Before entering the Army in 1942 and after graduating from East High School in Kansas City, Clyde was employed at the H.T. Poindexter & Sons Merchandising Company.

About Clyde

AGE: died 2005 (age 82)

BRANCH OF SERVICE: WWII, Army Air Corps

YEARS SERVED: 1942 to 1945

HOMETOWN: Kansas City

 

JOINING UP

Before entering the Army in 1942 and after graduating from East High School in Kansas City, Clyde was employed at the H.T. Poindexter & Sons Merchandising Company.

Known as Tink by his friends, Clyde went into the Army at age 19. By the time he reached age 22, he was Tech. Sgt. radio operator and gunner on a Liberator bomber. He would fly a total of 44 missions during his three years and would earn an Air Medal and Purple Heart. At the same time that Clyde served a brother would serve as a Marine on Saipan, and another brother in the Air Corps.

GETTING SHOT DOWN

On July 15, 1944, during Clyde’s 44th mission, the B-24 bomber went down. The plane was losing altitude at 27,500 feet due to a gasoline leak. All members of the crew bailed out over Romania and were spread out over 20 miles on the ground. After a week of searching, all were reunited except for the gunner, who had been taken as prisoner. The Americans and their friend from General Mihailovich’s forces tramped through the rugged mountain country for nearly three weeks before being taken to Italy. Until arriving in Italy, all crew members had been reported missing in action over Romania. Letters were soon sent home notifying family members the missing crew members had been found. Clyde received his Air Medal and Purple Heart in Italy, August 1944.

AFTER THE WAR

After arriving home he began work at the Vendo Company where he met his wife, LaVaun, in May 1951. They dated for two months and married.  Both worked at Vendo. Clyde (Tink) spent 30 years with Vendo as a warehouse manager. He and LaVaun were married 54 years and had six children. Clyde volunteered as an umpire for the local high school games alongside Bill Brewster with Independence Parks and Recreation. Clyde died in 2005 at age 82.