EVANS, CLEVELAND JR.
Name: Cleveland Evans, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E5/US Marine Corps
Unit: A/3DMTBN, 3rd Marine Division
Date of Birth: 22 November 1945
Home City of Record: Hot Springs AR
Date of Loss: 13 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163650N 1072618E (YD601383)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Steven Heitman; Jimmy L. Watson (both missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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.
SYNOPSIS: On March 13, 1968, SP5 Heitman, Sgt. Evans, passengers, WO Jimmy
Watson, pilot, SFC Eugene Gubbins, PFC Larry Moore and 1st LT Robert Charles Perda ,
crewmembers and 4 unidentified passengers of the 101st Airborne Division
were aboard a UH1H helicopter (tail #67-17254) which proceeded north from
Phu Bai airfield on a logistics mission to Camp Evans, Republic of Vietnam.
Evans was on the aircraft on the first leg of a journey to Da Nang, to visit
his brother, who was stationed there.
About 3-5 miles southeast of Camp Evans, the helicopter was hit by enemy
fire and was forced to land. All 10 persons exited the aircraft and split
into two 5-man teams in an attempt to evade to friendly lines.
1st LT Robert Charles Perda and the four 101st Airborne personnel walked
into Camp Evans at2000 hours. An intensive search was initiated, but failed to reveal
any trace of the aircraft or the 5 missing. On March 28, elements of the 1st
Cavalry Division found 2 bodies in a shallow grave in the area of the crash
site. They were later identified as those of SFC Gubbins and PFC Moore. The
fates of the other 3 remained a mystery and the three were classified
Missing in Action.
Since the war ended, thousands of reports have convinced many authorities
that hundreds of Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia. The
three survivors of the helicopter crash on March 13, 1968 could be among
them. They also could be dead. Until the U.S. seriously pursues his fate, we
may not know with certainty what happened to Cleveland Evans.
A salute to heroes on Memorial Day
Once a year, on Memorial Day weekend, I retrieve the small silver bracelet from a desk drawer.
It's one of those POW-MIA bracelets that many Americans wore ...