Cleveland Evans, Jr.
Other Personnel In Incident: Steven Heitman; Jimmy L. Watson (both missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project (919/527-8079) 01 April 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Copyright 1991 Homecoming II Project.
SYNOPSIS: On March 13, 1968, SP5 Heitman, Sgt. Evans, passengers, WO Jimmy Watson, pilot, SFC Eugene Gubbins, PFC Larry Moore and Lt. Purda, crewmembers and 4 unidentified passengers of the 101st Airborne Division were aboard a UH1H helicopter (tail #67-17254) which proceeded north from Phu Bai airfield on a logistics mission to Camp Evans, Republic of Vietnam. Evans was on the aircraft on the first leg of a journey to Da Nang, to visit his brother, who was stationed there.
About 3-5 miles southeast of Camp Evans, the helicopter was hit by enemy fire and was forced to land. All 10 persons exited the aircraft and split into two 5-man teams in an attempt to evade to friendly lines.
Lt. Purda and the four 101st Airborne personnel walked into Camp Evans at 2000 hours. An intensive search was initiated, but failed to reveal any trace of the aircraft or the 5 missing. On March 28, elements of the 1st Cavalry Division found 2 bodies in a shallow grave in the area of the crash site. They were later identified as those of SFC Gubbins and PFC Moore. The fates of the other 3 remained a mystery and the three were classified Missing in Action.
Since the war ended, thousands of reports have convinced many authorities that hundreds of Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia. The three survivors of the helicopter crash on March 13, 1968 could be among them. They also could be dead. Until the U.S. seriously pursues his fate, we may not know with certainty what happened to Cleveland Evans.
As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must do everything possible to bring him home alive.
POW/MIA Data & Bios supplied by the P.O.W. NETWORK Skidmore, MO. USA