Jan. 19, 1904 Jonesboro Jackson Parish Louisiana, USA
Apr. 26, 1982 Pierce County Washington, USA
Clarence Lee Strother was born on 19 January 1904 in Jonesboro, Jackson Parish, Louisiana. He was named after the great southern general, Robert Edward Lee, with whom Clarence shared the same birthday. He grew up in rural northern Louisiana. He attended high school in Simsboro between 1919-1921, but did not graduate. The opportunities for a young man at that time were limited, which probably led to his enlistment in the U.S. Army on 1 March 1928.
By 1942, Clarence had risen to the grade of technical sergeant in the U. S. Army Field Artillery. When he re-enlisted in the service in March 1942, it was as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. The army needed new leaders with the start of the war. He was promoted to first lieutenant in November 1942, captain in June 1943, and major in April 1944. His assignments included supply officer, fighter squadron adjutant and fighter squadron executive officer. He served with the 47th Fighter Squadron in the Western Pacific Theatre during World War II. Following some leave after the war ended in 1945, Clarence was transferred to Germany in 1946 for service in the occupational forces. Clarence continued in the service until 28 February 1958, when he retired from the U.S. Air Force after completing 30 years.
Clarence married twice: 1. Dorothy Elizabeth Hawkenbery in 1937, with whom he had two sons; 2. Leta Pearl Hayes in 1948. Clarence and Leta lived together happily for 32 years in Tacoma and Lakewood, Washington.