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JOHN HOWARD MCCLEAN


is honored on Panel 1E, Line 26 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of CAPT John H. McClean

    Posted on 5/1/16 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On August 16, 1963, pilot CAPT John H. McClean and navigator 1LT Arthur E. Bedal were crewman on a B-26B Invader (#44-34681) from the 1st Air Commando Squadron, 34th Tactical Group, on a support mission for ARVN troops against Viet Cong when the aircraft slammed into a mountain, killing both Americans and a Vietnamese crewman. The crash occurred in guerrilla-infested jungle of Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam near the South China Sea. The crash was later attributed to mechanical failure (wing spar fatigue). [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and togetherweserved.com]
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  • To Jerry, son of Capt. John McClean

    Posted on 10/28/14 - by Susan
    Dear Jerry,

    It's been almost twelve years since you posted your beautiful tribute to your parents; yet, I am hoping you will return to this page one day to find this message. I only met you and your brothers once, and that was at a getting-to-know-each-other dinner just before your dad and my husband, Skip Bedal, left for their tour in Vietnam. Our daughter, Sheryl Jo, was a year-and-a-half, and I was pregnant with Leigh-Ann, who was born three months after your dad and Skip were killed.

    I wanted you to know how pleased Skip was to have your dad as his flying partner. He had expressed that your dad was "the best" when it came to flying that dated WWII B-26 and that he felt completely safe and comfortable - they made a good team. I can just imagine that they were both pretty excited to be the first to take up that newly refurbished, just like brand-new, old bird.

    I was in Ft. Walton Beach a couple of years ago and met briefly with your mother. We never really got to know each other since upon arriving at Hurlburt Field I'd been fighting dreadful early-pregnancy sickness and then was off to California to await Skip's return. So, It was good to finally visit after so many years and to share how one instant changed both of our lives forever. It was at this time that your mother said to me, "You do know that Skip is buried in New York, too." I was so taken aside by this that I said, "Yes." In fact, I didn't know how to tell her I didn't know, as I had only been told that it was advisable not to view the remains. it never occurred to me or the family that the bodies had been co-mingled in the accident since we had a casket and "a" body. This is very hard to talk about in a public forum, but I'm doing it because I think you and your brothers should know that the other site of your father's burial is with Skip at Pierce Brothers Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California. I had asked both cemeteries to add the other's name to their records, but because of government regulations they require documentation that was never provided or mentioned in 1963.

    Also, unlike your mother, we here in California were led to believe that the plane was shot down; it wasn't until almost 40 years later that I suspected differently after reading a posting on the internet that said the plane had lost its wing, which turned out to be true. Skip's folks died never knowing the truth, and I was angry. I had never been really angry before because I knew that Skip loved what he was doing; was proud of being a member of the 1st Air Commando Group; and felt that what he was doing was important and right for our country. As you know, this was before the protesting and public awareness.

    In case you haven't see this internet posting, it tells of the 1st Air Commando's 1963 presence in Vietnam when your dad was there and even mentions him by name:

    http://milmag.com/2010/02/1st-air-commando-group-—-viet-nam-1963/

    Jerry, know that I was thrilled to see your posting and to hear of your mother's successful redirection - a remarkable and brave lady. And, perhaps you will see this and make contact. I would be delighted to hear from you.

    Susan
    Oct. 28, 2014








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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 10/16/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear Captain John Howard McClean, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
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  • Remembrance

    Posted on 10/17/12 - by Vice Admiral William Ramsey, USN (Ret.) USNA Class of '53

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  • If I should die...remembrances for CAPT. John Howard McCLEAN, USAF...who made the ultimate sacrifice

    Posted on 5/5/11 - by
    If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep...for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile...Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts tyhan thine...Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine...and I, perchance, may therein comfort you.
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.