CAVENDER, JIM RAY
Name: Jim Ray Cavender
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: 281st Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 28 December 1948 (Gladewater TX)
Home City of Record: Santa Paula CA
Loss Date: 04 November 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 123327N 1085304E (BP702890)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: James Klimo; John A. Ware; Terry L. Alford (all
Source: Compiled 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 in 1998.
REMARKS: REMS OF OTHER CREW RECV - J
SYNOPSIS: On November 4, 1969, WO Terry L. Alford, aircraft commander; WO1
Jim R. Cavender, pilot; SP4 John A. Ware, crew chief; and SP4 James R.
Klimo, door gunner; were flying a series of combat support missions in a
UH1H helicopter (serial #67-19512) in South Vietnam.
WO Alford was returning to his base at Nha Trang from Duc Lap at about 1920
hours when he made his last known radio contact with the 48th Aviation
Company Operations at Ninh Hoa. Either the pilot or aircraft commander gave
his approximate location as Duc My Pass, and stated he was in the clouds and
instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Shortly afterwards, the
controller at Ninh Hoa heard a radio transmission that WO1 Alford was in
trouble. The pilot reported, inexplicably, that the helicopter was flying
The Defense Department has told family members that the helicopter was on a
secondary mission heading toward a buffer zone between Cambodia and South
Vietnam, an area in the Central Highlands the helicopter was in by mistake.
The helicopter is not believed to have been shot at. Search efforts were
conducted for six consecutive days, but nothing was found.
According to the Defense Department, one crewmember's body was recovered at
a later time, but no remains were ever found that could be identified as
Alford, Klimo, Ware or Cavender. The four crew members were not among the
prisoners of war that were released in 1973. High ranking officials admit
their dismay that "hundreds" of suspected American prisoners of war did not
return. Klimo's sister has identified her brother as one of the prisoners of
war pictured in a Vietnamese propaganda leaflet.
Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as
prisoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIAs"
from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 men and women who remain missing in
Southeast Asia can be accounted for. The crew of the UH1H could be among
them. Isn't it time we brought our men home?