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Lieut. Clifford E. Case, USNR

Lt. (jg) Clifford Case, USNR,

in the cockpit of his Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter aircraft,

Observation Fighting Squadron One (VOF-1),

Escort-Carrier USS TULAGI, CVE-72, 1944.
Lt. (jg) Clifford Case, USNR, in the cockpit of his Grumman F6F Hellcat,
VOF-1 Squadron, Escort-Carrier USS Tulagi, CVE-72, 1944.

The Western Star, March 21, 1947.

Coldwater Fliers Given Navy Citations

Ninth Naval District, Great Lakes, Ill. - Lieut. Clifford E. Case, USNR, of Coldwater, Kans., has received a permanent citation for his Air Medal from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, for the President.

Lieut. Case, who has been released to inactive duty, earned, the award in aerial action against enemy forces during the Allied Invasion of Southern France.

During the war, citations were temporary, or incomplete, for security reasons.

Text of the full citation is as follows:

"For meritorious achievement in aerial flight as a pilot of a fighter plane, during the Allied Invasion of Southern France in August, 1944. Piloting his fighter aircraft on numerous hazardous missions, often deep within enemy controlled territory and through intense antiaircraft fire, Lieut. (then Lieut. jg. Case) directed his damaging bombing and strafing attacks against coastal defenses, lines of communications, and troops concentrations, thereby contributing materially to the success of our landing on the coast and to the rapid advance of the Allied ground forces in clearing enemy occupied territory. His courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

(The other pilot mentioned in the above article was Lieut. Howard Reason Burnett, of Coldwater, Kans., who received posthumously the permanent citation for his Silver Star Medal.)

The Western Star, January 15, 1976.

Local Resident Found Dead

(From The Johnson County Graphic, Clarksville, Ark.)

Clifford E. Case, 56, of Clarksville, was found dead at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, January 4, 1975, by his son, Stanley Case, also of Clarksville.

The elder Case had left his home at about noon Sunday to work on his cabin north of Oark, and when he had not returned home by 10 p.m., his son went in search of him. He found the body of his father on the roof of a sundeck of the cabin where he had been patching the roof.

Coroner Roady Nicholas said Case had died at about 3 p.m. of an apparent heart attack.

He was a veteran of World War II, manager of Hanford Produce Company hatchery and a native of Kansas.

He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Inez Case four sons, Van Allen Case, MMC of Cuba, Billy Case and Stanley Case, both of Clarksville and Chris Case of Hartman; one daughter, Mrs. Dolly Graham of Springdale; three sisters, Mrs. Agatha Allred and Mrs. Barbara Bayne of Coldwater, Kans., and Mrs. Phyllis Rafler of Wilmore, Kans.; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Thursday, January 8, 1975, at Hardwicke Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Leonard Byers officiating. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery.

Pallbearers were Jerry Bailey, Thurman Foster, Dick Harvey, David Fultz, Heartsill Sexton and Carl Kirshberger.

Induction Into Military Service

Name: Case, Clifford E.; Service: Inducted 2 February 1942, Navy; Service # 4119573; Registration: Registered, order # 375; Place: Coldwater, Comanche Co., Kansas. (Board # 1).

Source: Adjutant General Armed Forces Personnel Who Served between September 16, 1940, and June 30, 1946. -- World War II Kansas Veterans Index at the Kansas State Historical Society.

Family History

Clifford Erle Case was born March 22, 1919, at Coldwater, Comanche County, Kansas, son of William A. Case and Dora Ann Metzger. He died January 4, 1976. He married Inez Van Beber. Information from "August Metzger and His Descendants" by Evelyn Beck & Connie Gray. Source:

Dora Ann Metzger (born August 26, 1898 Mooreland, Woodward Co., OK; died August 18, 1960, at Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS) was the daughter of August Metzger and Lizzie Amelia Minnie Tingler; her second husband was Levi Franklin Steadman. Source:

August Alva Metzger, another decorated WWII veteran, was a first cousin to Clifford E. Case.

The Western Star, June 19, 1925.

Steadman - Case

Levi Steadman, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Steadman, and Mrs. Dora Case, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Metzger, were united in marriage on June 10, 1925, in this city, Probate Judge M. M. Cosby officiating. The couple went to Dodge City on the following day on a visit with relatives. They will make their home in this county, the groom having a crop of wheat on one of the Jacob Reiss farms. The Star wishes Mr. and Mrs. Steadman a long, happy and prosperous married life.

1930 Census, Comanche County, Kansas, Coldwater township.

Levi Steadman, head of household, age 27, born Kansas.
Dora Steadman, wife, age 31, born Okla.
Agatha, stepdaughter, age 12, born Kansas.
Clifford, stepson, age 11, born Kansas.
Phyllis, daughter, age 4 years, born Kansas.
Metzger, Gus, father-in-law, born Kansas.

Census information courtesy of Joan Skaggs.

More Information About His Military Service

Operation Anvil-Dragoon   The best website available on this WWII landing in France.

CVE-72   Google search for CVE-72, the Escort Carrier USS Tulagi.

GRUMMAN F6F HELLCAT   Complete accounting of the final disposition of all of the Hellcats serving with the US Navy. Lists "CASE, CLIFFORD E."; it also lists another pilot from Comanche County, Kansas: "BURNETT, HOWARD R.".

US NAVY/USMC PILOTS AND CREWS   "This list was compiled from reports of aircraft accidents." Lists "CASE, CLIFFORD E."; it also lists another pilot from Comanche County, Kansas: "BURNETT, HOWARD R.".

USS Tulagi (CVE-72)   "On D-day, Tulagi steamed in formation 45 miles off the invasion beach; and, at 0546, she launched her first flight of Hellcats. In the next week, aircraft from Tulagi flew a total of 68 missions and 276 sorties, inflicting considerable damage on the enemy. Weather was generally good as carrier-based planes conducted spotting missions and made strikes at various targets ashore, including gun emplacements and railway facilities. On 21 August, Tulagi's last day in support of Operation "Dragoon," German forces were in retreat before the Allied thrust. Tulagi's fliers conducted a devastating attack along the line of march of a German convoy which snarled the roads for miles around Remouline and crowned her achievements of the day by downing three German Ju-52s." -- Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above Western Star news articles to this web site! The original news article listed H.R. Burnett first. The spelling of "Burnette" was used by Marjorie Burnette Crowe as her personal preference, which was followed by the local newspapers. However, Lt. H.R. Burnett's preferred spelling, and which was used in his USNR records, was "Burnett".

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