My name is Paul Clever. My Father (TSgt Louis Clever) and nine others were shot down in Southern Laos on February 5, 1969. My Mother and my Grandmother were Gold Star Mothers. They have both since passed away.
The Air Force never presented any evidence that any specific member of the crew had been accounted for thought co-mingled remains were recovered four months after the loss. This left an emotional emptiness which effected many of the surviving family members.
Years of my personal research uncovered the Air Force knew they had not recovered all of the crew and made the choice not to return to the crash site to achieve a “Maximum Recovery”. Bringing these documents to the Air Force did not generate concern for a return to the crash site to recovery more remains. In 2011 I took ownership of this loss.
In December 2012 my Wife and I traveled to Southern Laos and searched the jungle near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. We were successful in locating the crash site and recovered additional remains. DNA Testing of these remains by the Central Identification Laboratory found viable DNA which matched three of the crew: one of which was my Father.
On May 22, 2015 we will be laying my Father to rest with my Mother at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near St. Louis, MO. The service is scheduled to start at 2:30 PM Central Time.
Many people still carry their Gold Stars without really knowing what happened to their loved one. Please consider sharing this story to offer hope to those families one day their loved ones may yet come home. Attached is a well written link which highlights the story: http://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/ceremony-today-repatriates-remains-of-10-us-airmen-downed-in-1969-1.222815 <
The story continues with his coming home;
On Thursday, May 21st at approximately 1000 Paul Clever, son of TSgt Louis Clever, and family will be leaving MS with the Patriot Guard. They will arrive at the Arnold VFW Post at approximately 1700. We would like to place 2000 flags from I-55 to the post on Thursday morning, pick them up that afternoon, and then on Friday, May 22nd have them placed from Lemay Ferry to Jefferson Barracks Cemetery and picked up afterwards. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!!! Please make all you members aware of the need.
Below is an update list of the Schedule of Events. Any that can help, please be at the Arnold Post at 12:00 hours on Thursday. We will be picking up the 2000 flags and placing them from there.
VFW Post 2593
2301 Church Road
Arnold Missouri 63010
Any questions, give us a call.
The Return of TSgt Louis Clever – Itinerary
*** DIGNIFIED TRANSFER of TSgt Clever – Muster: 2.00 PM Wednesday May 20, 2015, – Delta Air Cargo, Cargo City, Cell Phone Lot 2 – Lambert St. Louis International Airport (East end of airport complex). Casket Arrival Delta Flight 2084 ; 2:58 Local time Note: Strong chance of rain.
*** HONOR RIDE – (Southaven, MS to St. Louis, MO) – Muster: 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM May 21, 2015, Mandatory Safety Briefing. Departure 9:00 AM from SOUTHERN THUNDER HARLEY DAVIDSON, 4870 Venture Drive, Southeaven, MS 38671. T: 662-349-1099. Weather: Partially Cloudy: rain not expected.
*** HONOR RIDE ARRIVAL – ETA 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM, May 21, 2015 – Arnold VFW Post 2593, 2301 Church Road: Arnold, MO 63010. 636-296-2611 or 636-287-9748. The VFW Post will provide a meal to those participating in the Honor Ride upon arrival. Adult beverages not included but the bar will be well stocked.
*** POW/MIA HONOR RECEPTION – Begins at 7:00 PM May 21, 2015 – Arnold VFW Post 2593: Includes POW/MIA Remembrance Table Ceremony. Paul and Nita Clever accounting of successful remains recovery mission – Laos 2012.
*** FOX KTVI CHANNEL 2 PARKING LOT INTERVIEW – 7:10 AM May 22, 2015 – KTVI parking lot located at 2250 Ball Drive, St Louis, MO. Paul and Nita Clever interview supported by Bikers which will be participating in the Funeral Escort. This is a chance to make a statement there are many who still care about the POW/MIA Accounting process. Departure from the Holiday Inn – South County at 6:10 AM (note: this is a revised earlier time to allow for traffic). Weather: Sunny and clear.
*** FAMILY VISITATION – Muster: 11:00 AM May 22, 2015 – Kutis Funeral Home, 5255 Lemay Ferry Road, 63129. Visitation begins at 11:30 AM.
*** HAND TO HAND TRANSFER OF CASKET – Muster: 1:30 PM May 22, 2015 – Kutis Funeral Home. Purpose: Fallen Warriors should be carried and not wheeled. Formation of two Escort Lines from the Funeral Home door (as far as needed to include everybody) to the hearse. Lines facing each other pass the casket hand-to-hand supporting TSgt Clever’s final mission. Be Safe.
*** FUNERAL ESCORT DEPARTURE TO JEFFERSON BARRACKS CEMETERY – Kutis Funeral Home, 2:00 PM SHARP.
*** FUNERAL TSGT LOUIS CLEVER BEGINS – 2:30 PM May 22, 2015 – Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery – Full Military Honors. Scheduled Air Force Flyover/Missing Man Formation. Limited opportunity for Guests to share a brief though during the service (Pavilion Number 6).