Clifford Martin Wolff
Clifford Martin Wolff was born in New Jersey on 6/20/13 to Laura and Henry Wolff. Clifford was the only son. The family lived in Ridgefield Park prior to moving to Teaneck. He entered Ridgefield High School in 1933. While in High School, Clifford (Cliff) was voted High School Outstanding Athlete for the school year 1932-1933. He played football (Highest scorer in Bergen County for 3 years), basketball (named on First County Team multiple times) and baseball. He also served as Class President. He was a member of the German Club and the Glee Club. Clifford loved cars, sports and bright neckties.
In 1934 Clifford attended the Ivy League preparatory school, Horace Mann School in New York City. He played baseball and football (broke his collar bone). He was noted for his pleasant personality and being a good speaker.
Clifford went on to attend Columbia University and was awarded a BA degree in 1938. After college, Clifford attempted to enlist in the Air Force (1940) but he was turned down because of poor eyesight. He was determined to enter the service and in fact enlisted in the Field Artillery in October of 1940. He was transferred in August of 1941 to the Air Force and sent to Scott Field in Illinois where he graduated from radio school and served as an instructor. When interviewed, his mother stated that her son was much happier when he was sent to combat duty rather than remaining as a radio instructor.
On 6/10/43, The B-17 bomber that Sergeant Wolff was serving as a Radioman-Gunner in, took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal on a mission against Kahilli Airfield. His plane failed to return. He was declared missing and later presumed to be dead.
A week before Sergeant Wolff’s parents received the telegram that their son was missing in action, they received a letter from him in which he indicated that he looked forward to seeing them and talking about old times.
This brave serviceman, who was awarded the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross, is memorialized in the Hackensack Cemetery in Hackensack NJ and in the American Cemetery in Manila.
High School Yearbook
- 1932 Ridgefield Park High School Yearbook, Page 53, Page 54
- 1933 Ridgefield Park High School Yearbook, Page 36, Page 65
- 1934 Horace Mann School, Page 48
- 1920 United States Federal Census
- 1930 United States Federal Census
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
- U.S. WWII Jewish Servicemen Cards, 1942-1947 for Clifford M. Wolff
- U.S. Headstone Afflications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 for Clifford Martin Wolff
fold3.com (Historical Military Records)
Find A Grave Website
- Clifford Martin Wolff
- Sgt. Clifford M. Wolff -
Took off from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal on a night bombing mission against Kahilli Airfield (Buin Airfield) on Bougainville. Over the target at dusk, this bomber was last contacted by radio at 19:10 and failed to return from the mission. It was believed this B-17 was lost in the vicinity of the target area.
The next day, three B-17s from the 31st Bombardment Squadron led by Captain Carroll searched for this bomber unsuccessfully. Several US Navy planes also conducted searches without results. On June 12, 1943 two B-17s led by Captain Roberts conducted another search without results.
The entire crew was officially declared dead on December 19, 1945. The entire crew (with the exception of Bowser) is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery. Bowser is memorialized at the courts of the missing at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).