http://www.vspa.com

 

Vietnam Security Police Association
A1C JAMES STANLEY CLOSSON
1947-1968
366th Security Police Squadron,
China Beach, Đà Nàng, Vietnam
by Jim Farley
, SMSgt (Ret)


I don't recall the Jensen & Jones Memorial Day Room, but of course that doesn't mean it wasn't still there.  I don't recall any special memorials or services for TSgt Adams, since he had just gotten in country we had not gotten to know him well.  I did lose one fine young man on my flight (Cougar Flight): A1C James S. Closson was assigned to Cougar Flight.

One day I managed to "scrounge" some steaks and other goodies from the chow hall and "acquired" a bus from the motor pool.  I took the flight to China Beach for a cookout and some time on the beach.  I was on the beach cooking the steaks, when someone came running up and telling me that Jim Closson had been caught in a riptide and swept out to sea.  One of our guys had been a lifeguard and when he saw Jim in trouble, he swam out to him and had hold of him and was swimming back in with him when another wave separated them.  That was the last we saw of Jim.  We waved at a chopper flying overhead and motioned for them to search the area, which they did, but to no avail.  I gathered all of the flight together and got them on the bus and then we prayed together.  Several of the guys wanted to stay on the beach overnight in case Jim's body returned to shore, but we were told it wouldn't be safe to stay at night and we returned to the base.  A few days later, Capt Jackson, came to my hut and asked me to go to the mortuary to identify Jim's body.  He had been found at sea and his body returned to the base.  I told Capt Jackson I would go to the mortuary if necessary, but really would rather remember Jim as I last saw him.  Capt Jackson came back later and said it would not be necessary for me to id the body, his id had been confirmed by dental records.  I wrote a letter to Jim's parents, conveying my sympathy and trying to explain what had happened.  Later, when I returned to the states, my wife and I went to Saratoga Springs, NY, to visit Jim's parents and had a nice but difficult visit.  To this day I have a small memorial to Jim Closson in my den/computer room and have been to The Wall in D.C. and to the traveling wall when it has been in Orlando and in our local town of Tavares, Florida.  Each visit to "The Wall" has been a moving experience and given me opportunities to reflect on those days so many years ago.

Jim Farley, SMSgt (Ret)

Cougar One

You Tube: Videos of China Beach:

China Beach, Đà Nàng, Vietnam - Dec. 05 (Red Flag)
China Beach, Đà Nàng, Vietnam - Calm and beautiful



CLOSSON, JAMES STANLEY
A1C - Air Force - Regular

21 year old Single, Caucasian, Male
Born on Sep 21, 1947
From SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK
366th SPS, Đà Nàng AB
Length of service 1 year.
His tour of duty began on Jul 13, 1968
Casualty was on Jan 12, 1969
in QUANG NAM, SOUTH VIETNAM
Non Hostile, GROUND CASUALTY
DROWNED, SUFFOCATED
Body was recovered
Panel 35W - Line 75


Circumstances: Died of accidental drowning
while swimming at China Beach with some friends.