Clyde A. Houghton was born in December, 1924 to Ethel and Geo Houghton on Long Island, NY. Clyde and his older sister Gloria grew up in Queens, NY. After his father died in 1932, Clyde moved to Teaneck with his mother, sister, and his maternal grandparents. Clyde was actively involved in school activities. He was on the school’s science club, various event committees, dramatics, as well as just being one of the most popular kids in his class. On April 10th, 1942, Clyde enlisted into the Air Corps, later the Air Force, in New York City. He was 17 at the time of his enlistment. He forged the year of his birth on his enlistment papers to make him appear to be 18, the legal age eligible to join the service.
Clyde graduated Teaneck High, Class of ’42 in April to enter the Air Force at Aloe Air Field School in Victoria, Texas. However he only received his diploma in June when came home for a brief break in training. On August 18th, 1942 Clyde left Teaneck for San Antonio as to start his aviation training. On April 22nd, 1943 Clyde was commissioned a second lieutenant and presented his Pilot Wings in a ceremony at Randolph Field in Texas. In August of 1943, Clyde was sent overseas. He was the pilot of a B-24 in the “Lone Rangers” 307 Bomb Group, 371st Squadron. Clyde was commissioned a first lieutenant on December 14th, 1943. His plane was active in the South Pacific Theater. Stationed at Guadalcanal, the Bomb Group went on mission bombing Japanese airfields and shipping stations within the Pacific.
On New Year’s Day 1944, Clyde was the commanding officer of a group of planes departing from Koll Field for a bombing mission in the southwest Pacific. On course to Rabaul, Clyde’s B-24 was struck by enemy explosives between New Brittain and New Ireland. It went down spinning with a broken wing and smoke emanating from the engine. Because parachutes were witnessed as the plane dropped, he was initially listed as missing. However after details of the crash came to light, it’s seemed like no longer a reasonable possibility that Clyde was among them.
On February 27th, 1945, Mrs. Houghton was presented the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters for her son’s service. First Lieutenant Houghton was memorialized in the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery, Philippines.
High School Yearbook
Te-Hi News (Teaneck High School Newspaper)
American Battle Monuments Commission
- New York, State Census, 1925
- 1930 United States Federal Census
- New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 (George Houghton, father, 10/16/1932)
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
- World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas
fold3.com (Historical Military Records)
- Report from 371st Bombardment Squadron (HV), 307th Bombardment Group (HV), 3/15/1945
- Photos of 307th Bomber Group - 371st Squadron
Find A Grave Website