Larry Michael Cleveland
Specialist Four
Army of the United States
Long Beach, California
November 16, 1947 to October 23, 1969
LARRY M CLEVELAND is on the Wall at Panel W17, Line 107

Larry M Cleveland
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In the Independent Press-Telegram, 12 May 1968 on Page 75 was the announcement for the wedding vows repeated in St. Barnabas Catholic Church by Sharon Ann Cleveland and Richard W. McHale Jr.. One of the bridesmaids was Debbie Cleveland while two of the ushers were James Cleveland and Larry Cleveland. After a reception in the Virginia Road home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard W. Cleveland, the newlyweds departed on a trip to CarmeI.

Larry entered the service in August 1968 and arrived in Vietnam January 12, 1969 for his tour with the 101st Airborne Division.

The Press Telegram, October 30, 1969, on page 36 published the following:

Larry Michael Cleveland

The accident of the UH-1H Model "Huey", tail number 68-16274 (158th Aviation Battalion flying out of Camp Evans) involved in the incident and mentioned in local newspapers, occurred as follows: A UH-1H helicopter (4 crew/10 passengers) were in the middle of a combat assualt of inserting 180 soldiers from A Co, 2nd Bn, 506th Infantry - 101st Abn. The aircraft involved in the accident was the lead of 6 helicopters. The initial lift into the LZ was without incident. This was their third time there that day dropping off infantrymen. The LZ was small and had several large tree stumps. The area had been cleared out as a Landing Zone by the engineers, but there were some tree stumps still there - some about 3' high. The ground was inclined about 10 degrees. 6 men exited to the right, the other 4 men exited to the left...and all moved about 30' away from the helicopter.

The aircraft commander lifted off to a stabilized 2' hover and did a take-off check. The gunner and crew chief responded with a "clear right" and "clear left". As maximum power was going to be needed to prevent hitting some stumps in front of him, the craft was put into the 2' hoover. All guages looked fine, and power was applied. What the pilot didn't know was that on the right side there was a stump protruding at about a 60 degree angle. The skid had slid under it, but didn't touch it (which would have registered a signal). On full take-off, the skid connected - causing the helicopter to roll and topple hard to the right. The helicopter crashed, and the large rotor blades impacted the ground and the six soldiers next to it....killing all 6 and wounding 4. All of the crew survived, with only the door-gunner receiving a lacerated leg. There were no injuries to the other soldiers that had exited to the left. The helicopter was destroyed but did not burn.

Although the 6 men's death was classfied as an aircraft accident, not under enemy fire, they were completing a combat air assault with the unit. The men who were killed were:

SP4 Larry M Cleveland's final resting place is All Souls Cemetery, Long Beach, California. His cemetery marker indicates he was awarded a Bronze Star with 1st Oak Leaf cluster.

- - - The Virtual Wall, April 5, 2014.

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