Herbert V. Clark

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Herbert V. Clark
BornHerbert Vanallen Clark
March 16, 1919
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, US
💀DiedJanuary 25, 2003(2003-01-25) (aged 83)
Blacksburg, Virginia, USJanuary 25, 2003(2003-01-25) (aged 83)
Resting placeWestview Cemetery, {Blacksburg, Virginia,
💼 Occupation
  • Military officer
  • fighter pilot
📆 Years active  1942 – 1955

Herbert Vanallen Clark (March 16, 1919 – January 25, 2003) was a U.S. Army Air Force/U.S. Air Force officer, and combat fighter pilot with the all-African American 332nd Fighter Group, best known as the Tuskegee Airmen.[1]

On August 16, 1944, Clark's aircraft was shot down in Italy en route to Oberraderach Chemical Works - Germany.[2][3] Clark evaded capture for eight months.[4][3]

Early Life, Family[edit]

Clark was born on March 16, 1919, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Jefferson County, Arkansas.

Clark's son, Vann Clark, an electrical engineering Ph.D., worked at Boeing - St. Louis as an low observables engineer on the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle program.[4]

Military career[edit]

In 1939, Clark attended Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.

In March 1941, he met First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt when she visited Tuskegee Army Air Field. Mrs. Roosevelt told Clark: "Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."[4]

In 1942, he signed up for the U.S. government's Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP). After completing the CPTP, he entered basic training. Clark attended the Tuskegee Cadet Pilot program, graduating from its Single Engine Section Class SE-42-F on 3 July 1942 and receiving his wings and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant.[5] Assigned to the 332rd Fighter Group's 99th Pursuit Squadron.[6] On 5 November 1943 he completed his first combat tour.[7]

On August 16, 1944, Clark's aircraft was shot down en route to Oberraderach Chemical Works - Germany; flak from an exploding anti-aircraft shell hit the aircraft 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Miane, Italy, breaking the aircraft's oil line.[2] He evaded capture and on 4 May 1945 he returned to Allied lines.[3][4][8]

After World War II, Clark was promoted to U.S. Air Force Captain in 1950, and to Major in 1955.[4][6]

Later life[edit]

Clark worked as an electronic instrument maker and TV repairman.[4]


Clark died on January 25, 2003, at the age of 83. He was interred at the Westview Cemetery in Blacksburg, Virginia, Montgomery County, Virginia.

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topics Biography AND Aviation : Alberto Nassetti, William Lee Hill, Reginald V. Smith, Sidney P. Brooks, Terry J. Charlton, Jr, Richard C. Caesar, Henry B. Perry

Other articles of the topic Biography : Kaan Korad, Alexander McCormick Jr., Axel Bohl, Matthew Ansara, Mini Manson, Ginjin, Rodoljub Vulović

Other articles of the topic Aviation : Modern Logistics, 2021 Lomonosovsky light planes mid-air collision, Abbas ibn Firnas, Reginald V. Smith, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Astral Airways, 2021 Arizona Swearingen SA226-T(B) Merlin IIIB crash
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  • Executive Order 9981
  • List of Tuskegee Airmen
  • List of Tuskegee Airmen Cadet Pilot Graduation Classes
  • Military history of African Americans


  1. "Robert Ashby". CAF Rise Above. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dr. Daniel L. Haulman. "Table of 332D Fighter Group Reported Fighter Aircraft Losses According To Missing Air Crew Reports February 1944-April 1945" (PDF). Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Pilots of Tuskegee Airmen Discusses Air Action Over Anzio". World War II Pictures In Details. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "A man who did what he thought was right: Story of Herbert Clark, Tuskegee Airmen". Warbird Information Exchange. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  5. Horman, Lynn; Reilly, Thomas (2001). Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Pelican Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 9781455601257. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Herbert V. Clark". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Central Arkansas Library System. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  7. Stentiford, Barry (2012). Tuskegee Airmen. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Greenwood Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 9780313386848. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  8. Caver, Joseph; Ennels, Jerome; Haulman, Daniel (2011). The Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History, 1939-1949. Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books. p. 178. ISBN 9781588382443. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]

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