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First Name: William

Last Name: Clement

Birthplace: Lynchburg, VA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Tardy

Date of Birth: 27 September 1894

Date of Death: 17 October 1955

Rank: Lieutenant General

Years Served:
William Tardy Clement

•  Occupation of Haiti (1915 - 1934)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William Tardy Clement
Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps
Navy Cross

William Tardy Clement was born on 27 September 1894 in Lynchburg, VA. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1914 and, in 1917, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Clement saw action right away; less than a month after he reported for duty he sailed to Cap Hatien, Haiti where he joined the 2nd Marine Regiment, 1st Brigade, which was safeguarding American lives and property against rebel bandits.

He returned to the U.S. in 1919, where he was assigned for duty at the Marine Barracks at Quantico, VA. Clement was transferred in 1923 to the Marine Detachment at the American Legation in Peking, China, where he was the Post Adjutant. In 1926, he was assigned to the 4th Marine Regiment at San Diego, CA, as Adjutant. In October of the same year, he was given command of a company of Marines on mail guard duty in Denver, CO.

Three months later, he rejoined the 4th Marine Regiment, which reported for duty in China in 1927. There he was successively, a Company Commander, and a Regimental Operations and Training Officer. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1929, he became Executive Officer of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at San Diego, and then Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment on board the USS West Virginia (BB-48), a Colorado-class battleship. Clement spent most of the 1930s at Quantico, first as a student, then as an instructor and, finally, as a Battalion Commander with the 5th Marines.

Clement was serving on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet, in the Philippines when the outbreak of World War II occurred. Although quartered at Corregidor, he served as liaison between the Commandant, 16th Naval District; the Commanding General, U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East; and particularly with the forces engaged on Bataan. In April 1942, Colonel Clement narrowly escaped capture by the Japanese at Corregidor when he was ordered to leave on board the submarine USS Snapper (SS-185) for Australia. For his adept handling of the diversified units engaged at Cavite Navy Yard and on Bataan, he was awarded the Navy Cross. Clement was then assigned to work on plans for the invasion at Normandy, France, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. At the end of this duty, he was promoted to Brigadier General.

Following his tours in Europe and at Quantico, Clement joined the 6th Marine Division, in November 1944, as Assistant Division Commander and took part in the Okinawa campaign. Leading the 4th Marines ashore at Yokosuka on 30 August 1945, was a memorable event in Clement's life and career. He was in command of the 3rd Fleet Landing Force that made the first landing on the Japanese home islands following the nation's unconditional surrender. [Yokosuka was one of the cities bombed on 18 April 1942 by the Doolittle Raider's B-25 bombers.]

Less than two months after the Yokosuka landing, he rejoined the 6th Marine Division in Northern China. When the division was re-designated the 3rd Marine Brigade, Clement became its Commanding General and, in June 1946, was named Commanding General, Marine Forces, Tsingtao Area, China.

When Clement returned to the U. S. in September 1946, he was appointed President of the Naval Retiring Board, and then Director of the Marine Corps Reserve. In September 1949, he assumed command of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and held that post until his retirement in 1952.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Purple Heart (2 Awards)
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with 2 Service Stars
Haitian Campaign Medal
World War I Victory Medal
Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
China Service Medal
American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Service Stars
World War II Victory Medal

Death and Burial

Lieutenant General William Tardy Clement died on 17 October 1955, at the age of 61. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjory Yvonne "Christy" Clement, who died 27 March 1941. They are buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 3268   Created by: MHOH




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