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Adapted from "Clarence M. Formoe, Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class, United States Navy, Deceased" [biography, dated 5 July 1951] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Aviation
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  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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  • NHHC-Library

Clarence Melvin Formoe

25 January 1909-7 December 1941

Clarence Melvin Formoe was born in Seattle, Washington, on January 25, 1909 and was killed in action on December 7, 1941, during the Japanese attack on the US Fleet, Pearl Harbor, T. H., and the nearby United States installations.

Enlisting in the US Naval Reserve, Class V-2, as Seaman, second class, at Seattle, Washington, on November 25, 1930, he was advanced to Seaman, first class, in July 1932, and to Aviation Machinist’s Mate, third class, in September 1933. He extended his enlistment for four years on November 25, 1934, and was advanced to Aviation Machinist’s Mate, second class, and first class, in October 1936 and October 1937, respectively. He was honorably discharged at the expiration of enlistment, on November 24, 1938.

In December 1938, Formoe reenlisted in the Naval Reserve, Class O-2, as Aviation Machinist’s Mate, second class, first class, at Seattle, Washington. On July 1, 1941, he reported for active at the Receiving Station, Bremerton, Washington, and thirty days later he was transferred to duty with Scouting Force (Air). He was awarded a Letter of Commendation by the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, as follows:

“For prompt and efficient action and utter disregard of personal danger in the effort to repel the attack on the Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941, which was made in conjunction with the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor on that date.”

The USS Formoe (DE 509), was named to honor him. That destroyer escort vessel was commissioned on October 5, 1944.


Published: Tue May 18 09:44:49 EDT 2021