Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
16 Aug 1921 2
Nederland, TX 2
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Personal Details

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Person:
Lester O Clotiaux 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
16 Aug 1921 2
Nederland, TX 2
Male 2
Birth:
1921 1
Texas 1
Residence:
Place: Jefferson County, Texas 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
29 Aug 1942 1
Army Branch:
Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA 1
Army Component:
Selectees (Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
38207972 1
Enlistment Place:
Houston Texas 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
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Occupation:
Semiskilled occupations in refining of petroleum 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 1303 1
Film Reel Number: 6.69 1

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Bio

 

Six Army men from Foster Field were killed early Thursday when a plane in which they were returning to their base here from a baseball game at Waco, crashed and burned in a wooded area 60 miles to the northwest.
Harlingen Valley Morning Star August 10, 1945

Lester O. "Les" Clotiaux was born in Nederland, Texas on August 16, 1921. Clotiaux graduated from Nederland High School in 1937 and went to work for the Gulf Refinery in Port Arthur where he played baseball with the Barrel House Bees in the Gulf Refinery League.

In 1941, Clotiaux was among four catchers on the spring roster of the Port Arthur Tarpons of the Class D Evangeline League and was with manager Harry Strohm's squad when they hosted the Brooklyn Dodgers in an exhibition game at Legion Stadium on March 28 (for the record, the Dodgers walloped the Tarps 17-0).

Clotiaux was released before the season began and played for the Grammiers, a top-notch local semi-pro team, as well as continuing to play for the Barrel House team where he worked.

Clotiaux entered military service on August 29, 1942. He served as a corporal with the Army Air Force at Foster Field, Texas and was the regular catcher on the Foster Field Falcons baseball team.

On August 9, 1945, the Falcons traveled to Childress Army Air Base in Texas for a ballgame. The Falcons won that contest and five of the players - Clotiaux, Duard Lawson, Harold Phillips, Chester Seipp and Pete Zarrilla, along with pilot Second Lieutenant Peter R. Davis (an experienced pilot with over 1,500 hours during the previous year) - flew back to Foster Field in a twin-engined Beechcraft AT-7C. On the return journey the plane crashed near Smiley, Texas. Corporal Clotiaux and the other five men on board were all killed.

On August 12, 1945, funeral services were held for Corporal Clotiaux at the First Methodist Church in Nederland, with Reverand John R. Lockhart officiating. He was buried at Block Cemetery in Nederland and the burial included a military escort from the Lake Charles air base and US Marine Corps pallbearers from the Marine base at Mid-County Airport in Nederland.

 

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