CLINKSCALES, ROBERT S., Lieutenant Colonel, # 0-401370, USAAF
Robert S. Clinkscales was born in 1918 in Georgia to William T. Clinkscales (1875-1950) and Gertrude E. Clinkscales (1880-1980). Siblings included William T. Clinkscales, Jr., (1907-1990), his wife, Vida (Byrd) Clinkscales (1904-1992) and Robert S. Clinkscales (1918-1944). In 1940, living with the family, were Walter G. St. John (1890- ) and Mary (Clinkscales) St. John (1895- ) (sister of William T. – SR.).
After enlisting, he completed flight training and flew the B-24 until the B-29 Superfortress came into the inventory. He transitioned to it and, combined with his piloting skills, became a leader. On 20 August 1944, a B-29, # 42-6334, “Gertrude C,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of Yawata, Japan. It was rammed by a Japanese fighter over Yawata and exploded in mid-air. Lt.Col. Clinkscales was leading a four-ship formation when his B-29 was rammed by an enemy fighter over the target at Yawata, Kyushu, Japan, and the B-29 disintegrated in the air. Lt.Col. Humphrey, flying 42-6279 in the # 3 position, said the fighter climbed into the B-29 and impacted so that the fighter’s right wing stayed embedded in 42-6334. The remainder of the fighter catapulted in flames over Lt.Col. Humphrey’s right wing. 42-6334 burst into flames and disintegrated. The unidentifiable remains of crew members were buried in a single-casket group ceremony at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri (Baker, Castleberry, Clinkscales, Fitzpatrick, Himadi, McHenry, and Richardson) (24 September 1949 – Plot 79, Grave 508). The family placed a memorial marker in the Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, Georgia.