Former Galesburg man buried in Arlington
Courtesy of the Galesburg (Illinois) Register-Mail
Posted Jul 21, 2009
GALESBURG, Illinois — A Galesburg man decorated for military service in the Korean and Vietnam wars, including being awarded the Silver Star for service in Vietnam, received a full military funeral and burial with the nation’s highest honors in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, on July 10, 2009.
Army Colonel Errol E. Clark was born here in 1932 to Errol and Gladys Clark. He grew up on Maple Avenue in a family of seven sisters, attending Bateman Grade School, Churchill Junior High, Galesburg High School and Knox College.
When the Korean War broke out June 25, 1950, shortly after he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Army, rising to the rank of Sergeant. He drove a Sherman tank, receiving several medals for meritorious service.
On his discharge from the Army, Clark returned home and entered Knox College. Upon graduation, he received an ROTC commission as a Second Lieutenant and again entered the Army to fulfill a two-year commitment but remained for 20 years.
He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His award of the Silver Star was for gallantry during a fierce battle. Although wounded, he continued to lead the attack and arranged for evacuation of the wounded. As the enemy again attacked, hindering that evacuation, he reorganized his forces to launch a counterattack.
As stated in his award, “The exemplary battlefield courage displayed by Major Clark was instrumental in turning a critical situation into a significant enemy defeat. Major Clark’s conspicuous gallantry in action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service.”
He also was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with One Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Legion of Merit, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, along with many others for his service in Vietnam.
He retired with the rank of Colonel.
Clark died April 19, 2009, survived by his wife, Xuan Ninh; his son, James Clark, a nuclear engineer and former Captain in the Navy; his daughters, Janet, AmyJoy and Angelique Clark; and three grandchildren.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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