTURED - "LAST SEEN AS AN
ADVISOR WHEN CAMP WAS OVER RAN. IDENT AS PW BY COMPARISON OF PHOTOS FURNISHED
BY FAMILY WITH SOME CAPTURED PHOTOS." JULY 14, 1973 - MEMO U.S.
PERSONNEL BELIEVED TO BE IN A CAPTURED STATUS - SVN PROBABLY CAPTURED -
"LAST SEEN ON DUTY AS AN ADVISOR WHEN HIS STATIONS WAS OVERRUN BY A HOSTILE
FORCE. HIS FAMILY POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED SOME CAPTURED PHOTOS AS BEING SUBJECT.
PHOTOS INDICATE SUBJECT WAS PW OF VC. DIA 1979 LIST -
CAPTURE CONFIRMED DISCREPANCY CASE ORIGINAL 119 JAN. 22, 1992 JCRC MEMO -
SUBJ: STORED REMAINS - VIETNAM (THIS RELATED ONLY TO THE 119 DISCREPANCY CASE LIST)
SECTION: C: ALL OTHER INDIVIDUALS. VESSEY 135 DISCREPANCY LIST
55 DISCREPANCY CASE LIST AS OF FEB. 17, 1995
VIETNAM, YOU CAPTURED JAMES MC LEAN. YOU HELD HIM AS PRISONER OF WAR. WHERE IS
JAMES MC CLEAN?