Eugene Clement | MVH Bangor Veteran Stories | U.S. Navy | 1947-1951

Author: MVH Bangor
Posted: December 13, 2018
Category: Maine Veterans of the Month

Eugene Clement was born in Bangor, Maine, in November 1930.  One of eight children, he grew up in the difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II.  In December 1947, shortly after turning 17, Eugene enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Bangor - Eugene Clement - 11.28.18 (4) CROPPED
Eugene Clement, 1947
"I was just a teenager who wanted to see the world," Eugene says.  "And I did!"

Following basic training, Eugene was sent to Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, where he received training as an anti-aircraft gunner.  He was then stationed at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, before being sent to Boston, Massachusetts, to serve on the USS Columbus, a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser.

As a young sailor, Eugene did indeed get to "see the world," spending several years in the Mediterranean and other areas of Europe.  He kept a meticulous log listing all the ports that he visited with his ship, and the log fills several pages.

"Yes, I got to see a lot of Europe," Eugene said.  "I guess my favorite places were France and Holland.  In France, I was invited to a local family's home for dinner.  That was an experience I'll always remember."

Eugene had enlisted for a three-year tour, but with the outbreak of the Korean War his enlistment was extended for an additional year.

"I didn't mind," Eugene recalls.  "I was willing to do my part."

Bangor - Eugene Clement - 11.28.18 (3) CROPPED
Eugene Clement, USS Columbus
Bangor - Eugene Clement - 11.28.18 (1) CROPPED
Eugene Clement, USS Columbus

 

After being discharged in November 1951 as a Boatswain Mate 3rd Class, Eugene took a job in a steel foundry in Connecticut.  In 1953, Eugene married his wife Doris and the couple eventually had six children - three of which ended up serving in the military.

Eugene now has five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

After living for more than a decade in Connecticut, Eugene and Doris moved their family back to Maine in the early 1960s to help care for Doris' father.  The family settled in Glenburn, and Eugene took a job doing mechanical work for the telephone company.  He stayed with the phone company for 33 years, eventually retiring in 1983. 

In his retired life, Eugene became an active member of the Elks Club and spent time pursing hobbies like hunting, fishing, and gardening. 

We are proud to have Eugene as part of our MVH Bangor Family!

Thank You, Eugene, for your service to our nation!

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