Clark Wakeman Virtue was born in Iberia, Ohio, on 10 January 1903, son of the late Delphus Brown and Lelia (Sawhill) Virtue. He received the degree of Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati in 1925, and the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Doctor of Medicine from the Medical School of that university in 1927 and 1928 respectively. On 29 June 1927, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon, with the accompanying rank of Lieutenant (jg) in the US Navy. Advancing progressively in rank, he subsequently attained the rank of Captain, to date from 1 June 1943.
Upon receiving his appointment in 1927, he was assigned to the US Naval Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia. In October 1928 he transferred to the US Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Florida, where he remained until January 1930. He then joined USS Lexington, and later reported aboard USS Saratoga. He continued service in the latter aircraft carrier until February 1932, when he was ordered to return to the United States.
Duty at the US Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Illinois, preceded an assignment from May 1933 with the Civilian Conservation Corps, Fort Sheridan, Illinois. In 1934 he was assigned to the US Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, and later that year transferred to the US Naval Training Station, San Diego. From November 1934 until September 1936 he served with Destroyer Division TWO, Destroyers, Scouting Force, in the USS Altair and USS Yarnall, after which he was attached until 1940 to the US Naval Hospital, Parris Island, South Carolina.
When the United States entered World War II, he was aboard USS Chester, and later, until 1944, served twice at the US Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, interspersed with duty during 1942 and 1943 at the Hospital Corps School, Farragut, Idaho. He was then assigned successively to the US Fleet Hospital #104, the US Naval Base Hospital #4, and as Chief of the X-Ray Department at the US Naval Hospital, Mare Island, California. He remained at the latter until August 1949, when he was ordered in a similar capacity, to the US Naval Hospital, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.
He had a month’s duty as Executive Officer of the US Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan, before reporting in October 1950, aboard USS Consolation. “For meritorious achievement in connection with operations against the enemy in Korea from November 1, 1950 to April 30, 1951…” he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. The citation further states: “As Commanding Officer of the U. S. Naval Hospital on board the USS CONSOLATION (AH-15), Captain Virtue performed outstanding service and distinguished himself by his selfless devotion to the successful accomplishment of the mission of the U. S. Naval Hospital aboard the USS CONSOLATION.”
Detached from command of the Naval Hospital aboard USS Consolation in February 1952, he reported in April of that year as Staff Medical Officer on the staff of the Commander Military Sea Transportation Service, Pacific Area, with headquarters at San Francisco, California.
In addition to the Bronze Star Medal, Captain Virtue had the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the Korean Service Medal; and the United Nations Service Medal.