Sgt. Clifton Fomby /1/6
The following article is from an unidentified newspaper detailing the events of Sgt. Clifton Fomby's death.
Bernice Marine Sergeant Killed at Tarawa, Awarded High Honors
Killed by enemy shellfire as he directed the fire of tanks against a Japanese concrete emplacement on Tarawa, last November 22nd, Marine Sergeant Clifton E. Fomby of Bernice has been awarded the Silver Star Medal, posthumously, for "heroic self-sacrifice in the face of grave peril".
When his company lost contact with supporting tanks, Sergeant Fomby, the citation accompanying the award said, "courageously charged forward across an air strip exposed to heavy enemy shellfire in order to regain contact.
"Discovering a strong hostile concrete emplacement threatening the advance of our forces he successfully brought the support of tanks against the enemy position assuring its complete destruction, the citation added.
Sergeant Fomby contributed immeasurably to the saving of many lives before he was killed by enemy shellfire during his perilous advance."
Born January 29, 1919 at Shiloh, Clifton was the son of Mrs. Mattie Lou Fomby of Bernice. His wife, Mrs. Marjorie Marie Fomby lives at 1715 B. High School Parks, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Enlisting in the Marine Corps October 14, 1940, the ruddy 140-pound Leatherneck was promoted to the rank of Sergeant June 10, 1943. In addition to the Silver Star Medal his decorations include the Purple Heart, the American Defense Service Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.
The citation follows:
"For conscious gallantry and intrepidity while serving with the First Battalion, Sixth Marines, Second Marine Division, in action against hostile enemy Japanese forces on Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, November 22, 1943. When his company lost contact with supporting assault tanks, Sergeant Fomby courageously charged forward across an air-strip exposed to heavy enemy shellfire in order to regain contact. Discovering a strong hostile concrete emplacement threatening the advance of our forces, he successfully brought the support of the tanks against the enemy position, assuring its complete destruction. By his heroic self-sacrifice in the face of grave peril, Sergeant Fomby contributed immeasurably to the saving of many lives before he was killed by enemy shellfire during the perilous advance. His gallant conduct and unswerving devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service, He gallantly gave his life for his country."
Thanks to Clifton E. Fomby nephew to Sgt. Fomby for this information.
copyright 2002 Wheaton, Illinois
Created 14 September 2002 - Updated 22 October 2002