PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - It was a hero's welcome for a decorated Cathedral City soldier who was killed 60 years ago. The remains of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Clifford L. Ryan were flown to California early Thursday and were driven from Los Angeles International Airport to Wiefel Mortuary in Palm Springs, escorted by motorcycles supplied by the Patriot Guard Riders.
Ryan was killed on Nov. 1, 1950, at the age of 28 in an engagement with Chinese forces while guarding a bridge near Unsan, North Korea. His body was not recovered at the time, and he was listed as missing in action until last year, when his remains, which turned up 12 years ago during a North Korean construction project, were identified through DNA testing at the forensics lab at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
Ryan, a native of Muscatine, Iowa, served in the Army 12 years, seeing combat in World War II and the Korean War. He served in the 70th Tank Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, and 1st Cavalry and earned several medals, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
Ryan, whose son, Terry Ryan, 65, lives in Cathedral City, will be buried at Riverside National Cemetery Saturday.