Joseph Clinton Clifton Papers, 1926-1971: Finding Aid
Published electronically in December 2013
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: MS 204
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
- Title: Joseph Clinton Clifton Papers
- Dates: 1926-1971
- Size: 0.83 linear feet
- Container Summary: 2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder
- Creator: Clifton, Joseph Clinton, 1908-1967
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Joseph Clinton Clifton was an officer and aviator in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1930. The Clifton Papers focus primarily on Clifton's post-World War II duties with the Airborne Early Warning Wing, Naval Air Advanced Training, Naval Air Technical Training, as well as his World War II duties in the Marshall Islands Campaign and duties aboard U.S.S. Wasp.
Biography of Joseph Clinton Clifton
Rear Admiral Joseph Clinton Clifton was born in Paducah, Kentucky in 1908, and was admitted to the United States Naval Academy on June 16, 1926. While at the Academy, Clifton was an All-Eastern and honorable mention All-American fullback for the varsity football team. After graduating in 1930, Clifton first served aboard U.S.S. Tennessee (Battleship : BB-43) before being transferred to Pensacola for flight training, receiving his designation as a naval aviator in 1932.
At the outset of World War II, Clifton was serving as a flight training officer at Naval Air Station, Miami. Following the outbreak of hostilities, he received command of Fighter Squadron 12 aboard U.S.S. Saratoga (Aircraft carrier : CV-3) and participated in the first raid on Rabaul. In July 1944, Clifton returned to U.S.S. Saratoga as Commander, Air Group 12, which included Air Groups from U.S.S. Saratoga and H.M.S. Illustrious. For his service during the war, Clifton was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion of Merit, as well as the Distinguished Service Order by Great Britain.
After World War II, Clifton's commands included U.S.S. Wasp (Aircraft carrier : CV-18), Transport Squadron 8, U.S.S. Corson (Seaplane tender : AVP-37) during the Korean War, and Naval Air Station, Memphis. Other assignments included tours as Deputy Chief of Staff for Training, staff of Commander, Air Force, Pacific Fleet, and instructor at the Naval War College.
In December 1956, Clifton received command of the Airborne Early Warning Wing, Atlantic while concurrently serving as Commander, Fleet Air Detachment, Argentia and Commander, Barrier Force, Atlantic Fleet. In 1958, he was appointed Chief of Naval Air Advanced Training at Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, where he served until 1960, when he received command of Carrier Division 7. In May 1961, Clifton was named Chief of naval Air Technical Training at Naval Air Station, Memphis.
Rear Admiral Joseph Clinton Clifton voluntarily retired from the United States Navy on July 1, 1963. He died four years later on December 24, 1967 in Santa Monica, California.
Description of Contents
The Joseph Clinton Clifton Papers, comprising 0.83 feet of documentation, span the entirety of Clifton's career in the U.S. Navy, from his time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy until his retirement in 1963. The papers, focus primarily on Clifton's post-World War II duties with the Airborne Early Warning Wing, Naval Air Advanced Training, Naval Air Technical Training, as well as his World War II duties in the Marshall Islands Campaign and duties aboard U.S.S. Wasp.
Nearly half of the collection is composed of Clifton's official and temporary additional duty orders, as well as fitness reports for officers under his command. The remainder of the collection consists of publications, correspondence, and certificates. Due to the presence of personally identifiable information, the use of the fitness reports for officers other than Clifton are restricted for a period of 60 years after the officers' separation from service.
The Joseph Clinton Clifton Papers are organized into the following seven categories:
- Official Papers
- Newspaper Clippings
- Programs and Invitations
Access and Use
Access to officers' fitness reports is restricted where noted.
Copyright and Permission
The Joseph Clinton Clifton Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Gift of Mrs. Joseph C. Clifton in October 1976. Accession No. 76-015.
Related Archival Material
Material pertaining to Clifton's time as a midshipman at the Naval Academy may be found in his Personnel Jacket and Alumni Jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection.
Processing and Other Information
Joseph Clinton Clifton Papers, MS 204
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:
Obituary published in Shipmate. [Annapolis, Md.]: United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, March 1968.
This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo and revised by David D'Onofrio in December 2013.
Name and Subject Terms
- Clifton, Joseph Clinton, 1908-1967
- Wasp (Aircraft carrier : CV-18)
- World War, 1938-1945 -- Aerial Operations
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Orders (military records)
- Programs (documents)