From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Clarence Blair '40

Date of birth: February 28, 1918

Date of death: July 1, 1944

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Kelly was lost when his F6F-3 Hellcat crashed while attempting a carrier landing near the Bonin Islands in the Pacific on July 1, 1944.

From the war diary of Fighting Squadron (VF) 13, via Matthew Robins '04:

First tragic loss sustained by the squadron was that of "Kelly" Blair, who spun in while making a carrier landing approach on 1 July 1944. Joining the Navy as a "boot" in 1936, Lieut. Blair was appointed to the Naval Academy the following year. He was graduated and commissioned Ensign in 1940 and completed the Navy flight training program. Following a tour of duty on board the USS CHICAGO, on which he was serving when war was declared, he joined Fighting Squadron Thirteen as Executive Officer 1 November 1943. Both loved and respected by every member of the squadron, the boy from Arriba, Colo. is survived by his widow, the former Phyllis Durgin, daughter of Rear Admiral C. T. Durgin, U.S.N.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He has a memorial marker in Colorado.

Memorial Hall Error

Clarence is listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall, but his loss was not due to enemy action.

Class of 1940

Clarence is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.