Military Service
Home Up

 

Memories or Madness
A Letter Home

Dr. John Strother Clayton, Sr. was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 17, 1925. At eighteen, a student at the University of Virginia, Clayton volunteered for induction, entering active service August 23, 1943. Upon completion of basic training at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to the 3rd Platoon, Company A, 68th Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division. He served as a Browning Automatic Rifleman until the end of the war in Europe and then as a broadcaster with AFN in France and Germany until his discharge as a Pfc March 8, 1946.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

 

Army Serial Number: 33 644 856

Grade: PFC

 

Date of Entry into Active Service: 23 Aug 1943

Date of Separation: 8 Mar 1946

 

According to the record

 

3 months in Infantry Basic Training.

15 months as a Rifleman

9 months as an Automatic Rifleman (BAR)

8 months as a Radio Program Supervisor.

 

"RADIO PROGRAM SUPERVlSOR - Announced over radio station in Nancy and Berlin. Announced variety shows, dance band features, on the spot sportscasts of boxing and football and daily 45 minute musical request record shows. Introduced personalities over radio, wrote up daily half-hour program. Also served as automatic rifleman for 6 months in combat in Germany."

 

MILITARY QUALIFICATIONS

 

Combat Infantry Badge

Expert Sub Machine Gun

Expert M-l Rifle

Expert Light Machine Gun

Expert Heavy Machine Gun

Sharpshooter Carbine

Sharpshooter Mortar

 

BATTLES AND CAMPAIGNS

 

Ardennes-Alsace (awarded later, not on my discharge papers)

Rhineland

Central Europe

Southern France (not awarded to Division because "only elements" were engaged in Maritime Alps combat, i.e., 68th AIB.)

 

DECORATIONS AND CITATIONS

 

Good Conduct Medal

American Theater Ribbon

European African Middle East Theater Ribbon

World War II Victory Ribbon

Bronze Star Medal (Not on service record; awarded later.)

 

SERVICE OVERSEAS

 

Sailed for France from New York 14 Oct 1944

Landed Marseille 18 Oct 1944

Sailed for U.S. from Le Harvre 4 Feb 1946

Arrived New York 16 Feb 1946

 

Articles & Letters on WWII

 

Letter Home to Clayton's Minister About Combat Incident

Article published in The Liberator on combat experience, Memories or Madness?

Squad Leader on the Future in Missouri Speech.

 

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