Clarence E. McElroy (1952/10/31)
The life of a Bronze Medal recipient ended at the rear of a lumber truck.
Clarence Edward McElroy, the son of Morris and Nellie (Wilheit) McElroy, was born in Texas on September 4, 1932. In addition to Clarence, the McElroy's had two daughters, Christine and Pauline, before they separated. Nellie, Christine and Clarence moved to Santa Cruz, California, and Morris and Pauline remained in Texas. Information is unavailable as to what local schools he may have attended.
Clarence McElroy enlisted in the US Army in the last half of 1950 and after completing basic and advanced training, was sent to Korea where he served with the Seventh Infantry Regiment. During his army service, he earned the Bronze Star.
“Five years after the end of WWII, the 7th Infantry was deployed from Fort Devens, Massachusetts to action in Korea where it rejoined the other elements of the 3rd Infantry Division. Landing at Wonsan, North Korea on 17 November 1950, the Cottonbalers took up positions between Wonsan and Hamhung where they fought a courageous rear guard action receiving elements of the First Marine Division as it withdrew from the Chosin Reservoir. They controlled the escape route to Hamhung and the sea for UN forces who had been mauled by the entry into the war by the Chinese.”
Corporal McElroy returned home from Korea in December 1951 and at that time, may have married Ethel. In November 1952, Ethel was living with Clarence's mother in Pasadena, while he was stationed at Fort Ord. During his Fort Ord, tour Clarence frequently stayed with his sister in Santa Cruz.
On October 31, 1952 Clarence was a passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a lumber truck in Santa Cruz. Corporal Clarence Eugene McElroy was killed instantly and his two companions were critically injured in the accident. McElroy's body was interred in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.
(USDVA; SCR August 1, 1952 6:4; 7th Inf Regt. Assoc., History http://www.cottonbalers.com/history/history.asp, [16 September 2008]); SCSn November 2, 1952 1:6, November 3, 1952; CDR)