Clarence Earl Voegeli was born on 24 April 1900, at Fountain City, Wisconsin, son of Fred Voegeli and Emma (Teckenburg) Voegeli. He attended grammar school and Gallatin County High School at Bozeman, Montana, and on the day the United States declared war on Germany, 6 April 1917, he enlisted in the United States Navy. During the war he served as Electrician’s Mate second class (Radio) at the Naval Training Station, Yerba Buena Island, San Francisco, later at the Navy Yard, Mare Island, California. He took the entrance examination for the US Naval Academy in April 1918, before being transferred to duty aboard USS Brutus, but I June 1918 he was discharged to accept an appointment to the Naval Academy as a midshipman from Montana.
While a midshipman he became a member of the Naval Academy Rifle Team, and after graduation was a member of the Navy Rifle Squads in competitive practice in 1922, 1924, 1926, and 1930. He graduated eighth in his class of 539, and was commissioned Ensign on 2 June 1922. He was thereafter advanced in rank to that of Captain to date from 21 June 1942.
He was assigned duty aboard USS Maryland, and during the five succeeding years he served in the battleships New Mexico, New York, and Texas. He returned to Annapolis for the course in Ordnance Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, continuing instruction at various other places under the supervision of the Postgraduate School, completing the three year course at the Washington Navy Yard in 1930. He then served a two year tour in USS Arkansas, operating with Battleship Division 3, Battle Force, and in the summer of 1933 he reported for duty in the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and was attached to the Fire Control Section of that bureau until May 1935.
He was again ordered to sea duty, serving two years on the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 4, as Gunnery Officer, and the year June, 1937-1938, in the same capacity on the staff of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 12, Battle Force. Thereafter he was Inspector of Ordnance at the Ford Construction Company, Long Island, New York, for two years before reporting on 21 June 1940 aboard the cruiser Vincennes as Gunnery Officer. From 15 July 1941 until 10 April 1942, he served as Gunnery Officer on the staff of Commander, Scouting Force Pacific Fleet, and transferred to similar duty on the staff of the Commander, Amphibious Force, serving in that assignment from April to September 1942. The same month he reported as Commanding Officer of the Landing Craft School, Amphibious Training Base, San Diego, California, where thousands of men were trained in one of the most vital phases of war tactics.
When detached in the summer of 1944, he returned to the Navy Department, Bureau of Ordnance for a year’s duty. After temporary duty under instruction in October and November 1945, with the Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet, he served consecutively as Commanding Officer of USS Highlands (APA 119), USS Dane (APA-238), and USS Los Angeles (CA 135). Early in September 1947 he returned to the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, to serve as President of the Board on Naval Ordnance.
In March 1948 he reported as Commanding Officer of the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Maryland. He continued in that command until relieved of active duty due to his retirement at his own request on 1 February 1952.
Captain Voegeli had the Victory Medal (World War I); the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; and World War II Victory Medal. He also had the (Navy and Marine Corps) Distinguished Marksman’s Medal, and the Expert Pistol Shot’s Medal.