Lieutenant Commander Cloughley was born on March 13, 1898, at San Francisco, California, the son of Thomas Hutchinson Cloughley and Mrs. Katherine Gray Cloughley. He attended Polytechnic High, San Francisco, California, before his appointment to the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, from the Fifth District of California in 1917. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 3, 1920, he advanced progressively on the grade of Lieutenant Commander to date from July 1, 1936. On September 1, 1942, he was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy in the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Following graduation from the Academy in 1920, Lieutenant Commander Cloughley had consecutive duty in that battleships Wyoming and Arizona. Detached from the latter in May 1927, he returned to the United States for duty in the Executive Department at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and remained in that assignment until August 1929.
Lieutenant Commander Cloughley was assigned to the USS Gold Star until October 1932, after which he transferred to the USS Pennsylvania. Between May 1934 and May 1937, he again served in the Executive, reported the following month as Gunnery Officer aboard the USS Detroit.
In July 1940, Captain Cloughley assumed duty as Naval Inspector of Ordnance, at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey. Upon completion of that assignment, he was assigned to the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, from June 1941 until September 1941, after which he had two months service aboard the USS Denebola. On September 1, 1942, he transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy.
He is entitled to the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (World War I); the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Area Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.