|Birth: ||Apr. 4, 1947|
|Death: ||Jun. 16, 1969|
Kon Tum, Vietnam
Mark D. Clotfelter, a 1966 Hialeah High School graduate, was killed in action in Vietnam. Mark arrived in Pleiku, Vietnam , in September 1968 and was shot down June 16, 1969.
He was the aircraft commander covering a truck convoy on a resupply mission in the Central Highlands. Mark was a member of the 361st Aviation Co. (Escort) , flying a Cobra AH-1G helicopter. They were a small unit, primarily flying support of the 5th Special Forces Unit involved in across-the-border covert missions. Mark earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters and numerous other medals.
In 1997 I was fortunate to find, through the Internet, Mark's unit from Vietnam and have been able to learn what he was like as a fellow comrade and how he spent the last nine months of his life.
Mark's name is on panel 22 West, line 57 on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The Wall, as it is most commonly referred to, is quite special to me because Mark's ashes were scattered at sea and not buried. This is where I feel most connected to him. I can touch his name, and know he is in good company with over 58,000 other fallen comrades .
Susan Clotfelter, Mark's sister.
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 06/16/1969 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 22.2
Date of Birth: 04/04/1947
Home City: Hialeah, FL
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 361 AVN, (ESCORT)
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-9
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 22W-057
Short Summary: Hit by small arms fire and crashed on a bunker killing 2 NVA on road clearing patrol w/ WO1 Michael Allen Mahowald co-pilot/gunner.
Aircraft: AH-1G tail number 67-15763
Call sign: Panther 18
Service number: W3161105
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 09/25/1968
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Location: Kontum Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Religion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
Notes taken from The Wall:
Mark loved sports cars, the Beach Boys, photography, Jan and Dean, The Ventures, Sherry, playing chess and flying. Mark was our only brother, and we hope you see that he is not just a name on The Wall..........he was a son, a brother, a friend, a cousin, a nephew, an uncle, a brother-in-law, and a fine pilot.
Mark began his tour in Vietnam on September 25,1968. He was assigned to the 361st Aviation Company Escort, The Pink Panthers, stationed at Camp Holloway in the Central Highlands. This unit primarily flew support for SOG (Studies and Observations Group) a joint service, highly classified, unconventional and clandestine operation. These missions were dangerous and demanding for both the ground elements and the supporting air assets. The 361st flew support for teams being inserted along the Cambodian and Loatian borders. These teams were from the 5th Special Forces based at Kontum.
Mark flew the AH-1G Cobra Helicopter for 9 months. During this time he was shot down twice, before being Killed in Action. On a mission not normally flown by the 361st, Mark as aircraft commander and Warrant Officer Michael Mahowald as pilot, on June 16, 1969, were shot down by hostile fire while scouting a remote highway for a convoy.
During his brief military career Mark was awarded the Army Aviator Badge, the Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with "V" for Valor, the Air Medal with 21 oak leaf clusters, the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Vietnam Merit Medal with one bronze service star, and the National Defense Service Medal.
Mark's name appears on Panel 22 West, Line 57 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
He was 22 years old. He was the 22nd person to be Killed In Action from our hometown of Hialeah, Florida.
Anchorage AK 99516
Its hard to believe we went to Vietnam 40 years ago. I still remember our talks in flight school about flying that we did before the Army. You left to soon Mark. I know you would be still flying now as I have done.. I think of you often, you are still missed, but I know you soar with the Eagles. God Bless you Mark.
Nov 15, 2008
Millard T. Clotfelter (1919 - 1996)
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Specifically: His ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida where he and his four sisters grew up.
Maintained by: Karen Hopkins
Originally Created by: Noname
Record added: Nov 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44221832