Fayetteville, NC

Name: Charlie Gray Lewis
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army
Unit: Company D, 16th Armor, 173rd Airborne Brigade
Date of Birth: 20 October 1936
Home City of Record: Fayetteville NC
Date of Loss: 17 May 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 105226N 1072634E (YT673033)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: M113
Refno: 0686
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 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 1998.


SYNOPSIS: Charlie G. Lewis was assigned to Company D, 16th Armor, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. On May 17, 1967, he was acting as platoon leader during a combat mission when the armored personnel carrier in which he was riding detonated a pressure-type mine on a concrete bridge. The explosion caused the APC to overturn, and it was engulfed in flames. Lewis was pinned underneath the vehicle, and attempts to remove him were unsuccessful.

When the vehicle could be safely approached for examination, it was discovered that any remains relating to Lewis had been destroyed by the fire. Lewis is listed with honor among the missing because no remains were found. His case seems quite clear. For others who are listed missing, resolution is not as simple. Many were known to have survived their loss incident. Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and describing an advancing enemy. Some were photographed or recorded in captivity. Others simply vanished without a trace.

Since the war ended, over 10,000 reports concerning Americans still alive in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. Many experts are completely convinced that hundreds of Americans are now held captive.

One set of critics say that the U.S. has done little to address the issue of live POWs, preferring the politically safer issue of remains return. Others place the blame on the Vietnamese, for using the issue of POW/MIA to their political advantage. Regardless of blame, no living American has returned through the efforts of negotiations between the countries, and the reports continue to pour in. Are we doing enough to bring these men home?

Source: POW Network