GEORGE MCCLELLAND - SSGT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- August 12, 1942
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- February 25, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
George McClelland was born August 12, 1942. His home of record is Passaic, NJ. He grew up on the West Side of New York City until his family moved to Passaic, NJ, and then to Clifton, NJ. He had five brothers and two sisters.
When he was 17, George enlisted in the US Marine Corps. His brother Alfred said, "George enjoyed the service and decided to stay in after his first tour". McClelland served as a rifleman, then later as a drill instructor at Parris Island. He was married with two children.
George volunteered for service in Vietnam towards the end of 1967. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSGT). He soon received orders for his 2nd tour of duty and was assigned to the 26th Infantry Regiment, Khe Sanh. Khe Sanh was a strategic base located in western Quang Tri Province, at the corner of South Vietnam. It had been set up to stop the infiltration of North Vietnamese troops from Laos into the Demilitarized Zone.
On February 25, 1968, McClelland, a member of the 26th Infantry Regiment, was among two squads ordered to go out on patrol beyond the firebase to search for enemy mortar. The patrol ran into an ambush, taking on intense small arms and mortar fire. A second patrol sent to help also came under a barrage of fire.
McClelland's body wasn't recovered until May 8, 1968, at which time he was officially listed as killed in action.
Sources: The Viet Nam Remembrance Committee & Clifton War Veterans Monument Committee and NJVVMF.
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