Klenda, Dean Albert, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1965-1965, 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing
Service Years
1961 - 1965

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox to remember Klenda, Dean Albert, Maj.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Sep 17, 1965
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Pilsen Cemetery - Pilsen, Kansas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
02E 085

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialAmerican Battle Monuments Commission
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2016, American Battle Monuments Commission

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Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
67th Tactical Fighter SquadronUS Air Force
  1965-1965, 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron
  1965-1965, 6234th Tactical Fighter Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Vietnam War2
 Colleges Attended 
Kansas State University
  1959-1963, Kansas State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-105 Thunderchief (Thud)  
  1965-1965, F-105 Thunderchief (Thud)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
"Korat RTAFB, Thailand, 16 August - 23 October 1965
The 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed again to Korat RTAFB Thailand on 16 August. During this deployment the 67th suffered eight aircraft shot down in North Vietnam of which two pilots were rescued and six missing in action (MIA). Four of the six became prisoners of war (POWs) and were repatriated in early 1973 after seven years of captivity; two are unaccounted for and have been declared as killed in action (KIA).

17  Sept 65 F-105D 62-4247, 1Lt Dean A. Klenda (MIA/KIA), Target-barracks 10 miles east of Na San, hit by AAA

1st Lt Klenda had been hit by AAA fire while attacking a barracks complex 10 miles east of Na San, 90 miles west of Hanoi. The aircraft was seen to be hit in the rear fuselage and there was no evidence that he ejected from his aircraft before ground impact."

Source: Vietnam Era Combat Losses, http://67tfs.org/POW-MIA.html

A later and second source indicates 1st Lt Klenda did bail out:

"Sept 17, 1965, Air Force Maj Dean Klenda, an F-105 Thunderchief pilot, was flying a bombing mission over North Vietnam when his plane was hit by enemy fire. Amid the flying debris, another pilot watched as Klenda ejected. The parachute failed to deploy, and Kenda, 25, disappeared."

Source: http://www.jcs-group.com

Despite repeated recovery efforts, Dean Albert Klenda's remains have not been found. He was promoted to Major while missing and eventually declared deceased in May of 1974.
Note: Dean Albert Klenda's name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial and on the Kansas State Vietnam Memorial. A Memorial stone is in place at Pilsen Cemetery, Pilsen, Marion County, Kansas.

A sister’s efforts to find her missing brother finally pay off

Deanna Klenda of Wichita holds a photo of Maj. Dean Klenda, a U.S. Air Force F-105 fighter pilot shot down in 1965 during the Vietnam War. Deanna worked with the U.S. military for decades, hoping they’d find her brother’s remains. They did so in 2014; a funeral is planned in Pilsen next Saturday. Roy Wenzl - The Wichita Eagle.

After Dean Lkenda went missing in action during the Vietnam War, his sister worked relentlessly with the U.S. Military for decades to keep a search going on for his remains.

When they finally called and told Deanna Klenda that Dean was coming home, she felt shock and disbelief.  But the military people on the other end of the phone were friends of hers by then.

They assured her it was true.

"Thank God", she told them.

The U.S. military's Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on Friday isued a statment announcing that F-105 Thunderchief fighter pilot Major Dean Klenda would be given a military funeral next Saturday in Pilsen, Kan., with full military honors.  The date, Sept. 17, will be the 51st anniversary of the day Klenda went missing.

His siter, a Wichitan, had traveled the country for decades for military briefings to families of service peopole missing in action.

"I was always on top of my brother's case", she said friday.

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