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Albert P. Clark

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Lieutenant General Albert P. Clark, USAF (ret.) “is a 1936 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., and completed flying training at Randolph Field, Texas, in 1937.  He then served at Selfridge Field, Mich., 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 until April 1945.


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.  General 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 of the 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 is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the National War College.  His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart.  Lieutenant General Albert P. Clark retired in 1974 and is the author of 33 Months as a POW in Stalag Luft III: A World War II Airman Tells His Story.

According to the book description of 33 Months as a POW in Stalag Luft III: A World War II Airman Tells His Story, “Many fascinating stories of the Great Escape have been told since the end of World War II. Not until now has the story of Lieutenant Colonel A. P. Clark, the first combat personnel captured in U.S. uniform by the Germans, been told. In his 33 months in the infamous prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III, Lieutenant Clark was involved in and responsible for directing escape work among American prisoners. His tale of courage and perseverance is accentuated by the stark photographs he took from the inside with a pinhole camera.”


According to one reader of 33 Months as a POW in Stalag Luft III: A World War II Airman Tells His Story, “Before this book, I had no idea what it meant to be a prisoner of war in WWII. I was astonished at the things this man and his comrades survived and endured. Crammed into these camps for months (or years, in most cases), they created a community and did their best to keep their bodies and souls alive. I had no idea that the camps were this big or this intricate. 33 Months is an amazing piece of history that makes the reader feel grateful for the creature comforts we all take for granted, as well as for the efforts of the many soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our country. Reading this book, I realized that most of the veterans of the big, historic wars are all almost gone from this earth, and that with them a huge piece of history will become less real to us. General Clark is obviously a very honorable man with a good heart, and I'm grateful that he shared his story with the rest of us.”

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