Cerro Gordo County

Ray E. Clough Jr.



Joins Air Corps

Ray Clough, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Clough, 213 Tenth street northwest, was inducted into the United States army air corps at Des Moines Saturday and was scheduled to leave Sunday for training as a flying cadet at Baker's Field, Cal. Clough took the civilian pilot training course while he was a student in Mason City junior college.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Saturday, January 24, 1942, Page 16  (photo included)

Clough Finishes Primary Training

Ray E. Clough, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Clough, 213 Tenth street northwest, an aviation cadet in the army, has completed his primary training at Rankin Field, Cal., and has been transferred to Gardner Field, Cal., for ten weeks in basic flying. If successful there he will be sent to an advanced school. Clough finished his nine weeks of primary training on April 27, his twenty-first birthday. He began his work Jan. 30 in the reception center at Minter Field, Cal. He earned a private license in Mason City, and was greatly aided by flight instruction from Sylvan Hugelen of the Mason City Air Activities airport, and H. H. Boyce, who instructed him in meteorology and navigation.
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"Flying Is Habit Forming Tonic," Writes Air Cadet

Writing his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Clough of Mason City, Flying Cadet Ray Clough described the routine given cadets at Gardner Field, Cal.

He said "Time goes awfully fast and yet terribly slow. Sometimes the days and hours seem endless, and yet it seems as though I just wake up once in a while and a month has passed. It really doesn't seem as though I've been in training since January and this is May; still can hardly remember doing anything but getting up early, drilling, flying, going to ground school, eating, then going to bed.

"It's a dull routine; I guess that I keep going to fly. Everyone else does the same. Flying is the habit forming drug - perhaps tonic - which keeps us all working.

We've been flying formations all week. Believe me it keeps a guy on his toes to keep a plane just 10 feet from the next one in all kinds of maneuvers. Next week we start night flying. That means we fly in the morning, have ground school all afternoon, and then fly again at night. Don't think that isn't a rugged schedule.

"We were scheduled to go on a cross country flight today, but the weather was bad near the town we were going to, so the flight was called off. It will have to wait until later."

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Tuesday, May 19, 1942, Page 16

Begins Advanced Training

Two young Mason Cityans, flying cadets in the United States army air force, have completed their basic training and are beginning the final lap of their training period - the advanced school. They are Ray Clough, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Clough, 213 Tenth street northwest, and Homer Hockenberry, son of Mrs. Gertrude Hockenberry, 240 Sixteenth street southeast. Clough completed his basic work at Gardner Field and is beginning his advanced training at Luke Field, Ariz., near Phoenix, while Hockenberry finished his basic at Chico, Cal, and starts his advanced training at Phoenix.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Tuesday, June 23, 1942, Page 14  (photo included)


Lt. Ray E. Clough of the army air corps has arrived in Mason City for a short furlough. He was given a leave from the base at Salina, Kans., where he was recently transferred from Pierre, S. Dak. He is to report back Tuesday. Lieutenant Clough is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Clough of Mason City.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Saturday, January 09, 1943, Page 14

Lt. R. E. Clough Finds English People Friendly, Food Good

Another Mason City boy, Lt. Ray E. Clough of the army air corps, has arrived in England, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Clough, 213 Tenth street northwest.

"These English people," he writes in a V-mail letter, "are really marvelous. Despite what propagandists may say, the English just go out of their way to be friendly and hospitable. Everyone wants to help us and everyone seems interested in us."

At another point in his letter, commenting on the food situation, Lieutenant Clough made this observation:
"The food at the post at least is better than any we got enroute, and it is better than at many of the posts in the states. So you see that the skimping at home is really helping us over here. About the only thing we don't have is eggs."

After his collegiate work at the University of Minnesota, Lieutenant Clough, a local high school graduate, obtained his flying training at various camps on the Pacific coast, with his advanced training in the flying fortress in South Dakota and Kansas.

His circuitous trip to the British Isles included a stop-over in South America.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Thursday, April 01, 1943, Page 6


Two Mason Cityans, Lt. Ray E. Clough and Col. Ron Fallows, met in an officers club somewhere in England a short time ago, according to word received by Ray F. Clough, the officer's father at Washington, D. C. Colonel Fallows, son of Dr. and Mrs. H. D. Fallows of Mason City, commands a group of fighter pilots.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Friday, August 13, 1943, Page 12


Mason Cityan One of Five Iowans Honored by War Department

Lt. Ray E. Clough, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Clough of Mason City, was one of six Iowans of the eighth bomber command of the United States army air forces in England to receive special awards, the war department announced Saturday.

The Mason Cityan, whose father is now counsel with the economic warfare group in Washington, D. C., received an air medal for participation in five combat bomber missions.
Staff Sgt. Edward D. Mummeri, Aurelia, received a bronze oak leaf cluster to an air medal for five combat bomber missions.

Air medals were awarded Staff Sergeants Eugene Jones, Grand River, and Foy A. Rush, Des Moines, for destruction of one enemy aircraft, and to Lawrence W. Koolman, Rock Valley, and Charles D. Melroy, Winterset, for five combat missions.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Saturday, August 14, 1943, Page 14  (photo included)


THE CRY that the midwest does not know there is a war on has largely spent itself in its own vacilt (sic ?). People who have as many loved ones in the service - who have contributed as many men to the navy as North Iowa, for example - do not bother to answer such talk. But admittedly there is a great deal of difference in the comprehension we have of the sacrifices needed and that of the English people who have lived with the war for 4 years.

That fact is brought home more forcefully than any editorial writer could by a letter written from England by Lt. Ray E. Clough, a Mason City lad who was decorated last month for having completed 5 missions over the contingent with the 8th U. S. bomber command. He writes:

"The English are not kidding about this war as many Americans are. Their taxes are about 20 per cent heavier than the taxes in the states and they don't need any lavish advertising campaign to get them to buy bonds.

"The English are fighting for their lives and are willing to give up the frills of easy living without crying about their unbearable sacrifices. There are still a few English families living in the subway stations and I imagine that they are as determined to defeat Hitler as FDR is. . . .

"Don't let over-optimism get you. I know from experience that the German air force is not beaten and the slow advance on even a small front like Sicily doesn't seem to indicate any great weakness on the land. Remember that Sicily is a minute operation compared to an invasion of France of the Balkans. It took 3,000 ships to land 360,000 men in Sicily. How many ships and men would be needed to take and hold France of the Balkans? Think that one over when you start feeling that this war is practically won.

"Barring either an unexpected break in German morale or an unexpected break-through by the Russians, this war won't be over this year and possibly not next year. The advances in Africa or Sicily are preliminaries between the light-weights; the main event between the heavy-weights is still to come. Don't think it will be a nice fight or an easy fight because it won't be either.

"It will take all the ability and raw material and raw guts which America can muster."

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Friday, September 10, 1943, Page 10

Lt. Ray E. Clough Writes First Letter Since Taken Prisoner

A wire from R. F. Clough, local attorney now in Washington, D. C., states that he had received his first letter from his son, Lt. Ray E. Clough, interned in Germany since October.

In the letter, stated the wire, Lt. Clough had written that he was lucky to be alive and that he was in good spirits. It also stated that he had told something of camp conditions.

Lt. Clough was piloting one of the 60 flying fortresses lost in the Schweinfurt ball-bearing plant raid, Oct. 14, at which time he was taken prisoner by the Germans. Previous word from him had been received through the Red Cross.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Wednesday, January 19, 1944, Page 1



Pilot Praised for Courage, Coolness in 15 Combat Missions

Lt. Ray E. Clough, a prisoner in Germany since Oct. 14, 1943, has been awarded an air medal with 2 oak leaf clusters, which indicated the 2nd and 3rd awards of the same decoration, according to a communication received by the pilot's father, R. F. Clough, at Washington, D. C.

Word of the citation was sent Mr. Clough by Brig. Gen. Robert H. Dunlop, acting adjutant general.

The citation relating to this award read:
"For exceptionally meritorious achievement, while participating in 15 separate bomber combat missions over enemy occupied continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by this officer upon these occasions reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States."

Mr. Clough was informed that "since this award cannot be formally presented to your son at this time, decoration will be presented to you. The air medal with 2 oak-leaf clusters will be forwarded to the commanding general, military district of Washington, Washington, D. C. This officer will communicate with you concerning your wish in the matter."

"Of course," wrote Mr. Clough to the Globe-Gazette, "my real regret is that the boy is not in a position to receive his own award, yet I'll be happy to be the custodian for him."

Lt. Clough last August was awarded an air medal for participating in 5 bomber combat missions over Germany. He was reported missing following a bombing raid over Germany on Oct. 14. That was the date when a heavy attack was made on a ball-bearing plant at Schweinfurt, Germany. News that he was missing came on Oct. 26 and on Nov. 22 word was received that he was a prisoner.

Mr. Clough, the lieutenant's father, is council for the foreign economic administration at Washington, D. C.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Monday, April 10, 1944, Page 8

35 Cerro Gordo Men Killed in Action in 2 ½ Years of War

Memorial Day this year marks almost 2 ½ years since the United States entered World War II.  Of the more than 11 million men serving with the U.S. armed forces at home and overseas, it is estimated that Cerro Gordo county has contributed 4,100 men.

Prisoners of war list:
Lt. Ray Clough, prisoner of Germans, Oct. 14, 1943.

Source: Mason City Globe-Gazette, May 30, 1944


Democrats Holding Majority Writes Mason Cityan

It may not be a Dewey or a Roosevelt campaign but it's a political campaign nevertheless, that some Yanks, prisoners of war in Germany, are holding to take their minds off "other things," according to a letter the R. F. Cloughs have received from their son, Lt. Ray E. Cloughs, interned in Germany since last Ocober.

Part of the letter is being reproduced here as an assurance to relatives of prisoners of war that men in prison camps have various typed of recreation projects.

Wrote Lt. Clough:
"We are now organizing a mock political campaign here. We are going to elect a house of representatives and hold several meetings. Iowa has been apportioned 3 congressmen, and New York is tops with 6. I am Iowa national committeeman, and also a candidate for congress, but I'm not too hopeful of election, since the democrats hold a majority of one here.

"We are also, sub rosa, organizing a progressive party to try to split the democratic vote.

"The whole program provides some diversion and will take our minds off other things for several weeks. I hope that the political situation here is not typical of Iowa politics at home."

The above letter written on July 14 and received here Sept. 21, also stated that they had seen an American movie which came in through the Y. M. C. A. Lt. Clough said that the had seen the same show, "Orchestra Wives," in February, and though the film had several breaks in it, it was great seeing and hearing an American movie.

Another letter written the latter part of June and getting here at the same time as the July letter told of their "soft ball season," It follows:

"We're having March weather now - cold, wind and rain. The first half of the softball season is closing now, with our block team tied fro first place and a cinch to enter the 11-team playoffs. After losing their first 4 games, our team hit its stride and has won 9 straight and is favored to win its last game before the playoffs. Quite a thrilling finish! Considering that we have about (censored) to choose from, our block has a really sweet ball club.

"We got a new fellow in our room several days ago, whose recent stories have enlivened our conversations.

"Our cooking products have recently hit a new high. One of the guys got dried bananas in a parcel and, with cracker crumbs for a crust, we had a banana cream pie. Quite a treat for Kriegies.

"Our garden seems to be suffering from mal (censored). The soil is very sandy, and we have no fertilizer.

"All of us here are well and expectant."

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Wednesday, September 27, 1944, Page 15


Lts. Ray Clough and Don Harrer Expect to Be in the States Soon

News of the liberation of 2 more Mason City prisoner of war that has long been awaited here came over the weekend to the Ray F. Clough and Donald Harrer homes. Letters received by their respective families stated that they were in France waiting shipment to the states.

"At present I am at a camp near the French coast awaiting shipping orders for the U. S.," Lt. Clough had written. "I hope the wait won't be too long. The problem of evacuating us ex-POW's is really tremendous.

"The army generally has service records of all personnel but of course we have none. That is problem number 1. Then we must be fed, clothed, housed, deloused, examined, treated, cataloged, etc., far into the night. But the army is doing all it can to speed our return," wrote Lt. Clough.

"With the publicity which was given to some POW camps in Germany you may have wondered about my treatment. I think it is useless to write a description when I can tell you myself in several weeks. However, as officers we received much better treatment than some and in addition the camps of the Luftwaffe were generally better than camps under the wehrmacht or SS," Lt. Clough wrote.

Two letters received by Mrs. Betty HAKES HARRER on Monday from her husband, Lt. HARRER, followed a telegram that came from the war department on Sunday stating that he had been returned to military control.

In the letters to Mrs. Harrer, dated May 15 and 17, Lt. Harrer had written that he had been released by the Russians on May 1 and had stayed at Barth until May 13. They were then flown in B-17's from nearby army camps to France. He had speculated that he would be home by June 5 or 10.

Lt. Clough had been a prisoner of the Germans since October 1943. He had recently been moved from Stalag Luft 3 to Stalag Luft 7-A at Moosburg near Munich.

Lt. Harrer was taken prisoner in February, 1944, and was at Stalag Luft No. 1 in the Baltic area.

Source:  The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, Monday, May 28, 1945, Page 1

Lt. Ray Clough Among Recently
Liberated POW's to Come Home

Among 90 or more Iowans, the first sizable group liberated from German prison camps to leave Jefferson Barracks, Mo., for their homes late Thursday, was Lt. Ray E. Clough, son of Attorney and Mrs. Ray F. Clough, according to word received here. He was scheduled to arrive in Mason City on the 2:58 Rocket Friday afternoon.

At the lieutenant's request his parents did not go to meet him at the reception center. He had telephoned them from camp Kilmer, N. J., upon reaching the states.

Other North Iowans in the group were Capt. Roger F. Good of Rockwell City and Lt. Clinton W. Richards, Nashua.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, June 08, 1945, Page 11


Burnett, Brown and Clough Give Talks

Three army air forces officers - Capt. Jack J. Burnett, Jr., Lt. James Brown and Lt. Ray E. Clough, Jr. - and 2 Annapolis midshipmen - first classman Charles Kiser and second classman Jack Rees - were guest speakers at the Rotary club's first summer luncheon meeting to be held at the Mason City Country club Monday noon.

Capt. Burnett returned recently from the Philippines area after completing 70 missions while Lt. Brown and Lt. Clough were recently liberated from German prison camps. First classman Kiser and second classman REES returned from the U. S. naval academy at Annapolis, Md., after completing their third and second year, respectively.

"I don't know why we didn't all starve to death," Lt. Clough said of his experiences in Stalag Luft 3. He was forced to bail from his plane at 17,000 feet after 13 German fighters attacked and heavily damaged his bomber which was on a mission over Schweinfurt, Germany. Clough said that conditions were tolerable and livable, that they had no stove to cook their food, but that the Red Cross food parcels kept the captured officers alive.

"That Red Cross parcel is probably the most efficient thing that ever came to Germany," Clough declared. Tins were utilized and even beds. "We had quite an extensive line of cooking utensils," Clough laughed.

A U. S. 3rd army tank spearhead liberated him, together with hundreds of other officers. Clough pointed out that German people had been propagandized about American airmen who were termed "luft gangster." The Germans had ingenious methods of talking away defeat, Clough concluded.

Lt. James Brownsaid that he was shot down in Holland and landed in a main street - in fact - before a German army headquarters. He praised the underground who sheltered him. Lt. Brown was later captured by the gestapo at Antwerp, Belgium. He and Clough were in separate prison compound of Stalag Luft 3.

"Tokyo Rose tried to discourage us from listening to our radio programs, but she did have a fairly good program," Capt. Burnett said.

Midshipman Kiser, star middle football player, said that the navy this fall intended to use the "T" formation instead of the usual wing formation.

Joining Kiser in praising the Mason City school system, Rees singled out the high school mathematics and science departments for what they termed excellent preparation, allowing them to continue their studies without difficulty.

Guests were W. H. Rees, Roy Kiser, R. F. Clough, Bert Drummond, John L. Johnson and F. Hotcher and W. I. Molsberry, both of Grinnell.

Walter Walker, Rotary president, presided.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, June 12, 1945, Page 3

Tell of Life in German Prison Camps

The story of life in a German prisoner of war camp was related to the Mason City Lions club Wednesday noon by 2 recently returned Mason City pilots, Lt. Ray E. Clough and Lt. Don Harrer. Dr. Harold Morgan introduced the pair and conducted the interview.

Both told of the circumstances under which they parachuted down from the Flying Fortresses, Clough on a flight to Schweinfurt and Harrer on the return from a bombing mission over Frankfurt.

Compliment was paid to the Red Cross for the part it played in getting food through to them during their time in prison and to the Y. M. C. A. for its role in supplying equipment for entertainment.

Bob Hamilton, home on leave from naval duty at 29 Palms, Cal, spoke briefly. He is a member of the Mason City Lions club and in his talk he referred to the contrast of attitude toward service men as between the seaboard area and Iowa.

"I really feel as if I'm in God's country in getting back to Iowa," he said.

Guests of the club included Ward HAMILTON, Clem Kriz, Lt. Ron Ranson, all of Mason City, and W. H. Schubert of Waterloo.

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, June 28, 1945, Page 22


Expresses Hope Legion Warning of Preparedness Will Be Heeded

It is to be hoped that the American Legion proposal for a strongly armed America, disregarded after the last war, will be observed this time, Lt. Ray Clough told members of Clausen-Worden post of the Legion Thursday night.

Lt. Clough’s talk was about his experiences as a prisoner of war after he parachuted to earth when his bomber was shot down in the Schweinfurt raid in October, 1943.

"When I read about the atrocities that were committed by the Japs on their prisoners, I feel that I was lucky," he said.
Lt. Clough said he gave the order to abandon the plane after No. 4 engine was shot out, No. 3 was afire and several members of the crew were wounded. He was picked up by a group of farmers who came toward him with spades, shotguns and other tools and weapons. After questioning, he was placed in stalagluft 3 prison camp. At the end of the war this prison camp, he said, was ranked as the best in Germany. But without the boxes of food sent by the Red Cross less than 50 per cent would have survived, he said.

On the night of Jan. 27, 1945, ahead of the oncoming Russians, the prisoners were marched to another camp. Their Red Cross boxes didn't get through for weeks and prisoners suffered for want of food.

Throughout their imprisonment, he said, the Americans were able to follow the progress of the war in German newspapers and by radios tuned to the allied communiques. Liberation came on April 29 by Gen. Patton's army. . . .

Source: The Globe Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, September 07, 1945, Page 11