Sgt. Clarence L. McNeill


mcneill, clarence l..jpg

SGT Clarence Leon ‘Boone’ McNeill was killed in action on 5 February 1969, when the EC-47 aircraft, callsign CAP 72, on which he was serving as an Airborne Cryptologic Linguist, was downed by enemy fire over Laos.

SGT McNeill was born on 30 June 1947 in Wayne County, NC and graduated from James Kenan High School, Warsaw, NC in 1965. After high school, SGT McNeill attended East Carolina University until he joined the Air Force.

SGT McNeill enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on 27 June 1966. He completed basic training at Lackland AFB, TX and Vietnamese language training at the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA and technical training at Goodfellow AFB, TX. Following completion of training in January 1968, he was assigned to the 6990th Security Group, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. On 29 May 1968, SGT McNeill was reassigned to Det 2, 6994th Security Squadron, Pleiku Air Base, Vietnam.

SGT McNeill was posthumously promoted to the grade of Sergeant on 1 June 1969. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart (Posthumously), Air Medal (3rd OLC), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal.

SGT McNeill was originally interred in a communal grave at the Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, MO, but after DNA testing, his remains were identified from the previously unidentified remains and on November 28, 2013 SGT McNeill was interred at the Devotional Gardens Cemetery in Waraw, NC, close to his parents. His name is engraved on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall on Panel 33W, line 66.

In November 1987, the Conference Room in Building 1523, Misawa AB was redesignated as the McNeill Memorial Auditorium in SGT McNeill’s honor. In 2004 a dormitory at Ft. Meade, MD was redesignated McNeill Hall in his honor.