Martinsburg VA Medical Center
WWII Veteran Celebrates his 105th Birthday
By Sarah M. Tolstyka, Public Affairs Officer
Monday, June 11, 2018WWII U. S. Army Veteran Alfred Clark is celebrating his 105th birthday this week with family, friends and employees at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center.
Born in 1913, Clark is a native of Tacoma Park, Maryland. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in his late 20s and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps’ Ninth Air Force. “I had a daughter,” said Clark, “I didn’t want to leave, but I had to serve my country.”
Clark attended basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. “I was a lot older; all the recruits called me grand pap.”
After advanced individual training in Pennsylvania, he boarded the SS M.I.T. Victory in New York Harbor and sailed to England. “I didn’t know what was coming next,” he said. After training in England, Clark took a boat across the channel to Germany and ended up at Fritzlar Airfield. “I remember seeing the planes coming back from their missions, destroyed with holes in them.”
While stationed in Germany, Clark witnessed firsthand the devastation WWII had on its citizens. He almost got in trouble trying to help. “I saw an older woman who looked like she was starving so I gave her some food,” said Clark. “Who would think that old woman is my enemy, no way. I couldn’t let her starve.”
Clark was in Fritzlar when he heard the war was over. When remembering his time overseas with emotion in his face Clark said, “I prayed every night and I knew the Lord was with me.”
Shortly after returning home from WWII Clark got a job in construction. He was married 64 years and has a daughter and a son. Clark will be spending his birthday with family and friends.