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BG Clinton A. Pierce (Read 8525 times)
Andrew Provorse
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BG Clinton A. Pierce
Apr 21st, 2009, 5:26pm
 
I am desperately seeking any and all information on BG Clinton A. Pierce...I can be reached via email at andrew.provorse@osd.mil or approvorse@aol.com.

Very Respectfully,

Andrew Provorse
LTC (USA, Ret.)
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #1 - Apr 24th, 2009, 9:15am
 
Can you supply more information on BGen. Pierce?  Was he a general at the time the war broke out? Did he survive the war?
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #2 - Apr 24th, 2009, 11:00am
 
Col Clinton Pierce commanded the 26th Cavalry (PS) when war broke out. He commanded the regiment during the advance to and the retreat from Lingayen Gulf in 1941. Because of his good performance, (Wainwright thought highly of him) he was promoted to BG and then given command of a PA division on Bataan.

He actions are well described in Louis Morton's Fall of the Philippines (Army WW II Green Book). See also, Jonathan Wainwright, General Wainwright's Story. For POW camps, see the various lists for Formosa and Manchuria.

Margaret Helen Pierce was in Santo Tomas, but was transferred to Los Banos.

John Bradley
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #3 - Apr 24th, 2009, 11:07am
 
Yes, BGen Clinton A. Pierce then a Colonel was  the bravest commander during WWII . He commanded the 26th Cavalry through all its campaigns in Bataan.

Capt. Felipe Fernandez
26th Cav. (PS)

     
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #4 - Apr 24th, 2009, 11:08am
 
Gentlemen,

I'm doing research on BG Clinton A. Pierce in hopes of publishing his story.
His papers are at Carlisle Barracks and I hope to get up there this summer
to review them.  Below is what I've been able to piece together about
him...any additional information you might be able to provide would be
greatly appreciated.

Very Respectfully,

Andrew Provorse
LTC (USA, Ret.)
Deputy Director
Defense Policy Analysis Office (DPAO)
Research and Analysis Division (RAD)
703-602-5678, EXT: 534

The Story as I Know it So Far:


Clinton A. Pierce (Service # O&04937.POW # 1601) was born in Brooklyn NY on
15 June 1894 and died 25 August 1966 in Carroll, Arkansas.  He is buried at
Arlington National Cemetery (Section 2, Grave 3582-A).

      Obituary:  Brig. Gen. C.A. Pierce
      Brig. Gen. C. A. Pierce, Pivot Rock Road, Eureka Springs, AR was
born June 15, 1894 in Brooklyn, New York, and died      August 22, 1966 at
the age of 71 years.  He is survived by his wife, Margaret K. and one
daughter, Shirley Joan  Pierce, both of the home. Graveside rites and
interment will be in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington,
Virginia on August 25, 1966 at 3:00 p.m. Local arrangements were under the
direction of the Greenlee Funeral Home of       Eureka Springs, AR.


He enlisted with the Illinois National Guard on 16 June 1916.  Not
coincidently, the Illinois National Guard was federalized for service in
response to the Mexican border crisis on 19 June 1916.

He was promoted to Corporal in Battery F1 as of October 1916.

He was commissioned and appointed as a 2LT of Cavalry on 22 March 1917 he
DID NOT attend West Point).I'm almost certain he received a commission in
the National Guard and then was Commissioned as a Regular Officer shortly
thereafter.

He was promoted to 1LT of Cavalry on 15 May 1917.

He was made a temporary Captain 5 August 1917

He was promoted to Major on 24 October 1918.I've been unable to determine if
he served in France or was part of the huge cavalry force that was left in
place defending the US-Mexico border.  I'm ASSUMING that his (relatively)
rapid ascent to the temporary rank of Major indicates he was both a regular
officer and quite possibly serving in France.

He was honorably discharged (along with other officers such as Patton who'd
been promoted to temporary rank) on 31 December 1919.

He was reappointed as a Captain 31 January 1920, with 2nd Cavalry.

Graduated form Fort Riley's Cavalry School, Troop Officers Course in 1923,
and the Advance Course in 1932.  As you know, these were critical career
"gates" that all Cavalry Officers had to pass if they hoped to advance.

He was promoted Major 3 March 1930.

Somewhere during the mid-late 30s, he is assigned to the Philippines and the
26 US Cavalry (Philippine Scouts)

Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 14 July 1939.

Promoted to Brigadier General in January of 1942, during the battle at
Bataan.  He succeeds the "sacked" BG Clyde A. Selleck as Commander of the
71st Philippine Army Division.  Pierce is succeeded on 10 January 1942
Colonel Lee C.Vance.  Vance immediately appoints the newly promoted
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H.Trapnell as the Executive Officer.

Pierce is awarded both the DSM and two Silver Stars for service on Bataan.

Interestingly, BG Pierce's wife (Margaret K.) is still in Manilla at the
time of the Japanese conquest.There is no record of their daughter (Shirley
Joan Pierce) being held captive.  Mrs. Pierce is commemorated (along with
four others) for burning the US colors at the Embassy in Manilla immediately
prior to the Japanese occupying the city.  Her act is immortalized on a
stone tablet that sits outside of the Emabassy to this day.   Mrs. Pierce is
imprisoned at Santo Tomas POW camp on/about 12 May 1942.  She is liberated
in July 1945

BG Pierce is captured in 1942 and, initially, held at Camp O'Donnell.  His
Svc# is 0&04937 and his POW# is 1601.

He was transported to Formosa on the Nagara Maru in August 1942, and then by
air to Mukden (Hoten) POW Camp (along with Wainwright and Trapnell) in 1945.
LTG Wainwright, BG Pierce, and Lieutenant Colonel Trapnell are liberated in
November 1945 (this date may be incorrect.  It is based on the last report
in BG Pierce's repatriation file)

After the liberation, he returns to the Philippines and eventually serves in
Augsberg, Germany as the Commanding General of Augsberg Military Post.  The
last record of him in Germany is dated 17 November 1950.

-----Original Message-----
From: outpro@aol.com [mailto:outpro@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 10:33 AM
To: jhoulaha@columbus.rr.com; Provorse, Andrew Mr CIV OSD OUSDI
Subject: Re: BGen. Clinton A. Pierce

Col Clinton Pierce commanded the 26th Cavalry (PS) when war broke out. He
commanded the regiment during the advance to and the retreat from Lingayen
Gulf in 1941. Because of his good performance, (Wainwright thought highly of
him) he was promoted to BG and then given command of a PA division on
Bataan.

He actions are well described in Louis Morton's Fall of the Philippines
(Army WW II Green Book). See also, Jonathan Wainwright, General Wainwright's
Story. For POW camps, see the various lists for Formosa and Manchuria.

Margaret Helen Pierce was in Santo Tomas, but was transferred to Los Banos.

John Bradley
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #5 - Apr 24th, 2009, 11:51am
 
I have been in contact with LtC Provose and gave him what I had on BG Pierce.  He was a Col in command of the 26th, but BG. Clyde Selleck, not being able to achieve success against the Japs, lead to his being "sacked" and Pierce being promoted.  Colonel Sellect appealed after the War and got his Star back.  Selleck was in command of his troops such a short time, and he (Selleck) didn't have contol over the Provisional Tank Brigage contributed more to Selleck's lack of success.  I believe this was at Layac at the entrance to the Baaan peninsula.  

When BG Pierce left the 26th Col Lee Vance assumed command of the 26th.  Vance had able officers, one of which was 1st Lt Edwin Ramsey who was to deliver the last Cavalry Charge by the US Army at Moron on the Eatern coast of the Bataan Peninsula.  He had Troops E and F (understrengthed) and thoroughtly  frightened the Japs when he charged into them with .45 Automatics blazing.

Regards

Tom McGeeney
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #6 - Apr 24th, 2009, 1:00pm
 
Mike;

I already responded to Mr. Provorse in detail. In summary, Clinton Pierce
was a Colonel and C.O. of the 26th Cavalry Regiment, Philippine Scouts, when
I joined it in 1941 He took command of the 71st Philippine Army Division, a
part of USAFFE, during the Battle of the Points in Bataan in late 1941 or
the beginning of 1942. At that time he was promoted to BG and Col. Lee C.
Vance took over as Regimental commander with LCL Thomas H. Trapnell as
executive officer. I have no information on Margaret Pierce.

Ed Ramsey
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #7 - Apr 24th, 2009, 5:37pm
 
Andrew,

I have some Passenger Lists with the Pierce family and a 1930 Census.  In 1930 the family was at Ft Jay, NY.  In March,1929 Clinton and Margaret sailed from Bermuda to NY.  September, 1933, Margaget and Shirley sailed from Pacific Coast to NY.  In October, 1938, Margaret and Shirley sailed from La Harve to NY.

After WW II.

In January, 1951 Margaret and Shirley sailed Bremerhaven to NY.  July, 1952 Shirley Pierce sailed Southampton to NY.  Margaret dies, 25 Sep 1984.

Sources for BG Pierce are "The Hard Way Home" by Col William C. Braly and "The Llife Of A POW Under The Japanese In Caricature" by Malcolm Fortier.

Regards,

Tom McGeeney
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #8 - Apr 25th, 2009, 7:08am
 
For Col Provorse-

Mrs. Pierce was liberated from Los Banos in Feb 1945 by troops of the 11th Abn Div, Filipino guerillas, and the 672nd AMTRAC Bn.

Departure dates for the officers from POW camp (Hoten) in Manchuria: Gen Wainwright (08/27/45), BG Pierce (08/30/45), Col Vance (09/07/45), and LTC Trapnell (09/10/45).

Patton was not discharged from the Army after WWI. Reduced in rank.

It is interesting to note that Mrs. Pierce did not return to the US when the Army evacuated Army wives and dependents in the middle of 1941. The sister of the 1st Squadron Commander, Major (LTC) Hubert Ketchum, KIA, also was in Santo Tomas.  Fortunately, the Japanese did not find out about their relationships.

Best.

John Bradley
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #9 - Apr 25th, 2009, 12:21pm
 
From what I can find out the daughter Shirley wasn't in the Philippines when WW II started.  She might have left with the Dependants in April of 1941, but why didn't her mother leave with her?  I haven't been able to find out, except those Passenger lists from the ships they were on, any records for the daughter, Shirley.

There is a Clyde A. Selleck, Jr who was awarded the Legion Of Merit, with 2 Clusters in Vietnam on 2 Jun 1972.  I am still looking for Census records as they should list the family.  I am missing the 1930 Census.

Tom McGeeney
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #10 - Apr 25th, 2009, 1:14pm
 
This is the son of BG Clyde Selleck of the 71st Div (PA).    I do not believe that Selleck was successful in having his rank restored after the war.  If someone knows differently, please let me know.

Best regards,
Jim Erickson

There is a Clyde A. Selleck, Jr who was awarded the Legion Of Merit, with 2 Clusters in Vietnam on 2 Jun 1972.  I am still looking for Census records as they should list the family.  I am missing the 1930 Census.

Tom McGeeney [/quote]
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #11 - Apr 25th, 2009, 1:22pm
 
Additional info on Gen Pierce's movements.  In reverse chronological order:

Evacuated from Mukden main camp by air (B-24?) 30 Aug 1945

Arrived Hoten main camp in Mukden 20 May 45.

By train from Beppu to Fukuoka (or Moji) by ferry to Fusan, Korea, and then train to Hoten Branch camp #1 in Cheng-chiatun, Jilin province, some 100 miles north of Mukden.  10-13 Oct 1944.

Flown from Taiwan to Beppu, Japan. 4 Oct 1944

Arrived Taiwan from Tarlac, PI aboard Nagara Maru and then Suzuya Maru.  details: http://sites.google.com/site/powsofthejapanese/Home/hellships-information-photos...  and Suzuya Maru.

Col Provorse, there is some question about the arrangements of the senior officers aboard these ships.  Specifically most sources say Wainwright and King shared a cabin aboard Nagara Maru but  I have a hunch Wainwright's bio is in error and the he and King occupied a cabin on the 2nd ship, Suzuya Maru, but was quartered with the other generals on Nagara Maru.  If you find any clarifying info on this (very specialized topic) will you please pass it along?

Best regards,
Jim Erickson

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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #12 - Apr 25th, 2009, 8:57pm
 
Jim,

You are right, Col Selleck was buried at Arlington as a Colonel.  So he wasn't able to get the star back.

Interesting, he had a Gertrude Troth buried also at Arlington 9 years before he died.  She is listed as "Unknown Relationship to Veteran".

Regards,

Tom
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #13 - May 11th, 2009, 9:06pm
 
I haven't been on the website for a long time, but have stopped by tonight and am pleased to see that it is growing.

Regarding Brig. General Selleck, I am compelled to come to his defense and say that I feel that in using the term "sacked", it is an extremely unfair characterization of a brave officer who was unjustly relieved of command.  I think one would do better to understand the position thrust upon him, which can be quickly gleaned from a brief article written by John W. Whitman in the Oct. 2001 edition of "WII Magazine" here: http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-bataan-brigadier-general-clyde-a-selleck-com...
For further study, I would also highly recommend a top shelf book written by the same author entitled, "Bataan Our Last Ditch," you will not put it down, I promise.

There are actually three generations (that I know) of Clyde Sellecks----all West Point graduates.  The Selleck in question served in Vietnam and was General Selleck's son, who served with the  86th Engineer Battalion (Combat)
Lieutenant Colonel Clyde A. Selleck, Jr. 26 September 1967-29 August 1968

Sadly, my research on him indicates that he was never able to either clear his name, or have his rank of Brigadier General reinstated.  He spent no little time trying to accomplish both and it cannot be stated too highly that a great injustice was done him.  

In conclusion, I suppose I have a small stake in the discussion, as a very long time ago, General Selleck used to summer for a few weeks next to my aunts camp in Brandon, Vt.  Though I was a boy at the time, he used to take me fishing.....a very warm memory for me.

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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #14 - May 12th, 2009, 11:54pm
 
Diriquoboy,

Thanks for the reply.  When I wrote my comments I was hoping that someone that knew Gen Selleck would write in, as he was a fine gentlemen and soldier.  Two tragedies out of this conflict were this one involving Gen Selleck and Gen King not getting the Medal of Honor for his heroic surrendering, thereby saving countless American lives.

When Gen MacArthur addressed both houses of Congress after his relief of command, they had Gen King "back stage" to meet with MacArthur and members of congress after the speaking was over.  Well, Gen King stood there and Gen MacArthur made no attempt to meet with Gen King.  After a minute or two, Gen King left.  From what I heard you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.  

Regards,

Tom McGeeney
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #15 - May 21st, 2009, 4:58pm
 
I've asked this before without reply, and I'll ask again.  Any group photos of them, including Selleck while POW's in Manchuria?
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Re: BG Clinton A. Pierce
Reply #16 - Sep 4th, 2009, 1:29am
 
You probably have all of these, IF you do not:

1) http://www.library.illinois.edu/archives/howe/howek.htm  under one of the FILE headings:
Brigadier General Clinton Pierce - clippings & photographs, 1914-17; 1945-49; 1957
Brigadier General Clinton Pierce - army hat and insignia, 1951

2) Kappa Sigma Fraternity Man of the Year -1945 - Alpha-Gamma Chapter, University of Illinois

3) The Battle of Bataan: a history of the 90 day siege and eventual ..., Part 767 ...By Donald J. Young  pg 109:text and pg 110: caption
4) Corregidor, the rock force assault, 1945‎ - Page 38  ... by E. M. Flanagan  1988
5) Prisoner of the Rising Sun - the lost diary  - pg 144 ... by  John M Beebe 2006
6) The Years of MacArthur: 1941-1945‎ - Page 39 by Dorris Clayton James 1985
7) South to Bataan, north to Mukden: page 72  by William Edward Brougher 1971
8) Wainwright Papers pg 9
9) Surviving Bataan and beyond: Colonel Irvin Alexander's ...‎ Page 265 By Dominic J. Caraccilo
10) Bunker's war: the World War II diary of Col. Paul D. Bunker‎ - Page 280
by Paul Delmont Bunker, Keith Andrew Barlow - 1996
11) Optometric weekly, Volume 36, Issue 27  pg 1224 (ask your library to locate it and get a page copy) 'no glasses at 50' goes into the POW experience.
12) American notes & queries: a journal for the curious, Volumes 5-6 juv fict has some thing written by BG CA Pierce. pg 159 . This could be a list of things he read as a POW.
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