Written narratives and biographies are important and a primary research source. However, when one has the opportunity to listen to a narrative, especially of one who was there and played a key role in a major event – that is even better. Courtesy friend and contributor to this blog, LCDR George Walsh, USN-Ret, himself a dive bomber pilot from the Pacific theater (SB2C Helldiver) comes a clip of a radio interview with then RDML Wade McClusky, USN-Ret conducted on the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and a few short years before he left this life for greener pastures. – SJS
Clarence W. McClusky, Jr. was born in Buffalo, New York, on 1 June 1902. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1926 and became a Naval Aviator three years later. Over the next decade, he served in several air units, as well as on command staffs, as an instructor at the Naval Academy and at shore facilities. In 1940 he was assigned to Fighting Squadron Six (VF-6), based on USS Enterprise (CV-6), and assumed command of that squadron in April 1941.
Lieutenant Commander McClusky became Enterprise air group commander in April 1942. During the Battle of Midway, while leading his air group’s scout bombers on 4 June 1942, he made the critical tactical decision that led to the destruction of the Japanese aircraft carriers Kaga and Akagi, thus making a vital contribution to the outcome of that pivotal battle. Later in World War II, he commanded the escort carrier USS Corregidor (CVE-58).
Captain McClusky served in a variety of staff and shore positions in the later 1940s. During the Korean War, he was Chief of Staff to the Commanders of the First and Seventh Fleets. He commanded Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois, in 1952-53, and the Boston Group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in 1954-56. Clarence W. McClusky, Jr., retired from active duty in July 1956. At that time, in recognition of his vital contributions to the outcome of World War II, he was advanced to Flag rank. Rear Admiral McClusky died on 27 June 1976.
USS McClusky (FFG-41) was named in his honor.
Article Series - Centenary of Naval Aviation (1911-2011)
- Flightdeck Friday: Smoke and the Battle of Midway
- Flightdeck Friday: RF-8 Crusaders and BLUE MOON
- Flightdeck Friday: Midway POV – Wade McClusky
- Flightdeck Friday: 23 October 1972 and The End of Linebacker I
- Former VFP-62 CO and DFC Recipient, CAPT William Ecker, USN-Ret Passes Away
- CAPT John E. “Jack” Taylor, USN-Ret.
- Flightdeck Friday: USS MACON Added to National Register of Historical Places
- Tailhook Association and Association of Naval Aviation
- Flightdeck Friday: Speed and Seaplanes – The Curtiss CR-3 and R3C-2
- Flightdeck Friday: A Family Remembers a Father, Naval Officer and Former Vigilante B/N
- Out of the Box Thinking and Execution 68 Years Ago: The Doolittle Raid
- The ENTERPRISE Petition – A Gentle Reminder
- USS Enterprise (CVAN/CVN-65) At Fifty
- A Golden Anniversary: The Hawkeye At 50
- Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy
- Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy (Part II)
- Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy (Part III)
- Reflections on the E-2 Hawkeye’s 50th Anniversary
- An Open Letter to “The 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation”
- U.S. Naval Aviation – 100 Years
- Doolittle’s Raiders: Last Surviving Bomber Pilot of WWII Doolittle Raid, Dies at 93
- More Naval Aviation Heritage Aircraft (But Still No Hawkeye)
- Naval Aviation Centennial: Neptune’s Atomic Trident (1950)
- Naval Aviation Centennial: One Astronaut, A Future Astronaut and Reaching for New Heights
- Flightdeck Friday Special Edition: The Space Shuttle – Thirty Years of Dreams, Sweat and Tears
- Flightdeck Friday – Postings from the Naval Aviation Museum
- Saturday Matinee: US Naval Aviation – the First 100 Years
- National Museum of Naval Aviation – Some Thoughts and A Call to Action
- Flightdeck Friday – 100 Years of Naval Aviation and the USCG
- Guest Post: THE U.S. NAVY’S FLEET PROBLEMS OF THE THIRTIES — A Dive Bomber Pilot’s Perspective
- This Date in Naval Aviaiton History: Sept 18, 1962 – Changing Designators
- Centennial Of Naval Aviation – The Shadow Warriors