MSGT David Vance McLeod, Jr

MSGT David Vance McLeod, Jr

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Death 14 Jun 1973 (aged 27)
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 60046814 · View Source
Suggest Edits

In Memory of ....... MSGT. David Vance McLeod, Jr.
*** Master Sergeant McLeod was a member of the 40th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron. On June 14, 1973, he was a crew member of a Siskorsky Sea Stallion Search and Rescue Helicopter (HH-53C) on a rescue mission over Tongle Sap Lake just south of Angkor Wat, Cambodia, when his helicopter was shot down. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 27
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Sep 24, 1945-Born in Birmingham, AL.
Marital Status: Married - Evelyn L. McLeod of Jacksonville, FL. Daughter, Deborah R. McLeod. Parents: Father, David Vance Mcleod, Sr. Born April 13, 1915 in Greenville, Florida and Died Feb. 24, 1958 in Jacksonville, Florida (Buried in Riverside Memorial Park, Jacksonville, Florida) and Mother, Martha Faye Fike Mcleod, Born 1923 (8 yrs younger). Married Nov. 8, 1973 in Shelby County, Alabama.
* Paternal Grandparents: Grandfather, David Walker McLeod,
birth: 3 January 1883, Madison Co., Florida and death: 26 October 26, 1928 in Florida (FAG 7036456) s/o Daniel Webster McLeod and Lucretia Lamb McLeod and Grandmother, Linnie Cowart McLeod, birth: 23 December 1898, Columbia Co., Florida and death: 17 February 1973 in Florida (FAG 7036458).
* Maternal Grandparents: Grandfather, Walter Henry Fike and Grandmother, Kiney Belle Evans Fike.

***** At his memorial service I remember the sound of a Huey being heard by all in attendance and then it faded away. When my parents thanked the officer in charge for their remembering him by sending a helicopter he told them that there wasn't a base near enough that had that type of helicopter. They didn't send one. I always thought that it was David's way to telling us goodbye one last time. My thanks and appreciation for all of you vets who gave your all. May God bless your lives.
Barry Fike - cousin
Fillmore ca

***** I was flying with Dave the day he died. I was on his sister helo when his helo went out of control, causes unknown. Dave bailed out but never got a good chute. His remains are in the lake in cambodia. He is a true hero. A Son-Tay Raider. Numerous tours in SEA. A true Jolly Green Giant.
I came to say hello on our anniversary yesterday 6/14/08. Rest in peace brother
John Adrian - Fellow Jolly Green Giant

His tour began on Jun 14, 1973
Casualty was on Jun 14, 1973
Hostile, died while missing, HELICOPTER - CREW

Body was not recovered
Panel 01W - Line 118

MSGT David V. McLeod was a crew member onboard an HH53C helicopter shot down in northwestern Cambodia on June 14, 1973.

The aircraft went down over Tonle Sap, a large lake forming the southern border of Siemreab Province.

The fate of the rest of the crew is unknown, but as none are missing, it is assumed that they were either rescued or their bodies recovered.

You have my permission to use the letter as written.
I was glad to be able to set the record straight. Dave was a dear friend of mine and I still have a sense that a part of me is missing. He also was my supervisor and during my 21 years in the service I could not have had a better one. If you have access to Dave's family you may forward my address to them. I don't know if they know the real story of what a fine comrade Dave was to me and the other Jolly Green's he worked with. When I went to the Wall in DC. It took a long
time for me to walk the wall, I lost so many friends (seven). Thanks for what you are doing.

Currently, I'm a member of the TLC Brotherhood (Thailand, Laos & Cambodia). We are prior Officers & enlisted that was stationed in the war zone (SEA)during the mid 60's to mid 70's). our members did various jobs to support the operations in SEA at the time. We now gather around the fire on the net and tell old war stories and experiences. We support each other as well as an orphanage in Udorn, Thailand. Several of our members knew and flew with
Dave. Through the brotherhood web site I saw the pownet site and I just had to set the record straight when I read the bio on David.

Thanks again for your message.
Woody R. Freeman, TSgt, USAF, Ret.
Jolly Green Flight Engineer
37th ARRSq. DaNang, RVN 1972
40th ARRSq. NKP, Thailand 1972-1975
Proud Member TLC Brotherhood
Proud Life Member VFW Post #10249, Udorn, Thailand- We Make A Difference
I am writing to comment on Msgt. David V. McLeod,Jr.
USAF. He was the Flight Engineer on a HH-53C Jolly Green Giant helicopter attached to the 40th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron (ARRSq) that went down (crashed) in Tonle Sap, a large lake on the southern border of Siemreab Province in Northwestern Cambodia.

THE HELICOPTER WAS NOT SHOT DOWN. As an update to your file on Msgt. McLeod. The aircraft and crew were returning from strip SAR (Search & Rescue alert) in Thailand to their homebase (Nakhon Phanom, RTAFB, Thailand). Normal routine for the returning crews was to fly out over the lake in Cambodia and meet a USAF C-130 Refuel aircraft and make several (dry)contacts on the refueling hoses then to actually refuel from the C-130 and fly back to NKP, Thailand, On 14 June 1973 The Jolly Green was in the refueling formation with the C-130 and had just disconnected from the refueling hose when the helicopter rapidly pitched nose up then nose down, doing this several times. The helicopter descended into the lake upside down. The two pararescuemen sitting on the ramp were thrown out of the back of the helicopter when it pitched nose up. (normal procedure for air refueling was, all crewmembers have on backpack parachutes, all windows, doors and hatches closed except for the aft cargo ramp (optional). The pilot, Gilbert Allan Rovito, Capt, USAF (body recovered)and co-pilot, Francis E. Meador, USAF (body recovered) was also killed in the crash.

An effort was made to recover the helicopter and Msgt. McLeods body. A sling was attached to the underbody of the helicopter, e.g.. the cargo hook and the landing gear. When the helicopter was lifted it was found that the impact of the helicopter going in inverted had sheared the
airframe, at the airframe to inside deck (cargo)area. The helicopter broke apart at this shear and the top of the helicopter was unrecoverable.

Msgt. McLeod's body was never found. The inside of the wreckage and surrounding area was searched extensively.

The two Pararescuemen that were thrown out relayed this to me on 16 June 1973. The reason is because I was a flight Engineer in the 40th ARRSq during that period and the crew of that helicopter was my HARD crew. (we had crews assigned as hard crew members such as pilot, co-pilot,Flight Engineer, and two pararescue men). Those five people made up a hard crew and when the crew was assigned to fly, all five would be scheduled to fly together. The reason it wasn't me that was killed is due to my brother being killed in Florida and I was on emergency leave.

Msgt. McLeod was my supervisor and was flying in my place until I returned to NKP, Thailand. I returned the day after the accident happened. The crash was relayed to me when I returned.



Gravesite Details Looking for hometown location of his Memorial Headstone.

Sponsored by Ancestry


Plan a visit to Honolulu Memorial?



  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 13 Oct 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 60046814
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for MSGT David Vance McLeod, Jr (24 Sep 1945–14 Jun 1973), Find A Grave Memorial no. 60046814, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .