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Second Lieutenant Clifford Clark Hutchison
U. S. Army Air Forces
Ser. #: 0-679881

October 22, 1919 - May 12, 1944
Itasca Cemetery, Itasca, Hill County, Texas

Gold Star Mother Letha Brown Hutchison

Second Lieutenant Clifford Clark Hutchison, U.S. Army Air Forces [October 22, 1919 - May 12, 1944] was born to John Eston* Hutchison [October 14, 1880 - May 17, 1936] and Letha B. (Brown) Hutchison [August 28, 1885 - April 14, 1974] at Itasca, Hill County, Texas.  He joined the U.S. Army Air Forces at Houston, Texas on April 11, 1942 and was killed in an aircraft crash in Virginia on May 12, 1944.  He had received his wings the previous year.  His remains were taken to Itasca, Hill County, Texas for burial near his father. At the time Clark joined the Army Air Forces he was visiting in Bay City with his brother John Elton Hutchinson who was a teacher at the high school and later became school superintendent.  He was survived by his mother: Letha; brothers: John Elton and Wilburn; and sister Alvia. Clark was a native of Hill County, Texas and should have had Hill County designated as his home of record; he was erroneously listed by the War Department as a Matagorda County casualty.  We are proud to include him on our war memorial and among our honored World War II dead.

*WWI Draft Registration card gives Eston, Death Certificate gives Ector.


Lt. Clark Hutchison, of the aviation, was killed Friday in a plane crash in Virginia. His brother, John Hutchison, teacher in the high school here, was notified Saturday and he left then for Itasca where arrangements for the funeral were made. Burial will be in Itasca, Wednesday afternoon at 4.

Lt. Hutchison received his wings last year and had visited with his brother here on many occasions. He was 25 years of age. On his trips here and especially a lengthy visit he had here with John before entering the service, he had met many Bay City people and formed many friendships.

Details of the crash were not learned.                       

The Daily Tribune
, Monday, May 15, 1944

John E. Hutchison


In the fall of 1938, the trustees of the Bay City Independent School District employed a young man to organize the first vocational agriculture department at Bay City High School. He was John E. Hutchison, and the department and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter he organized was outstanding in its accomplishments under his leadership. The chapter won district and state honors, and in 1941 he coached the Birkner brothers to the state championship in dairy cattle judging and in the national competition at Kansas City where they placed third in the nation. The participation of FFA students and their animals at the Houston Fat Stock Show as well as smaller state shows was initiated by John Hutchison.


In 1944 he organized the FFA Livestock Show which was held on a vacant lot across the street from the old icehouse (now First National Bank parking lot on Eighth Street). He was joined by a group of interested businessmen and cattlemen and the next show was held on the Rugeley Motor Company parking lot. That show eventually became the Matagorda County Fair and Livestock Show.


In 1945, after the death of County Agricultural Agent F. O. Montague, John Hutchison resigned as vocational agriculture teacher and was appointed the Matagorda County Agricultural Agent.


Some of his more important work as county agent included the pasture improvement program which involved extensive work with a variety of demonstrations of fertilizers on rice and other crops in Matagorda County. The program was in conjunction with R. H. Wyche and his staff of the Rice Experiment Station in Beaumont.


He worked closely with the Bay City Chamber of Commerce and conducted a daily radio program from station KIOX dispersing timely information to producers of crops and livestock.


There were no veterinarians in the county in 1945, so John Hutchison introduced vaccination clinics and actually vaccinated many thousands of cattle and horses. Spraying for insect control was not widely practiced in Texas at that time, and he began an insect control program in Matagorda County.


In 1948 he took a leave of absence to return to Texas A&M on a Sears-Roebuck scholarship to do graduate work. Unfortunately for the county, he never returned to his position. He became assistant horticulture specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service in 1949 and State Agent Program leader and supervisor of Agricultural Specialists in 1954. After receiving his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the University of Chicago in 1957, he was named Director of the Texas Agriculture Extension Service--a position he held with honor and innovation until his retirement in March, 1976.


The retirement, however, was short-lived as he was again pressed into service in the Texas Department of Agriculture where he provided assistance to the governor and the commissioner of agriculture for four years. At the end of this period, he returned to Texas A&M University as special assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs and worked until June 30, 1985, and then retired again.


John E. Hutchison was born in Itasca, Texas, on October 7, 1914, the second of four sons, to John and Leatha (Brown) Hutchison. He graduated from Itasca High School in 1931 and from Texas A&M University in 1936. He taught vocational agriculture a short time before coming to Bay City.


On May 24, 1945, he married Johnnie Collier, then educational director of Bay City's First Methodist Church. Their first child was Janell and heir son, Jack Clark "Jackie," now deceased, was born September 24,1950. The Hutchisons reside in Bryan, Texas, where they are active in the Methodist" church. They travel extensively and enjoy their grand" children, Stacey and Shawn McQuire.


John Hutchison has received many honors in his life, two of which he remembers fondly-recognition as the Distinguished Graduate of Itasca High School in 1971 and as one of the founders of the Matagorda County Fair and Livestock Show in 1981.


Dorothy Davis Birkner


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 28, 2006
Aug. 4, 2007