J. Russell Clark Collection

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John Russell Clark was born in Rockport, Massachusetts on September 21, 1908. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and graduated in 1929 with a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering. His long and distinguished professional career in the field of aviation began in 1929, with his employment as a structural design and test engineer at Berliner-Joyce Aircraft. In 1930, Clark married Dorothy Virginia Auger of Weymouth, MA. The couple had three children: John Russell; Mary A. (Mrs. Richard Ryder, Jr.); and Dorothy A. (Mrs. Allan E. Kemp).



In 1935, Clark joined United Aircraft Corporation where he worked on flying boats as a project engineer and designer for the Sikorsky Aircraft Division. He worked closely with Igor Sikorsky as Chief Project Engineer in developing the first successful helicopter, the VS-300, in 1939. After moving to the Chance Vought Aircraft Division of United, Clark became Chief Project Engineer for the famous F4U Corsair fighter. Other important projects he developed for Vought include the F8U Crusader, the A-7 Corsair II, the XC-142, and the Scout Missile.



Clark was not only a gifted designer and engineer, but also an effective executive who served Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) in many capacities: as head of the Vought Astronautics Division; as head of the Vought Aeronautics Division; as Senior Vice President-Technical; as a private consultant; and as a member of the board of directors. Clark’s expertise also was recognized and utilized through his service on numerous committees for the United States government, such as the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the Committee on Major Acquisitions for the U.S. Commission for Government Procurement.



For over fifty years, John Russell Clark dedicated his many and varied talents to the advancement of the field of aviation. He received well-deserved recognition for his many significant contributions. He was an elected fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as a life member of the Navy League. Clark was honored by the National Aeronautic Association with their Elder Statesmen of Aviation Award and by the U.S. Air Force with the Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He was internationally known in the aerospace community for his expertise as a multi-talented aircraft designer and executive.



John Russell Clark passed away in 1986.

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