Tags: Centenary of Naval Aviation
Written narratives and biographies are important and a primary research source. However, when one has the opportunity to listen to a narrative, especially of one who was there and played a key role in a major event – that is even better. Courtesy friend and contributor to this blog, LCDR George Walsh, USN-Ret, himself a dive bomber pilot from the Pacific theater (SB2C Helldiver) comes a clip of a radio interview with then RDML Wade McClusky, USN-Ret conducted on the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and a few short years before he left this life for greener pastures. – SJS
Rear Admiral Clarence Wade McClusky, Jr., USN (Retired), (1902-1976)
Clarence W. McClusky, Jr. was born in Buffalo, New York, on 1 June 1902. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1926 and became a Naval Aviator three years later. Over the next decade, he served in several air units, as well as on command staffs, as an instructor at the Naval Academy and at shore facilities. In 1940 he was assigned to Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6), based on USS Enterprise (CV-6), and assumed command of that squadron in April 1941.
Lieutenant Commander McClusky became Enterprise air group commander in April 1942. During the Battle of Midway, while leading
his air group’s scout bombers on 4 June 1942, he made the critical tactical decision that led to the destruction of the Japanese aircraft carriers Kaga and Akagi, thus making a vital contribution to the outcome of that pivotal battle. Later in World War II, he commanded the escort carrier USS Corregidor (CVE-58).
Captain McClusky served in a variety of staff and shore positions in the later 1940s. During the Korean War, he was Chief of Staff to the Commanders of the First and Seventh Fleets. He commanded Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois, in 1952-53, and the Boston Group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in 1954-56. Clarence W. McClusky, Jr., retired from active duty in July 1956. At that time, in recognition of his vital contributions to the outcome of World War II, he was advanced to Flag rank. Rear Admiral McClusky died on 27 June 1976.
USS McClusky (FFG-41) was named in his honor.