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Joel Corona was a Private First Class in the United States Army when he was killed in South Vietnam on 08 November 1970. Coronoa was born on 21 August 1949, and his home city of record is Pharr, Texas. Corona's remains have not been returned.

The Incident

PFC Joel Corona was assigned to Company C, Group Command, U.S. Army Support Command at Cam Ranh Bay. On November 8, 1970, PFC Joel Corona was off duty and decided to go swimming with friends at a hidden cove south of Howell Beach in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam.

When a piece of styrofoam the group was using went into the water near a reef, PFC Corona started to retrieve it. He was not a good swimmer, and one of his friends warned him not to go after it. However, PFC Corona entered the water and was hit by a wave which pushed him out into the cove. He called for help, and several individuals attempted to rescue him without success. He went under water and was floating face down in the water.

A medical team arrived and attempted to recover his body, but were unsuccessful because of the turbulent condition of the water. PFC Corona's body was last seen about 125 yards from the mouth of the cove being washed out to sea. An extensive air, land and sea search was conducted without success.

Corona's is one of the unfortunate accidental deaths that occur wherever people are. The fact that he died an accidental death in the midst of war is tragically ironic. He is listed among the missing with honor, because his body was never found to be returned to the country he served.


Biographical and incident of loss information was obtained from either POW/NET and/or Task Force Omega, Inc (unless otherwise noted). Additional information may be found via remembrances at The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund or The Virtual Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial.