Adolphus Thomas “Tommie” Clements

May 27, 1921 – Januay 19, 1944

Staff  Sergeant – U. S. Army Air Corps

89th. Bomb Squadron (Light), World War II


Tommie Clements was born on 27 May 1921 in Charlotte Co., VA., the son of Felix Woodson and Annie Colgate Clements.  He enlisted in the army on 7 June 1941, at Roanoke, Virginia. He was stationed with the 89th. Bombardion Squadron, attached to the 3rd. Bombardment Group, operating in the Southwest Pacific Area. He was based in Australia and later New Guinea.  His aircraft was shot down on a mission and his body never recovered.


Squadron Patch for the 89th. Bomb Squadron (Light)

The (L) refers to the fact that the unit flew light twin-engine bombers (A-24s and B-25s) instead of the heavier four engine ones. They were used mainly against naval targets and were refitted for strafing and low-level bombing. The 89th. Bombardment Squadron, assigned to the 3rd. Bombardment Group, flew the Douglas A-20 Havoc, an attack bomber, during World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations. 

Established in early 1941, as at B-18 Bolo medium reconnaissance squadron, after the Pearl Harbor attack, the 89th. flew antisubmarine missions over the southeast Atlantic coast. The squadron was deployed to the Southwest Pacific in February 1942, flying A-20 Havoc and B-25 Mitchell medium bombers.

Sunday, 8 March 1942
89th. and 90th. Bombardment Squadrons (Light), 3rd. Bombardment Group (Light), transfer from Brisbane to Charters Towers, Australia with A-20's; first mission is in April.

Their missions involved highly-dangerous skip bombings. During the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, they engaged in the first sea-level attack by B-25 strafers in World War II and demonstrated that this tactic was extremely effective. The squadron also participated in the raids on Wewak, New Guinea, which were pre-emptive strikes that virtually ended the threat of enemy offensive air capabilities.

After World War II, the squadron moved to Japan and was reassigned to the 38th. Bombardment Group. Performed occupation duty throughout the late 1940’s, inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.

Squadron Stations:

Hunter Field, Georgia, 15 January 1941-20 January 1942
Archerfield Airport, Brisbane, Australia, 25 February 1942
Charters Towers Airfield, Australia, 8 March 1942
Kila Airfield (3 Mile Drome), Port Moresby, New Guinea, c. 1 September 1942
Dobodura Airfield Complex, New Guinea, c. 9 May 1943
Nadzab Airfield Complex, New Guinea, c. 31 January 1944
Hollandia Airfield Complex, Netherlands East Indies, 13 May 1944
Dulag Airfield, Leyte, Philippines, c. 7 November 1944
McGuire Field, San Jose, Mindoro, Philippines, c. 30 December 1944
Motobu Airfield, Okinawa, 6 August 1945
Atsugi Air Base, Japan, 8 September 1945
Itazuke Air Base, Japan, l0 April 1946
Itami Air Base, Japan, September 1946-1 April 1949

A book titled Altitude Minimum was printed in 1949 about the missions and roster of the 89th. Bombardment Squadron. There are also comic strips drawn by Pvt. Frank G. Farina and others by last name Benson. This book has photos of all of the 89th. Bombardment Squadron.
The front of the book has a section titled Honor Roll  and it lists these names:
1ST LT. ALBERT F. BURKE, JR
1ST LT. PAUL KENDRACH
2ND LT. CORNELIUS F. O'LEARY
1ST LT. FRANCES C PRUITT
1ST LT. TURNER WILLIAMSON
2ND LT. GEORGE Q. LOCKWOOD
2ND LT. JACK HARRIS
F/O IRA J. WEILDER
T/SGT. ARTHUR G KELLY
T/SGT. IVAN M. WRIGHT
SGT. HARRY C YOUNG
S/SGT. RICHARD E CHAPMAN</span>
S/SGT. ROGER S MARTIN
S/SGT. ROLLAND C NOYES, JR.
M/SGT. SHEPHERD G. DECKER
S/SGT. LAWRENCE M. GILES
S/SGT. OTHA M PIERCE
S/SGT. JOSEPH FOX
PVT 1CL. ZANE W. HILL
S/SGT. FRANK E. TURPIN
S/SGT. DONALD L BRADLEY
S/SGT. FRED J. SMITH
S/SGT. JOHN G. HUNTER
S/SGT. LEO G. SARKISIAN
S/SGT. ADOLPHUS T. CLEMENTS
S/SGT. CLAIR E MATTOON

There is a headstone for Tommie on the "Tablets of the Missing" at the Manila American Cemetery in Manila, The Phililppines. Tommie's plane was shot down over New Guinea and his body was never recovered. There is a headstone but no grave at Mount Calvary UMC.

     


Table listing the names of the soldiers and sailors whose bodies were not recovered.

 

Mount Cavalry United Methodist Church, Charlotte Co., VA.

         

War is a terrible thing. It takes our young men cuts their lives short. That happened with you, Tommie. But you were never forgotten. We, all of us, have loved you through the years. You had no children of your own flesh, but you had 3 by heart. You live on in our hearts and lives and in our children as well. We cherish the momentos we have from you and the things you crafted. Each letter from you, carefully preserved. Each little carved cage, or belt, or boomerang, cherished. We know you could walk through the woods in the driest days of fall and leave no trace, but the footprints you left on our hearts continue through the generations and are passed along as strongly as any gene could be passed! I Love You, Tommie! The Father I should have had. Suzanne
- Suzanne Huddleston 

 

Info added by – William C. Swain courtesy of Larry Hickey, International Research and Publishing:
Would like to add some info on a Virginian lost during WW2.. S/Sgt Adolphus T. Clements June 19, 1944: 89th Sq A-20G 42-86727 "GOOD TIME CHARLEY" was lost when hit by AA at Kamiri Drome. One parachute seen, Both men listed as MIA. Burke, 2/Lt Albert G. Pilot Clements, S/Sgt Adolphus T. Gunner