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Clifford Thomas E. “Jock”

Thomas E. “Jock”  Clifford
Serial Number:
19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division
Date of Death:
West Virginia
Riverview Cemetery Ronceverte, Greenbrier County, West Virginia
Silver Star

Born on May 1911, Clifford was commanding the 19th Infantry Regiment when he was killed while taking the city of Davao in the Philippines. From FIND A GRAVE: US Army WORLD WAR II Colonel Thomas E. Clifford, Jr. KIA Graduate US Military Academy class of 1936 Unit: 19th Infantry, 24th Division Hometown: Ceredo, West Virginia. Awards: Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star. This biography was gleaned from Thomas E. Clifford, Jr was born in Ronceverte, West Virginia, where his mother Mrs. Mary Clifford, was from. He married the former Miss Brownie Peters and had one daughter. wife and daughter lived during the war at Ceredo, West Virginia. Thomas Clifford attended Greenbrier Military Academy at Lewisburg, At West Point he starred as an athlete and gained his first national fame as an All-American football center in 1935. Graduating from West point in 1936. Sent overseas in 1939 he came under fire at Pearl Harbor. After a period of service In Hawaii, he commanded the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry of the 24th Infantry Division in New Guinea at Hollandia in early 1944. His daring landing with his battalion at Depapre in Tanehmerah Bay without naval fire support, followed by an almost incredibly rapid drive through a mountainous jungle defile on the first day, were decisive factors in the success of the whole campaign. It was his personal courage and dynamic leadership that made possible the spectacular success which culminated in the quick seizure of the main Hollandia Airdrome. After Hollandia, Jock took leave to the US for the first time since Pearl Harbor. While on leave he learned that the date of the initial landing in the Philippines had been set forward, and that his outfit was one of the assault divisions. He acquired transportation back to New Guinea—but missed the convoy so he boarded a fast naval vessel for Leyte which was scheduled to catch up with the slower moving convoy, but his ship was torpedoed. Rescued by a Navy PBY Catalina plane, he finished the trip by air, but arrived two days after the landing—and found another officer commanding his battalion in another area. He assigned to command the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry. The unit plunged forward with his characteristic aggressiveness as our battalions leap-frogged in a breakthrough. Pushing on through Leyte Valley by way of Jaro to Carigara, and on to Capoocan and Pinamapoan, splitting the enemy defenses, Jock's dynamic presence added greatly to the power of the spearhead—though his unit of necessity suffered heavy casualties. Promoted to full colonel and given command of the 19th Infantry in early February, 1945. On June 24th near Tamogan, Colonel Clifford was caught in heavy mortar fire and killed instantly by an exploding round.