Editor’s note: World War II officially ended Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed surrender terms. We’re honoring the war’s area veterans over the next several months with these brief profiles.
Clinton D. Harden Sr.
Date of birth: July 11, 1918
Dates of service: April 10, 1943 to December 1945
Lives in: Clovis
Theater and location of service: Pacific
Rank: MOM (Motor Machinist Mate) 2nd Class
Unit: ARS-23, USS Deliver
In his words: Performing rescue and salvage at sea, the USS Deliver was tasked with going into naval combat areas and assisting those in distress or disaster. Harden recalls many incidents where they were called upon to fight fires and pull out sinking ships.
During a stopover in Hawaii, he recalls his unit being called in to extinguish a fire at an ammunition depot. “At this time I realized I wasn’t as brave as I thought I was. If I could have walked on water, I would have jumped ship.”
By the end of his tour, Harden said they were seasoned and proficient at their job, experiencing the intensity of battle in Okinawa and throughout the Pacific.
While waiting in Saipan for orders to Japan, Harden recalls watching the plane carrying the atom bomb take off en route to Japan.
“We received word of the bombing but had no idea what an “A” bomb was. We were happy and thankful to President Truman for stopping the war.”
World War II profiles are compiled by CNJ staff writer Sharna Johnson. Contact her at 763-6991 or by e-mail: