Albert Harrison Clancy was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on August 2, 1919, son of Albert H. and Lillian M. (Hesselden) Clancy. He attended the University of New Mexico for one year before entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from his native state in 1936. While at the Academy, he participated in track and was Captain of the cross country team in 939. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 6, 1940, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Rear Admiral, to date from November 1, 1967.
Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1940, he reported on board the USS Honolulu (CL-48) in September of that year, to serve in the Gunnery Department for two years. He was on board that cruiser, based at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, when the Japanese attacked the Fleet there on December 7, 1941.
In October 1942 he reported for flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, and on April 27, 1943 was designated Naval Aviator. He remained there as a Flight Instructor until April 1944, and later that month joined Fighting Squadron Forty Seven as Executive Officer. That squadron was based at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island from May until September 1944, and the next month deployed to the Pacific. He assumed command of Air Group Forty Seven, based on the USS Bataan, in April 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Gold Star in lieu of the Fourth Air Medal for service while attached to that Air Group. The citation follow in part:
Distinguished Flying Cross: “For heroism and extraordinary achievement… in action against enemy Japanese forces in the vicinity of Amami O Shima in the Ryukyu Islands on April 16, 1945… (He) led his flight in an attack on numerically superior hostile aircraft and personally shot down one enemy plane. In the fierce action which ensued, he aided in destroying over half the Japanese planes and in putting the remainder to flight…”
Gold Star in lieu of the Fourth Air Medal: “For meritorious achievement in aerial flight… in action against enemy Japanese forces on Kakai Jima in the Ryukyu Islands on April 23, 1945. While participating in a mission over enemy-controlled territory, (he) shot down a hostile aircraft, thereby preventing a possible attack upon his flight…”
He was also awarded the Gold Star in lieu of the Second Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with Gold Stars in lieu of the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Air Medals for completing thirty five combat missions during the period March 18 to July 18, 1945.
He served as Navigator of the USS Tripoli, from November 1945 to February 1946, and later that month reported as Air Intelligence Officer in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC. From July 1946 until June 1949 he had instruction in Aeronautical Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland and later at the California Institute of Technology, from which he received the degree Aeronautical Engineer in June 1949. He then returned to the Navy Department, for duty in the Power Plant Division, Bureau of Aerontics.
He was Power Plant Officer on the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, Atlantic from August 1952 until July 1954 and the next month was assigned to the Overhaul and Repair Department at the Naval Air Station, Alameda, California. While there, he was Production Engineer Officer for two years and Production Manager for one year. In August 1957 he became Assistant Director of Military Personnel in the Bureau of Aeronautics, (later combined with the Bureau of Ordnance and designated the Bureau of Naval Weapons), Navy Department.
In July 1960 he joined the Staff of Commander Feet Air, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, with headquarters in Naples, Italy, and in July 1962 was detached for duty at the Pacific Missile Range, Point Mugu, California. In June 1965 he assumed command of the Naval Air Engineering Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in October 1967 reported as Navy Deputy, F-111 System Program Director, U.S Air Force Aerospace System Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, with additional duty as Manager Navy F-111/Phoenix Project Office, Naval Material Command. “For exceptionally meritorious service from September 16, 1967 to November 20, 1968…” he was awarded the Legion of Merit. The citation further states in part:
“….Through his intimate technical and managerial knowledge of all phases of the program with which he was associated, he contributed greatly to the major policy determinations of the U.S. Navy in programs of national prominence…”
In December 1968 he became Program Manager of the Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare, Special Operations and Naval Intelligence Processing Systems Project Office, Naval Material Command and in January 1971 reported as Assistant Commander for Material Acquisition, Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters, Washington, D.C. he joined the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, US Pacific Fleet in August 1972 as Force Material Officer and “for exceptionally meritorious conduct…” in that capacity was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Legion of Merit. The citation continues in part: “… (His) dynamic leadership and managerial ability greatly enhanced the operational status and combat readiness posture of the US Pacific Fleet during a period of intense combat activity in the Southeast Asia…” he served in that assignment until relived of active duty pending his retirement, effective July 1, 1973.
In addition to the Legion of Merit with Gold Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star; the Air Medal with six Gold Stars, Rear Admiral Clancy has the American Defense Service Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three engagement stars; World War II Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; the Philippine Liberations Ribbon.