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Three Brothers
from Wellston, Missouri, in WWII

Heroes are everywhere.  On our website we have:
"The Young Men of Wellston High School"
   web site link 

 We have twenty-four documented stories about our young men who died in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. 

 One of our alumni families sent three of their boys off to war,  and just the baby of the family returned home.  I am writing this story for Frank Clark, the Marine returned home from Iwo Jima.

The brothers all attended  Wellston School in St. Louis County, Missouri. Charles and Harvey Clark graduated from Wellston High School, and Frank graduated from Blewett High School, in nearby St. Louis after their family moved a few city blocks.

Harvey Mack Clark  ("Pat") is on the right in the painting. He was the oldest

Charles B. Clark, Lt. Army Air Corps is on the left in the painting. He was the second oldest brother

Francis E. Clark (Frank) is the Marine in the center, the little brother.

Click photo enlarge

Parents: Charles H Clark and  Ivah Frances Blair Clark.

How did we learn about the two Clark brothers that died in the service?  We learned by an accidental discovery of something we were not looking for.  Charles was listed as K.I.A (Killed in Action) in the school yearbooks that we had.

I was doing research to gather historical information of all of the owners of a few blocks in downtown Wellston near what was called the streetcar loop.  I had plenty of information about  Erastus Wells, as the town was named for him. It was his estate land that I was researching and some of the pioneer families that lived there.  One of the oldest streets in town is very close to this and goes right through this sixty-one acres, which is now all city blocks.  The street was named for a family called Kienlen.  I developed a family history of sorts on the Christian F. and Mary Louise (Moreau)  Kienlen family from census reports and other sources.  Then I searched some of the surname message boards available on the internet.

Bingo: I found this 2005 message on the web and corresponded.  (Email is wonderful!)

" I'm looking for Christian Kienlen who married Louise Moreau in St. Louis Missouri in 1825. Does anyone know where he was before this time? thanks."
From Leslie. 

I responded to her query:   Hello Leslie:
   I am not related. I am researching a group of families along St Charles Rock Road, a.k.a.. Easton Avenue, a.k.a. Dr Martin Luther King Drive.
  My research was for a history of  of my old hometown. I have a plat map made after 1868, showing the Kienlen children's share of the old homestead. The Census indicates Christian  F. Kienlen born Germany, and that ties in with the LDS records. Please share the your St. Louis County information  Bob

Leslie and I bounce a few bits of information back and forth about our families and growing up in St, Louis County, Missouri.  Her dad is about my age, and some of his stories and mine were shared.

"Coincidentally, my husband's "Grandma" once lived around Wellston just off of Kienlen on Kennerly.  Her maiden name was Clark. She has one brother left.  A sister just died, and she lost two brothers in WWII.  I just looked for some papers her brother sent me.  There was a brother named Charles B. Clark who was in the Wellston class of '39 who went missing over Borneo.  He is called a "Bomber Baron" in the article.  The other brother was named Harvey M. (Pat) Clark and was a gunner lost over Germany.  He also graduated from Wellston,.. "

WOW!  This was a Serendipity! I had just finished a short page on Lt. Charles B. Clark, class of '39!  One project leads back to another! 

I did have a Lt. Charles B. Clark, Class of 1939 (born about 1921), on our web site, no picture and very little information. None of the information we had mentioned another brother who also graduated from Wellston. There was a "Harvey Clark", class of 1941.

I wrote:  Leslie:  "Quick one.   Visit my page, I just put this up about a month ago.   I only have one of the Clark boys.

Leslie passed on my address to Frank Clark.  (The grand uncle of Leslie's husband, Frank's sister was Leslie's husband's "Grandma")

Frank's email: " My Brother's picture: as attachment. Charles B Clark    Wellston High School graduate, 1939, missing in action 1944, later determined killed in action - Frank Clark"

Next from Frank:
"Bob, I am sending you a few more pictures & info. I attended Wellston Junior High School in 1937 & 1938.
The family moved into St. Louis in 1939 & I went to Blewett High School from 1939-1943 when I graduated"

"Harvey Mack (Pat) Clark should have graduated in 1934, but he had to quit school & go to work to help with the family finances. He went back to Wellston High School and graduated from Wellston High School in 1941 when he was 25 years old."
Francis E. (Frank ) Clark

Bob,    Thanks for all of the information and for updating your webpage!  I'm sure Frank was thrilled to see his brothers!       Thanks again! -Leslie
I was at the Marine Corps 4th Division Base on Maui, Hawaiian Islands in October 1944 and shipped out on Jan 3rd, 1945 to Pearl Harbor where we did some landing invasion maneuvers training, then on Jan 27th, 1945 we sailed out & arrived at Eniwetok Atoll on Feb 5th, 1945.On Feb 7th, 1945 we sailed out to arrive at Saipan on Feb 11th , 1945. We sailed out on Feb 16th to arrive at Iwo Jima on Feb 19th to be in the invasion. I took the above information from my military records.
I was at the 4th Division Marine Corps base on Maui when I learned of my two brothers being missing in action. I did not find out that they had been killed in action until May of 1945.

In June of 1945, I received shipping orders to return to the States out of combat areas after my Mother had applied for me to be moved into non-combat areas after the events surrounding my two brothers. . .Frank Clark

Charles B. Clark
Lt. Army Air Corps


Harvey Mack Clark (Pat)
Sgt. Gunner, Army Air Corps
Harvey was the husband of
Regina E. Clark


Francis E. Clark

(For photo above, no date)
" U. S Marine Corps Photo USMC Press"
"Somewhere in the Pacific Marine Private First Class Francis E. Clark, son of Mrs Iva Clark, St. Louis, Missouri, a radio operator with a Signal Company of the veteran Forth Marine Division, test his equipment aboard ship on the way to Iwo Jima. Clark, who was under heavy fire throughout the Iwo campaign, at present is at a Pacific rest camp."

"In June of 1945, I received shipping orders to return to the States out of combat areas after my Mother had applied for me to be moved into non-combat areas after the events surrounding my two brothers.        Frank



Click on WHS Memorial Flag!!!!!

NEWS       Added February 3, 2008   See below . . .

Clark Brothers WWII Portrait has a New Home!
Semper Fidelis  -  Always faithful!

One of our alumni families sent three of their boys off to war, but only one returned home. 

      "Frank is now 82.  He looks at the painting and wonders 'What will become of it?' "
     You contact someone who can help you find a home for it - that's what Frank E. Clark did!
      He contacted Bill McClellan, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Frank mentioned the story of his brothers in WWII and the painting of the three brothers by a professional artist, their brother-in-law, Robert L. Rigsby. 
      Bill McClellan was interested and interviewed Frank at his home. While he was there, Bill asked what were his long range plans for the painting. Frank explained that was one of the things bothering him, he did not know where the portrait would go, he hoped he could find a proper home for it.
      On January 16, 2008, Bill McClellan, wrote an article in his column,  "Portrait of war ls looking for a home." (link)  Bill mentioned Frank Clark's history of the family, but the theme was finding the right home for the painting.  At 7:30 am the morning when the article was in the paper, Frank began to get some phone calls from readers of the news column. Bill McClellan forwarded emails and some phone numbers to Frank, also. Bill's sensitive story was very effective.
      One phone call Bill sent to Frank was from Lynnea Magnuson, of the St. Louis Soldiers Memorial. They were definitely interested in presenting a display of the portrait and four or five supporting articles. Frank felt that Bill's article made the phone and the emails come in, and he also felt that a one year stewardship trial at the St. Louis Soldiers Memorial was a very good choice.  Frank Clark  and his great nephew, Mark Rigsby, still retain ownership of the painting and several supporting documents. 

Click to enlarge
    In the painting above, Harvey Mack Clark  ("Pat") is on the right in the painting. He is the oldest. After 33 missions, his B-26 went down over target in Germany 12/15/44.
     Charles B. Clark, Lt., Army Air Corps, is on the left in the painting. he was the second oldest brother. On his last mission over Borneo oil fields, the plane was damaged over the target. The crippled plane was attacked by an enemy fighter cannon fire and went own. There were no survivors. 10/3/44
      Francis E. Clark (Frank) is the Marine in the center, the youngest brother. Frank was in the invasion of Iwo Jima. After about 30 days he was pulled out, and stationed at Maui. He was at the 4th Division Marine Corps base on Maui when he learned of his two brothers being missing in action. Frank did not find out that they had been killed in action until May of 1945."

Semper Fi,  Frank !


eMail to Frank Clark

St. Louis Soldiers Memorial

Lynnea Magnuson, Frank and Mark

Lynnea Magnuson and Frank Clark

Frank Clark

Mark Rigsby and Frank Clark

Click on Photos above to enlarge  .. Photos by Richard L. Benner, Jr., of the St. Louis Soldiers Memorial 1/23/2008.

The Young Men of Wellston High School

They Gave their Lives for Freedom 


The Young Men of Wellston High School

President Harry Truman

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