Name: James Edward Duncan
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army
Unit: U.S. Army Infantry, Advance Team 21, MACV
Date of Birth: 11 July 1940 (Mason County WV)
Home City of Record: Pleasant Point WV
Date of Loss: 03 March 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 143351N 1073619E (YB807116)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident:
Orie J. Dubbeld (missing)
On March 3, 1971 1Lt. Orie J. Dubbeld and SFC James E. Duncan were serving as advisors to the 22nd ARVN Ranger Battalion on a reinforcement mission in Kon Tum Province, South Vietnam. During the mission, their unit came under ground mortar attack. A mortar round hit directly in the foxhole where 1Lt. Dubbeld and SFC Duncan were located. An ARVN medical officer stated that Dubbeld was killed instantly, and that SFC Duncan died a few minutes later.
An attempt was made to carry the bodies with the withdrawing ARVN unit. However, the fighting became so intense that it was necessary to bury the advisors. To date, no attempt has been made to exhume the bodies.
The ARVN medical officer confirmed that Dubbeld and Duncan were dead. It is unfortunate, but a reality of war that their remains were left behind out of the necessity to protect the lives of the team who served with them. They are listed with honor among the missing because their remains cannot be buried with honor at home.
The U.s. Government believes the enemy knows the final resting place of Dubbeld and Duncan, but access to the site has been denied.
The Vietnamese also refuse to reveal information regarding the hundreds of Americans that authorities believe are still alive, held prisoner in Southeast Asia. Dubbeld and Duncan lost their lives trying to help an allied nation preserve its freedom. Their deaths will only have the honor due them when we are willing to exert the effort necessary to rescue those Americans who are still alive.