Veterans' Memorial Project
World War II
Mr. Clamage served with the Army Air Force and was a Navigator on a bomber shot down over Austria. All but four of the crew died as a result of the crash. Those four crew members bailed out before the plane crashed. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three clusters. Mr. Clamage’s father met with the survivors in New York City after the war who gave him details of the mission. One of the survivors said that Raymond was about to bail when he yelled he was “going back to the cockpit to pull out the crew.” This was the last he was seen. Mr. Clamage and the crew were originally reported Missing in Action because the wreckage of the plane and the remains of the crew were not located until six or seven years later. Mr. Clamage and the remains of the crew that perished are buried in a common grave in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Afton, Missouri. Mr. Clamage’s father, Edward Clamage, was the Illinois State Commander of the American Legion and visited Washington, D.C. to meet with President Truman after the war on many issues, including that of continuing to search for military personnel who were declared MIA. In addition, Edward and Libby Finnerman created a Raymond Clamage Scholarship in the 1950’s. This was given annually to a Communications student working on The Daily Illini. According to Daily Illini records, Raymond Clamage was on The Daily Illini staff in 1942-43. His family set up a fund in his memory to award Daily Illini staff members who do not hold a senior position and who have contributed the most to the progress and quality of the newspaper during the year. This award was first given in 1953 and is still an active program.
– submitted by Raymond Minkus, nephew and Mr. Clamage’s namesake
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