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AMM2 Milton Wayne Clark

AMM2 Milton Wayne Clark

Hastings, Jefferson County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 6 Jun 1942 (aged 21)
At Sea
Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot Courts of the Missing
Memorial ID 56117862 · View Source
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John Barnes Clark and Ada M. Wells were married in Waurika, Jefferson, OK on 07 Sept 1913. They were the parents of at least four children; Florene, Mattie Moditha, Milton Wayne and Leona Elizabeth Clark. John and Ada divorced in the early 1940s. She married William Elbert Humber as her second husband.

Mattie, Wayne (as he was known in high school) and Leona attended Plainview High School at various times in the 1930s. Wayne was a football letterman in 1937 and played the position of Center. He graduated in 1939 from Plainview High. There are almost no military records found that would provide insight into Wayne's early navy service. He probably enlisted in the US Navy (NSN:356-23-36) about 1939 after he finished high school, and was sent to the Naval Training Station, San Diego for recruit training as an Apprentice Seaman (A.S). It isn't known whether Wayne was ordered to duty aboard the Enterprise after some initial training possibly at the Naval Air Station, San Diego. However, he was on board Enterprise and assigned to Scouting Squadron Six (VT-6) by May 1942.

On Friday evening, 5 June 1942, Ensign Clarence Earl Vammen Jr—flying a Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bomber, with Aviation Machinists' Mate 2d Class Milton W. Clark in the rear seat—took off with eight other planes of VS-6, as part of the strike launched to locate and sink what had been erroneously reported as two enemy carriers. Subsequently, the SBD's from Enterprise and Hornet found and attacked what they reported to be a "Japanese CL" (light cruiser)— a ship that turned out to be the destroyer Tanikaze. The Dauntlesses that made the dusk attack failed to score any hits with their 500-pound bombs on the twisting, turning destroyer. Vammen, who had never received instruction in night carrier recoveries, made his first night landing—not on Enterprise, but on Hornet.

The next morning, on 6 June, Vammen and Clark joined Hornet's planes in attacking the fleeing Japanese heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma, a strike that inflicted such severe damage on the latter that she sank later that day. During the attack, Ens. Vammen's plane suffered a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire and disintegrated in flight. Their remains were unrecoverable.

Ens. Vammen and his gunner, AMM2 Milton W. Clark were listed as missing in action on 06 Jun 1942 and presumed dead on 07 Jun 1943. AMM2 Milton W Clark was awarded the Air Medal, The Purple Heart and the Enterprise Presidential Unit Citation. His NOK was his mother, Mrs. Ida* Clark, 619 Dale *Street, Plainview, Texas. (*Note; Mother's name was Ada vice Ida and she lived at 619 Date St vice Dale St.)

The partial air medal citation from the Navy's Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 312 (March 1943) reads:
The Air Medal was awarded (Posthumously) to AMM2 Clark for his achievement as gunner of a scouting squadron plane in the Battle of Midway. He took part in persistent attacks against harassing Japanese aircraft, at the same time keeping his pilot continuously informed, despite the distraction of antiaircraft barrage and enemy fighter opposition.

The Purple Heart was awarded (Posthumously) to AMM2 Clark for wounds he received in combat on 06 Jun 1942.
Visit his second cenotaph in Plainview Memorial Park, Plainview, TX. Recently, FindAGraver, Sandy Lindeman, posted a photo of this marker that confirms his identity. He never used the name Milton. It was difficult to prove that Wayne Clark in Plainview's 1930 census was Milton Wayne Clark until now. Thank you Sandy.
Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lubbock, TX, Friday, January 22, 1943. p.9
Washington, Jan 21 - Cited For Midway Bravery
Decoration of 12 Officer and four enlisted men of the navy for heroic conduct was announced by the navy department today. Enlisted men were awarded the air medal for heroism in the battle of Midway included Milton W. Clark, 22, aviation machinists mate 2nd class, listed as missing in action. He is the son of Mrs. Ida Clark, 619 Dale* Street, Plainview, Texas.
*Note: Address was 619 Date St and his mother's name was Ada vice Ida.
The Enterprise Presidential Unit Citation reads:
For consistently outstanding performance and distinguished achievement during repeated action against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific war area, 7 December 1941, to 15 November 1942. Participating in nearly every major carrier engagement in the first year of the war, the Enterprise and her air group, exclusive of far-flung destruction of hostile shore installations throughout the battle area, did sink or damage on her own a total of 35 Japanese vessels and shot down a total of 185 Japanese aircraft. Her aggressive spirit and superb combat efficiency are fitting tribute to the officers and men who so gallantly established her as an ahead bulwark in the defense of the American nation.
His family also received a commemoration from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It reads: In grateful memory of Milton Wayne Clark, who died in the service of his country, SEA, Pacific Area, ATTACHED U.S.S. ENTERPRISE, 7 JUNE 1943 (Presumed)*. He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives -- in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.

(Signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt,
President of the United States

(*Presumed dead on 7 Jun 1943. Actual date gone missing was 6 Jun 1942.)
[bio compiled by G47]

Family Members

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Texas.





  • Maintained by: G47
  • Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56117862
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for AMM2 Milton Wayne Clark (3 Aug 1920–6 Jun 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56117862, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by G47 (contributor 47281148) .