Retired U.S. Army Col. Alphus Clark, 87, a Baker City native, died March 29, 2008, at Shawnee, Kan.
Col. Clark, a 33-year Army veteran, will be buried with full military honors at 9 a.m. on May 29 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Col. Clark was born Aug. 4, 1920, at Baker City to Walter A. Clark and Grace E. Clark. He graduated from Baker High School in 1938.
He started his military career in Baker City when he enlisted in Company F, 186th Infantry, Oregon National Guard, on Aug. 15, 1935. He entered active duty with this same unit on Sept. 16, 1940.
Col. Clark received a direct commission as a second lieutenant in 1941 and served with Company G, 186th Infantry, until January 1942, when he was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, which shortly took him into combat in the South Pacific.
He was awarded the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action at Guadalcanal where, according to his citation, he advanced “through enemy fire with virtually no coverage to kill five Japanese snipers singlehanded” on Jan. 13, 1943.
Col. Clark was wounded on Aug. 5, 1943, on New Georgia Island and he was evacuated to the United States via New Zealand. He was awarded his first Purple Heart. He received his second Purple Heart after he was wounded during the Korean War.
His other medals include: two Legions of Merit; 10 air medals; five Bronze Star medals with “V”; three Army commendation medals; Asiatic campaign medal with two battle stars; national defense service medal with OLC; Korean service medal; Vietnam service medal with three battle stars; the combat infantry badge; and the parachute badge.
Col. Clark earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland and a master of science degree from the George Washington University. He also graduated from the Infantry School, Command and General Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College and U.S. Army War College.
He retired in 1973 to Punta Gorda, Fla., where he and his wife, Barbara C. Clark, enjoyed their retirement and visiting with their eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Col. Clark was active in many civic organizations in Punta Gorda and elsewhere, including the Elks Lodge; VFW Post 5690; the Retired Officers Association, Charlotte Harbor Chapter; past master, Scottish Rite of Free Masonry of Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Punta Gorda Kiwanis Club; Boy Scouts of America, Southwest Florida Council. He and Barbara were longtime members of the Church of Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda.
Col. Clark is survived by two children: Carolyn Sue Meyer and her husband, John M. Meyer of Shawnee, Kan., and Richard A. Clark and his wife, Carol, of Deltaville, Va.; and a brother, Don Clark and his wife, Ann, of Baker City.
Col. Clark was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, who died in 2001.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 9, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor