506th Crest

Missing in Action Report

 

 CUDLIKE, CHARLES JOSEPH  

Name: Charles Joseph Cudlike 
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army 
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry (Airmobile), 101st Airborne Division 
Date of Birth: 16 August 1948 
Home City of Record: Detroit MI 
Date of Loss: 18 May 1969 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam 
Loss Coordinates: 161431N 1071039E (YC312992) 
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered 
Category: 3 
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H 
Refno: 1445 
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)  
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.  

SYNOPSIS: On May 18, 1969, SP4 Charles J. Cudlike and his unit were engaged in battle
in Thua Tien Province, South Vietnam. During the fighting, Cudlike was injured, and was being 
medically evacuated from the battle area by helicopter.  The injured teammebers were boarding 
the helicopter when it had to leave quickly because of a heavy volume of enemy fire. At this 
time, Cudlike had been unable to completely board the aircraft, and was hanging on one of the 
skids of the helicopter and the door gunner aboard the helicopter was trying to pull him into 
the ship. Due to his own wounds, the gunner was unable to pull him in.  When the pilot of the 
helicopter became aware of the situation he started looking for a place to land, but before he 
could do so, Cudlike fell from the aircraft at an altitude of 500 feet into the jungle.  
Comprehensive searches were conducted by air with no success. Cudlike was declared Killed in 
Action, and his body was never recovered.  War is hell. Men are killed by other men whom they 
call their enemy. But men are also killed by "misadventure" - by senseless drowning, 
falls, and by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. At 21, Charles Cudlike had just begun
to live.  Because no trace of Cudlike's remains were found, his name is maintained among those
who are missing and captured in Southeast Asia. Experts believe that hundreds of these Americans
are still alive, captive, and want to come home. One can imagine that Cudlike would gladly serve
on one more patrol to help bring them home.

Information from POW Network