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James Averell Clark Jr

Military

Initially assigned to the 71st Eagle Squadron in June 1942. With the founding of the 4th Fighter Group that September, he was assigned to the 334th Squadron, where he eventually became its Commanding Officer.

In March 1944 he became Group Operations Officer, and in September, as a Lieutenant Colonel, he became acting Group and Station Commanding Officer, in the absence of Donald Blakeslee.

In 1944, prior to becoming Group Operations Officer, he served as Assistant Military Attache for Air at the US Embassy, London.

He was credited with 16 enemy aircraft destroyed and was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal w/3 Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Unit Award.

Grover Hall in '1000 Destroyed', says of Jim Clark:
“Clark could lead the group and carry the courses, altitudes, weather conditions and rendezvous times in his tawny head, but ask him his age (24) and usually he couldn’t remember off-hand…Clark was an aloof man of strange diffidence who once argued against his promotion to captain and insisted he shouldn’t be awarded the DFC.”

Post War:
1946-50: Stockbroker, Clark Dodge,
1950: Returned to USAF, CO fighter training unit,
1953: President, Lamson Aircraft Company,
1959: Joseph Walker & Son, Manhattan,
1963: President, Condor Mining Company,
1973: Pegasus Air Freight,
1980: Clark retired.

Service

People

  • Donald Blakeslee

    Military | Colonel | Fighter pilot, Commanding Officer | 4th Fighter Group
    Don Blakeslee was born on 11 September 1917 in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. As a boy, he became captivated with planes while watching the Cleveland National Air Races held only 30 miles away from his home at 529 7th St, Fairport Harbor, Ohio. In 1938,...

  • Claiborne Kinnard

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Commanding Officer, Pilot | 355th Fighter Group
    Colonel Kinnard, already a much decorated fighter pilot, came to the 4th Fighter Group in September 1944 from his former position as Group Commander of the 355th Fighter Group. He was appointed Deputy Group Commander, reporting to Lt. James Clark,...

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 334th Fighter Squadron

    334th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 334th Fighter Squadron was the successor to No. 71 Eagle squadron of the Royal Air Force when the 4th Fighter Group was activated on 12 September 1942. They were based at Debden Field, Essex. The "Fighting Eagles" as they were called, flew...

  • No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...

  • Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters
    The Headquarters Squadron was made up of true leaders. Most had flown Hurricanes, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs. ...

Aircraft

  • 42-106650

    P-51 Mustang
    One-time aircraft of Lt. Col. James Averell Clark. A/C last seen while the group was climbing to meet 50-75 inbound German fighters over Budapest. Pilot Lt Thomas Sharp could not get tanks to drop, he was ordered to return to base. He was not heard...

  • 43-6560

    P-51 Mustang
    One-time personal aircraft of Lt Col James A Clark. Lost on escort mission to Poznan, Poland. On return, whilst strafing a Luftwaffe airbase, hit by Flak and bellied in. Pilot Lt Frank Speer initially evaded, but then was captured POW. 29-May-44. MACR...

  • 41-6195

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 551st Fighter Training Squadron 495th Fighter Training Group 8AF USAAF. During formation immelman manoeuvre, aborted manoeuvre and in recovery A/C stalled and 'flicked' into a spin. Pilot baled out from...

  • 41-6413

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    This aircraft was at one time or another, assigned to the following pilots: Lt. Charles Carr, Capt. James A. Clark, Maj. Oscar Coen, Lt Col. Chesley Peterson, 1st Lt. Thomas J. Andrews.

  • 44-13372

    P-51 Mustang
    One-time personal aircraft of Lt Col James A. Clark and 1st Lt Willard G. Gillette. ...

  • BM293

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BM293 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • 41-6392

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 334th FS, 4th FG, 8th AF USAAF. Taxiing accident Debden/Sta 356 Cat 3 damage, pilot Lt James A Clark Jr, 8-6-43.

  • 42-75252

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 405FS, 371FG, 9AF USAAF. Crash Landing Bisterne/Sta 415 Cat 5 damage, pilot Lt Eugene E Sanderson KIA, 12-Apr-44.

Associated Place

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...

Events

Event Location Date
Born New York, NY, USA 7 September 1920
Lived in Westbury LI, New York 1940
Based 13 December 1941 – 9 June 1942

Assigned to RAF.

Based Kirton-in-Lindsey 9 June 1942 – 15 September 1942

Assigned 71st Eagle Squadron RAF.

Based Debden 15 September 1942 – 15 September 1944

Transferred to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF

Promotion Debden, Loughton IG10 3SW, UK December 1942

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Promotion Debden, Loughton IG10 3SW, UK 2 July 1943

Promoted to Captain.

Promotion Debden, Loughton IG10 3SW, UK 19 October 1943

Promoted to Major.

Promotion Debden, Loughton IG10 3SW, UK 29 March 1944

Promoted to Lt Colonel.

Married Lady Bridget Elliott London, UK April 1944
Died Manhattan, New York, NY, USA 11 January 1990

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 January 2018 18:20:05 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_cl...

Date Contributor Update
16 January 2017 12:13:42 Lucy May Changes to events
Sources

Marriage announcement in the Ottawa Journal, 19 April 1944 via newspapers.com
The bride's mother was the former Marian Cook of Montreal who married the Earl of Minto, when he was aide-de-camp at Government House, Ottawa.

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2016 15:07:49 Lucy May Changes to biography and awards
Sources

Correspondence with Clark's son, Christopher:
'My father James Averell Clark also was given the Croix de Guerre from the French.'

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2016 14:19:40 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list;
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;
- / http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/pilots.html

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2016 22:05:07 WD-C Mustang Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated media already in database

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2016 21:10:11 WD-C Mustang Changes to biography
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_cl...

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2016 22:10:26 WD-C Mustang Changes to service number and aircraft associations
Sources

The other entry about this same person

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2016 22:02:39 WD-C Mustang Changes to media associations
Sources

Added pictures of him from another entry about him.

Date Contributor Update
21 March 2016 21:54:22 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, biography, awards, events and aircraft associations
Sources

http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/uploads/8/2/0/3/8203817/334_cl...

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 11:36:18 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

AAM DB entry.

Date Contributor Update
03 October 2015 18:48:29 Al_Skiff Changes to awards, unit associations and place associations
Sources

AAM DB entry.

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2015 12:13:05 apollo11 Changes to person associations
Sources

All information correct as far as I am aware

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2015 12:11:58 apollo11 Changes to biography
Sources

All information correct as far as I am aware.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:07 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Fighter Aces of the U. S. A. and Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force; Who's Who in the Eighth Air Force and/or Biographical Directory Command & Staff Officers Eighth Air Force 1942-45

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