John W. Clayton was born 6-SEP 1920.  His father was Arnold DeWitt Clayton (1889–1963) and his mother was Mary Ruth Hudson (1894–1982).  He had one brother:  Hudson and four sisters: Margaret, Helen, Mary Ruth, and Rosa Earline.  He enlisted 29-JUL 1941 in Charlotte North Carolina.  John served in the Army Air Corps in the 730 Bomber Squadron, 452 Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.  He served on a B-17 as the left Waist Gunner. (LWG).

From The Greenville News in South Carolina dated Friday, 22-JUN 1945:

From Lieutenant Allen E. Johnson who was the navigator of the B-17 who had just arrived at his home in Philadelphia saying he was killed on that date over Brunswick, Germany.  Johnson stated, “that the crew of ten had just finished dropping their bomb load over Brunswick when flak from a German anti-aircraft gun came in the open door of the fortress from which the bombs were release and exploded terrifically.  He wrote that he looked forward in the fortress and saw the pilot, Lieutenant Colvin and co-pilot Lieutenant Dick West slumped over in their seats dead.  The fortress then burst into flames.”  Lieutenant Johnson and five other members of the crew parachuted safely to the ground and were recently liberated as prisoners of war of the German government.

List of Crew:

  • P Colvin, Jake S. 2nd Lt. 0-460094 KIA
  • CP West, Richard R. 2nd Lt. 0-755813 KIA
  • N Johnson, Allen E. 2nd Lt. 0-692318 EUS
  • B Glass, M. R. Jr. 2nd Lt. 0-682572 EUS
  • TT Rottler, Raymond W. Sgt. 33239371 RMD
  • R Ross, Allen L. Sgt. 18217120 EUS
  • RT Soari, Andrew A. Sgt. 33518425 KIA
  • RWG Mack, William H. S/Sgt. 39106581 EUS
  • LWG Clayton, John W. Sgt. 14049867 KIA
  • TG Justice, Grady C. Sgt. 18214461 EUS

John W. Clayton is buried at Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Please contact the St. Charles County Veterans Museum Oral History project at sccvetsmuseum@gmail.com or call 636-294-2657 for more information and lets’ talk. We want to hear from you because we know…Every Veteran has a story.