DONALD G CLEAVER
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HONORED ON PANEL 42W, LINE 69 OF THE WALL

DONALD GENE CLEAVER

WALL NAME

DONALD G CLEAVER

PANEL / LINE

42W/69

DATE OF BIRTH

07/30/1931

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TRI

DATE OF CASUALTY

10/03/1968

HOME OF RECORD

JOPLIN

COUNTY OF RECORD

Jasper County

STATE

MO

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

SSGT

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR DONALD GENE CLEAVER
POSTED ON 1.22.2022
POSTED BY: John Fabris

honoring you...

Thank you for your service to our country so long ago sir. As long as you are remembered you will remain in our hearts forever.....
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POSTED ON 7.30.2021
POSTED BY: Jury Washington

Thank You For Your Valiant Service.

May those who served never be forgotten. Rest in peace SSGT. Cleaver, I salute your brave soul. My heart goes out to you and your family.
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POSTED ON 7.30.2018
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Staff Sergeant Donald Gene Cleaver, Served with the 537th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 483rd Tactical Airlift Wing, 7th Air Force.
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POSTED ON 12.10.2017
POSTED BY: Lucy Conte Micik

Thanks

Dear SSGT Donald Cleaver,
Thank you for your service as a Fixed Wing Crewman. December has begun, along with all the preparations. It is so important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 6.13.2017

Final Mission of SSGT Donald G. Cleaver

On October 3, 1968, a USAF C-7A Caribou (#63-9753) cargo aircraft from the 537th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 483rd Tactical Airlift Wing, 7th Air Force, based at Phu Cat, collided with an U.S. Army CH-47A Chinook helicopter (#66-19041) of the 228th Combat Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, near Camp Evans in Thua Thien Province, RVN. The USAF C7-A departed Camp Evans airfield from runway 36. His last radio transmission after receiving tower clearance was "rolling". This aircraft was observed to make a climbing right hand turn before reaching the end of the runway. The CH-47 helicopter had departed LZ Nancy only a few minutes before. It was proceeding south along highway QL-1, on a heading of 170 degrees, in a shallow descent. The aircraft was on a scheduled daily passenger and mail shuttle. It was estimated that the CH-47 was cruising at approximately 95 to 100 knots. The C7-A with climb power would have been at about 105 knots. The two aircraft converged at an altitude of approximately 1100 feet. The cockpit section of the C7-A contacted the rear rotor of the helicopter. The C7-A had started a right bank, probably a last-minute attempt to avoid the collision. When the two aircraft collided, at least one of the helicopter rear rotor blades sliced through the cockpit section of the airplane, killing both pilots instantly and destroying all engine controls. At the same time, one of the rotor blades or debris from the cockpit struck the left propeller of the C7-A. One of the blades was severed from the propeller, and passed through both sides of the fuselage of the airplane. The left propeller then separated from the engine and fell to the ground. The C7-A made a steep descending right turn and struck the ground. The aircraft disintegrated, all personnel aboard perished, and there was no fire. The CH-47, at the moment of the collision, lost all of its rear main rotor blades. Neither rotor system could provide any thrust, and the helicopter became a free-falling body. The fuselage tumbled to earth and landed on its top left side. It exploded on impact. Two persons fell out of the helicopter as it tumbled through the air. They were fatally injured on contact with the ground. Those remaining in the helicopter died in the crash. The lost Caribou crew included pilot CAPT Wayne P. Bundy, co-pilot 1LT Ralph Schiavone, flight engineer SSGT James K. Connor, and crewman SSGT Donald G. Cleaver. Its nine U.S. Army passengers comprised SP4 Donald J. Cramer Jr., SGT David J. Dellangelo, SP5 David A. Disrud, SP5 Allen E. Gomes, SP5 Dale G. Granger, SP5 David B. Perreault, PFC Robert D. Tomilson, SP4 Dennis A. Wirt, and PFC Joe Hibbler Jr. Some of the passengers on the Caribou were near the end of their tour of Vietnam and were heading back to the United States. The lost Chinook crew included aircraft commander CW2 Thomas E. Johnson, co-pilot WO1 Ronald L. Conroy, crew chief SP5 Jerry L. Pierce Jr., gunner SP4 Dennis D. Reese, and flight engineer SP4 Larry L. Costley. Its passengers were CPT Thomas E. Alderson, SFC Dawson Clements, SSGT William R. Young, PFC John W. Lucier, SSGT Charles J. Wallace, and SP4 Michael D. See. Many soldiers at Camp Evans were having dinner in the mess hall when this crash happened. Several were sent over to help search for bodies. This was the worst of several airspace control incidents during the war. It was reported that the air traffic controller was court-martialed for clearing both aircraft at the same time. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, vhpa.org, and c-7acaribou.com]
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