Albert P. Clark

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This article is about the American military person. For other people with the same name, see Albert Clark (disambiguation).
Albert P. Clark
LGEN Clark, Albert Patton.jpg
Lieutenant General Albert P. Clark as Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy
Born (1913-08-27)August 27, 1913
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Died March 8, 2010(2010-03-08) (aged 96)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Place of burial USAF Academy Cemetery, Colorado
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1936–1974
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Legion of Merit
Purple Heart

Lieutenant General Albert Patton Clark (August 27, 1913 – March 8, 2010) was the sixth superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Biography[edit]

Clark was born at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in 1913. He is a 1936 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and completed flying training at Randolph Field, Texas, in 1937.

He then served at Selfridge Field, Michigan and in June 1942, went to England as second in command of the 31st Fighter Group, the first American fighter unit in the European Theater of Operations. He was shot down over Abbeville, France, in July 1942 and was a prisoner of war at German prison camp Stalag Luft III until April 1945. He wrote about his experiences in Stalag Luft III in his book "33 Months as a POW in Stalag Luft III".[1] He was a manager of accumulation and hiding of supplies used in the 1944 breakout in which 76 POWs escaped.[2][3] That incident was documented in the 1950 book The Great Escape, and later was celebrated in the 1963 movie of the same title.

After World War II, he progressed through key staff assignments with Tactical Air Command, Continental Air Command and Air Defense Command prior to a tour of duty at Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

Clark commanded the 48th Fighter Bomber Wing at Chaumont Air Base in France, in 1955–1956, and then served as chief of staff of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

His next assignment was as Chief, U.S. Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia.

He was director of military personnel at Headquarters U.S. Air Force for four years beginning in 1959 and was then assigned to Okinawa as commander of the 313th Air Division.

In August 1965, he was named vice commander of the Tactical Air Command. He assumed duties as commander of Air University in August 1968, and in August 1970, he was appointed superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

A command pilot, he was a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College.

Clark died March 8, 2010 at age 96.

Awards and decorations[edit]

His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal . He retired from the Air Force on August 1, 1974.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ USAF Academy News Article http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123194620
  2. ^ Obituary Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2010; page AA7.
  3. ^ Obituary Washington Post, March 18, 2010.
Preceded by
Thomas S. Moorman
Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy
1970–1974
Succeeded by
James R. Allen