Clarence Edward Aldrich, Jr., was born in East Berkshire, Vermont, on 31 January 1924, son of Rear Admiral C. E. Aldrich, USN, Retired, and Mrs. (Gertrude Combs) Aldrich. He attended grade and high schools in various places and in July 1943 enlisted in the US Navy. He subsequently progressed from Seaman to Warrant Officer (W-1) and in July 1958 he was commissioned Ensign (LDO), to date from 11 July 1956. In December 1959 he was promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade), and in July 1960 attained the rank Lieutenant, USN.
After recruit training at the Naval Training Station, Sampson, New York, he attended Aviation Radioman School at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Jacksonville, Florida, from September 1943 to April 1944. During the latter period of World War II, and until February 1946, he served as an Aviation Radioman (Flight Radioman, LTA) at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, and for eighteen months thereafter, had similar duty with Utility Squadron ONE at Ford Island, Hawaii.
In August 1947 he reported to the Parachute Experimental Unit, El Centro, California, for duty in connection with the Radio-controlled Parachute Bomb, and when detached in October 1949 he returned to Lakehurst. There he served as Aviation Crew Chief in Airship Squadron TWO until April 1953. He next has six months' duty as Communications Supervisor on board USS Currituck, and during that period advanced to the rating of 1st Radioman Chief on 16 September 1953.
From December 1953 until June 1954 he was Electronics Chief of Patrol Squadron ELEVEN, based at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, after which he was a student for a year at Aviation Electronics School (B) at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, Tennessee. Again returning to Lakehurst, he served from June 1955 until August 1956 as Shop Chief, Combat Air Crew 301, of Airship Squadron THREE, with additional duty as Crew Chief and Plane Captain, Airship Group TWO.
After Instructor training, August to October 1956, at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, he remained there as an instructor until November 1959, during which period he was commissioned Ensign. He again served with Airship Squadron THREE at Lakehurst and in September 1961 was assigned as Electronics Engineering Officer for the last two airships decommissioned, while in the Research and Development Division at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst. Remaining there he served from September 1962 until February 1964 as Avionics Shops Officer, Avionics Maintenance Detachment, and since that time he has been Special Services Officer there.
Lieutenant Aldrich was the winner of the 1961 and 1963 Freedoms Foundation Awards, presented on 2 May 1961 and 14 June 1963, respectively. He had the Navy Good Conduct Medal (15 years); the American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal. He was a Master Mason and Royal Arch Mason.