The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Leroy C. Cloud, 24, of Thrall, Texas, killed during World War II, was accounted for Aug 29, 2023.
In July 1944, Cloud was assigned to Company A, 744th Tank Battalion, as a crew member of an M5A1 Stuart light tank. His unit was engaged in battle with German forces at Saint-Germain-d’Elle, France, on July 26 when his tank was struck by an enemy shoulder-fired rocket. Two crewmembers were able to escape the vehicle, but Cloud and another Soldier were never seen or heard from again. Due to strong enemy artillery fire and intense combat, surviving crewmembers were unable to recover Could’s remains. He was declared missing in action, but the Germans never reported him as a prisoner of war. On Aug 16, with no evidence Cloud survived the fighting, the War Department issued a report of death.
Following the end of the war, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) was tasked with investigating and recovering missing American personnel in Europe. On July 30, 1944, AGRC personnel recovered two sets of remains from an M5A1 destroyed in the vicinity of Saint-Lô. Ultimately, they could not identify the remains, designated X-141 and X-142 St. Laurent, and they were interred in the Normandy American Cemetery, France.
While studying unresolved American losses in the Saint-Germain-d’Elle area, a DPAA historian determined that the M5A1 Stuart tank recovered from the area belonged to Company A, where Cloud was assigned. This correlation led DPAA and American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) personnel to exhume the remains of X-141 and X-142 in April 2018 and sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis and identification.
To identify Cloud’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.
Cloud’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at Normandy American Cemetery, an American Battle Monuments Commission site in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, along with the others still missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Cloud will be buried in Taylor, Texas, on a date to be determined.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
DPAA is grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission and to the U.S. Army Regional Mortuary-Europe/Africa for their partnership in this mission.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.
Cloud’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000001eAuLZEA0.