McCLEARY, GEORGE CARLTON The symbol on the Wall next to George's name was changed from a cross (MIA) to a star (KIA) April 30, 1994. REMAINS RETURNED 07/81. ID'D May 1991 Name: George Carlton McCleary Rank/Branch: USAF, O5 Unit: Date of Birth: 19 October 22 Home City of Record: Baton Rouge, LA Date of Loss: 05 November 65 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 210300N 1054300E Status (in 1973): Missing in Action Category: 3 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F105 D Refno: 0183 Other Personnel In Incident: Source: Compiled by THE P.O.W. NETWORK 02 February 93 from the following published sources - POW/MIA's -- Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs United States Senate -- January 13, 1993. "The Senate Select Committee staff has prepared case summaries for the priority cases that the Administration is now investigating. These provide the facts about each case, describe the circumstances under which the individual was lost, and detail the information learned since the date of loss. Information in the case summaries is limited to information from casualty files, does not include any judgments by Committee staff, and attempts to relate essential facts. The Committee acknowledges that POW/MIAs' primary next-of- kin know their family members' cases in more comprehensive detail than summarized here and recognizes the limitations that the report format imposes on these summaries." On November 5, 1965, Lieutenant Colonel McCleary was the pilot of an F-105, the flight leader of a flight of four aircraft on a SAM suppression mission over North Vietnam. A surface to air missile was launched and exploded approximately 20 feet from his aircraft. His aircraft burst into flames, pitched nose up, and began shedding pieces. The canopy was observed to separate before the aircraft disappeared into overcast tail first but his wingman couldn't determine if he was able to eject from the aircraft. No search and rescue mission was possible due to the extremely hostile ground environment and Colonel McCleary was declared missing in action. In 1968 a People's Army of Vietnam soldier provided information on U.S. POWs at a Hanoi prison correlating to Hoa Lo Prison, also called the Hanoi Hilton. He identified a photograph of Colonel McCleary as similar to that of an American at Hoa Lo Prison. In 1977 the Defense Intelligence Agency reversed its previous correlation and concluded the soldier's report was erroneous. In August 1972, DIA received a report about an F-105 shot down by a MIG-17 circa October 1966. One good parachute was seen. This report was placed in Colonel McCleary's file. Two returnees identified LTC McCleary as one of the men in a photograph of U.S. POWs at the 1969 Christmas event staged for U.S. POWs. DIA later positively identified everyone at the event and concluded the returnee's initial conclusions were a case of misidentification. In November 1973, Colonel McCleary was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death. In July 1988, Vietnam turned over remains at Hanoi which it stated were those of Colonel McCleary. In May 1991 they were identified as his.