Roger G. Clark of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the age of 87, while visiting Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Betty; step-children, Robert Perri, Cindy Daniels, Frank Daniels, Ron Clark and Bonnie Sanchez; his sister, Sue Witz; many nieces and nephews; combat/military friends and his many friends here in Fort Walton Beach. He was born in Defiance, Ohio, on July 22, 1926, to the late Raymond G. and Altha S. Mueller Clark and raised in Mishawaka, Ind.
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He enlisted in the United States Marines fighting in the Pacific during the WWII where he was wounded on Iwo Jima and earned his first Purple Heart. Later, he fought in the Korean War and was hit by mortar fire during the battle of the Chosin Reservoir where he was awarded his second Purple Heart. He was the youngest veteran in Indiana to be awarded two Purple Hearts. After WWII he continued to serve in the Marine Reserves until he joined the United States Air Force where he became a physiological flight instructor, jungle survivor and water survival instructor. He assisted in the development, testing and fitting of astronaut's pressure suits. In the Cli-matic Hanger at Eglin Air Force Base, he voluntarily tested exposure and survival suits that would be used by flight crews. He would be in those exposure suits for days testing the limits of his endurance and the level of pro-tection offered. After 20 years of military service, he retired from the U.S. Air Force but referred to himself as a Marine. He continued to work for the State of Florida until permanent retirement. He loved sports and was a big supporter of the Chicago Bears and Notre Dame in good times or bad.
He was laid to rest at the VA Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City on Oct. 18, 2013.
Memorial Funeral Chapel, 212 N. Main Street, Elizabethton, TN was in charge of the arrangements.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Nov. 3, 2013