|Birth: ||May 31, 1942|
|Death: ||May 3, 1968, Vietnam|
Capt. Thomas D. Clem of New Paris Indiana was killed in Vietnam while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Captain Clem was the pilot of the A6A aircraft that failed to return from a mission over North Vietnam. On May 3, 1968, Robert D. Avery and Captain Clem were the crew in an A-6A on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam providing support to U.S. Air Force operations along Route Package 1. Radar contact was lost with the aircraft when it was approximately 10 kilometers northwest of the coastal town of Dong Hoi and six kilometers southeast of the district seat of Bo Trach in Quang Binh Province. SAR forces were unable to locate any sign of the crew which was declared missing. Returning U.S. POWs were unable to provide any information on the eventual fate of the crew. After Operation Homecoming they were declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death. In January 1991, a U.S. team in Vietnam visited Bo Trach District and reviewed archival documents. One document listed the downing of an A-6A on May 3, 1968 in which both crewmen died. In July
1991, U.S. researchers at the Military Region IV museum in Vinh City obtained access to an archival list of gravesites of Americans who died there during the war. One entry listed Robert D. Avery as buried in Quang Ninh District from an F-105 downed on April 15, 1968. In January 1992, a Region IV air defense record listed an A-6A downed on May 3, 1968 with both crewmen dead. In December 1992, a copy of the list of burial sites was turned over by Vietnam to Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. He is honored on Panel 54E, Row 24 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Created by: Elizabeth Reed
Record added: Jun 15, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27574407