LTC Clyde Bennett East (1921 - 2014)

Obituary
  • "I had the honor and privelege of being Clyde and Margaret..."
    - Robert Rich
  • "In the last two or three years I had the priviledge to..."
    - Christopher C. Clarke
  • "Uncle Clyde - My Hero. "He was a truly great and wonderful..."
    - Cathy Giles
  • "I met Clyde. A real American hero. I can not find his book..."
  • "To have known Clyde is to have stood in the shadow of..."
    - Tom Mew

July 19, 1921 - July 30, 2014 Clyde was born in Sheva, Virginia, and at the age of 19, hitchhiked to Canada and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Staged out of England, he became an accomplished fighter and reconnaissance pilot. Joining the US Army Air Corps in January, 1944 he flew Spitfire and Mustang recon/fighters. Captain East flew approx. 250 missions and claimed 13 aerial victories.

By the end of the Korean War, he held the highest number of repeat combat medals, which stood in Guinness World Records for 13 years. During his 24 years of air service, he was Tactical Reconnaissance Squad Commander at air bases in the US and France. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Clyde flew numerous missions over Cuba.

He cherished time with wife Margaret and his six children: Dennis, Kenneth, Penny, Jenny, Becky and Suzy. He was an usher at St. Jude's Church, longtime docent at the Reagan Library, and a member of the veteran's group Wings Over Wendy's.

In 2013 he completed his autobiography, "The Way It Happened", and this January Clyde was inducted into the American Heroes Gallery at the Reagan Library.

Clyde influenced many, shook the hands of Presidents, and yet was cloaked in humility, kindness and generosity. He flew high, soared far and profoundly touched many lives.

Visitation: August 7, 5-7pm at Pierce Bros Mem. Park, Westlake Village. Services: Aug. 8, 10am, St. Jude's Catholic Church, Westlake Village. Interment at Pierce Bros Mem. Park.



Published in Ventura County Star from Aug. 5 to Aug. 8, 2014
Clyde B. East
Click images or name above for additional details at:
www.piercebrothersvalleyoaks.com.
Arrangements under the direction of:
Valley Oaks-Griffin Memorial Park, Mortuary & Crematory
5600 Lindero Canyon Road | Westlake Village, CA 91362 | (818) 889-0902
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