Reginald David Cleve

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
02 August 1947 - 22 March 1971
Farmington, Missouri
Panel 04W Line 066


UH-1 Huey

Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Reginald David Cleve

29 Apr 2003

Reginald D Cleve

Minuteman 21 - 1970-1971

Friend of All, My Best Friend of All

Carl Z.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

21 Jun 2006

Letter To Reginald

I saw you Friday
for the first time-
warm and soft-smooth to touch.
Everyone came to see you
and your comrades-
Were you happy to see us?
It rained part of the time
but you didn't seem to mind
the raindrops.
Did your family come?
I don't know any but
a cousin's wife who remembered you.
Back when high school
basketball and bobby socks
were quite the rage.
How I long to see your face
just once-
without the black marble glare
of the sun and spotlights;
to feel you-not the rock warmed
by the sun-smoothed down by man
and polished to a shiny gleam.
The wall was so shiny.
It's like the bracelet I wear-
Your bracelet-your name and rank
etched on it
Did you like shiny things like jewelry?
I've wore you for quite a while now.
It's sorta weird
sharing my everyday activities with
a man so much older-
one that's only there in spirit-
one I've never met.
Yeah I saw you last Friday,
touched your name.
You were warm and smooth and
your name felt the same on the wall
as it does on my bracelet.
I'm glad you came to see me.
One day I'll make it to see you.
Gotta go.

I wore his bracelet for quite a while but on Aug. 4, 2004 I laid him to rest with my dad, another VN vet. I miss them both.

Brenda Pelfrey

A Note from The Virtual Wall

In February 1971 the South Vietnamese Army undertook large-scale offensive operations against enemy communications and supply lines in the portions of Laos adjacent to the two northern provinces of South Vietnam (the Ho Chi Minh Trail area). While ARVN troops conducted the ground operations in Laos, US forces provided helicopter and fixed wing air support.

On 22 Mar 71 the 176th Assault Helicopter Company, 14th Cbt Avn Bn, provided a five-ship resupply flight in support of ARVN forces operating about 10 miles inside Laos. One of the aircraft, UH-1H tail number 68-15759, was crewed by

  • WO1 Reginald David Cleve, pilot;
  • WO1 John Grove Traver III, copilot;
  • SP4 Walter Ray Hall, gunner; and
  • SP4 Donald Paul Knutsen, crew chief.
About a mile short of the resupply point Cleve's Huey went down. The four men aboard were classed as "Killed in Action, Body not Recovered".

The POW Network site contains the following statements:

"The aircraft was flying at an altitude of about 5000 feet above sea level in Savannakhet Province, Laos, when it was fired upon by a hostile ground force and an explosion occurred in the cargo compartment. The helicopter impacted essentially in one piece and again exploded and continued to burn. No one was observed to exit the aircraft, and it was the opinion of the investigating committee that no one could have survived. No rescue attempts were made due to the heavy concentration of enemy troops and the [anti]aircraft fire in the area.

"A family member of one of the crew states, "one reason for our feeling that he may still be alive is that his craft was hit, and he radioed to the leader of the mission that he would be forced to land. The remainder of the aircraft went on to deliver their cargoes, and as they returned to their base, they reportedly passed over this site. They saw (the downed helicopter) on the ground, but there was NOT any fire, nor did they see any of the men around it.""

The Virtual Wall cannot verify or dispute the details of the loss as given on the POW Network, but it is a matter of record that the four crewmen have not been repatriated.

Photo from the
Task Force Omega site

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Carl Z.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Apr 2003
Last updated 07/02/2006