A couragous young man, just eighteen, from New Castle, Henry Co IN set forth on the ship USS Quraguay to cross the Atlantic. Destination unknown. An Infantryman, Clark landed in Liverpool England, shortly after D-Day. The hour arrived, his unit came ashore at a beach in France. Bullets and screams ripped at the muggy July air. Silence. Just sixteen days before his nineteeth birthday, he and another soldier gazed upon their now dead comrades. No time to react, face to face with German rifles.
Independence Day was being celebrated in America. Thoughts of his fiance, Alice Paul gave him brief comfort at that moment. Remembrances of home, his praying mother. Untold numbers of other frightened Americans were praying as well. Mrs. Clark would receive several post cards from all over the nation giving her information about her captured son via Hamm Radio transmissions.
Unkown to Clark, his older brother Walter was also fighting in France.
The concentration camp at Dresden Germany would be his confinement for the next eleven months. June 1945. In an attempt to escape, he received wounds that earned him a Purple Heart. Russian soldiers liberated the camp. Malnutrition and his injuries resulted in an extended stay at a French hospital.
This trip across the Atlantic was on the floating hospital USS Charity M. Huddleston. Docking in Charleston South Carolina, Clark and many other soldiers were taken to Percy Jones hospital Battle Creek MI, to rest and recover.
Clark and Miss Paul were married in New Castle Henry County IN on August 12, 1945. They are the parents of Rick Clark and the late Greg Clark.
Clark worked thirty years at Borg-Warner factory in New Castle IN retiring in 1975. More time available to spend volunteering at his church and helping anyone in need of a "strong arm."
Granddaugher Sheri was born in 1976. Grandson Christopher joined the family in 1979. Retirement became complete.
Pleasure walking was a new hobby for Clark, often logging twenty miles a trip.
The Clark's moved to Holiday FL in May 1982 following her retirement from Dana Corp. Hagerstown IN. He kept busy with his lawn mowing business until 2000.
Alice is in frail health. Joe is her faithful caregiver. Despite that he still maintains his yard, home, drives and is a board member at their church.
Our family is still blessed to have him at the head of the table. Great grandchildren, Brittany, Megan and Tyler call him "Gramps." For nearly forty three years, I've called him my "other" Dad. Always greeting me at the door with a hug and a kiss never forgetting to say, "I love you." Every phone call ended with "love you guys."
This story is not the one that every family got to tell. To those young men who served, I say thank you for your service and your sacrifice.