Edgar Dean Clemmons, Sr. papers
Scope and Contents
This collection relates to Edgar Dean Clemmons who served in the United States Navy during World War II in the Pacific Campaign on Guam as a Second Class Machinist's Mate working with oxygen generation and compressed gas equipment. The collection includes military documents.
- Created: 1944-1946
- Other: Date acquired & accessioned: 08/07/2017
- Clemmons, Edgar Dean, 1916-2006 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to all researchers.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Biographical or Historical Information
Edgar Dean Clemmons was born in Tippecanoe City, OH (now known as Tipp City, OH) on November 27, 1916 in a house at the corner of Main street and First Street (the house was torn down long ago). Ed was the oldest child of Elmo R. Clemmons and Josie L. Helmer Clemmons, and would be followed by a sister, Virginia. Virginia was called “Ginny,” and she passed away at the age of 14 from a ruptured appendix. From that point on, Ed was an only child. Josie had trouble recovering from Ginny’s early death, but Ed and his mother were very close.
Josie divorced Elmo (not popular during that time period), but took him back into her home when he was dying from cirrhosis. She nursed Elmo through his final days (Elmo passed on in 1959 and Josie passed away in 1973).
Ed was baptized into the Methodist Episcopal Church on April 12, 1925 and his sister, Virginia, was baptized on the same day. However, Ed would spend virtually all of his life not attending church. He once said that the first time he went to church in decades was to see his son get married.
It wasn’t that Ed didn’t believe in God, but more that he didn’t necessarily accept organized religion. When question about his beliefs, he would simply answer with “You know what I believe.”
Ed graduated from Tippecanoe High School and spent the first part of his work career at Frigidaire Corporation, in Dayton, OH. While many men were drafted into WWII, Ed joined the Navy to do his part for freedom. He was inducted on March 14, 1944 and was honorably discharged on January 18, 1946. Ed served as a Machinist Mate 2nd Class, and stated that he was part of the occupying force. When questioned by his children, he said that after the fighting took place, his unit occupied the captured location and eliminated any remaining enemy. He rarely talked about the war, saying only it was a bad time. At one point, Ed said that the worst part was the smell – that after the planes had strafed the land, his unit would locate dead enemy soldiers by the smell of the decomposing bodies. The only other story he used to tell was about washing laundry and hanging it out on the clothesline in Guam. Ed said that when they went back to get the clothes, they were often covered in multicolored fungus that grew in the moist climate. While some ex-servicemen continued to wear their military colors and emblems, Ed never talked about being in the Navy unless asked a direct question.
When he returned from the war, he worked on the factory floor at National Cash Register (NCR) in Dayton, OH. When Ed was 58 years old, NCR moved their headquarters from Dayton, and he accepted a buy-out retirement package. Ed was not one to sit at home, and had a variety of part-time jobs, including working in mall security and delivering newspapers.
Ed was first married to Ruth, who was his spouse during WWII while he was deployed overseas. None of the remaining family is aware of Ruth’s maiden name. Ed and Ruth divorced shortly after his return from the war.
Ed began to date Marie Eunice Blakeney. Marie had been married to Glen Roy during the war, but the marriage didn’t survive. At the same time Ed was recovering from his divorce, Marie was also single and the two of them began dating in September 1953. They eloped and were married on January 23, 1954.
Edgar Dean Clemmons, Sr. passed at the age of 89 on January 5, 2006 in Troy, Ohio, nearly three years after losing his wife Marie to lung cancer on April 18, 2003. His final years were spent in assisted living and a nursing home, where he battled Parkinson’s disease and other systemic illnesses. The cause of death was listed as pneumonia, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was survived by his son (Dean), his daughter (Cindy), three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. They were married for 49 years.
Note written by Cindy C. Parman (Daugther of Edgar Dean Clemmons, Sr.)
Language of Materials
Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.
Source of Acquisition
Cindy C. Parman (Daughter)
Method of Acquisition
- Great Lakes Naval Training Center (Great Lakes, Ill.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Great Lakes Region (North America)--History Subject Source: Local sources
- United States. Navy--History--20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945--Pacific Area Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Edgar Dean Clemmons, Sr. papers
- Michael G. Kasper
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note