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 p268 
[image ALT: A head‑and-shoulders photograph, three-quarters left, of a bright-eyed young man wearing the military tunic of a West Point cadet. He is Edwin Howard Clark, a West Point graduate and United States Army officer, the subject of this webpage.]

Edwin Howard Clark

The preceding image, and the text that follows, are reproduced from (the report of the) Sixty-third Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 9, 1932.

 p267  Edwin Howard Clark
No. 5735 Class of 1893
Died July 29, 1923, at Baltimore, Md.,
aged 27 years

Edwin Howard Clark was born January 11th, 1896 at what was then a military post at Roswell, New Mexico. He was the son of the late Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Dillard H. Clark, U. S. M. A., 1873, and Ella Delany Clark.

Practically all of his early life was spent at army posts of the South West. He attended public school at Tonkawa, Oklahoma and the Oklahoma University Preparatory School at the same place. He attended high school at Des Moines, Iowa. His entire education was in anticipation of entrance to West Point. In 1911 he prepared for the Military Academy in Washington, D. C., at Shadman's Preparatory School. He entered West Point on June 13th, 1913 with a Senatorial appointment from Iowa.

Being by nature endowed with a very keen mind, Clark could easily have stood high in his class and probably graduated as an engineer. However, he would much rather spend his time in reading books on philosophy and art, far from the requirements of the course. As a result when his class was graduated three months early, on April 20th, 1917, due to the World War, Clark was in the lower half of the class and chose infantry as his branch.

Shortly after his graduation and assignment to the Infantry, he was married in the Chapel on Governor's Island to Marion O'Connor, daughter of Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles O'Connor of the 6th Cavalry.

On June 13th, 1917 he sailed for France with the 18th Infantry, First Division. He was among the first American troops to land in France when he disembarked on June 29th, 1917. He received his commission as a temporary Captain of Infantry on August 5th, 1917.

His first active service came when his regiment occupied the trenches near Luneville in October, 1917. From December 4th, 1917 to February 7th, 1918, he served at the Small Arms School, British General Headquarters. He was transferred on February 13th, 1918 to the  p269 First Machine Gun Battalion located in the Toul Sector. He later saw service in the Montdidier sector and in action against the German general offensive of June 9th. He was transferred to the Second Division on June 14th, 1918 and reported for duty with the division in the Bois de Belleau Sector where for the next three weeks he participated in the very active and bloody engagement at Belleau Sector which was probably one of the worst and most hard fought of any engagement participated in by the American troops in the World War.

On July 4th, 1918, he was evacuated to the hospital, suffering from exposure from which he later died. He was returned to the United States on August 29th, 1918, and was in the hospital until April 5th, 1919 when he went on leave. He was out of the hospital for a short period from August 9th to November 21st, 1919. During this time he served with the 49th Infantry at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. After this short tour of duty he returned to the hospital. On August 8th, 1920 he was retired for disability contracted in the line of duty. After his retirement he was either on sick leave or in the hospital until his death July 29th, 1923, at Baltimore, Md. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D. C.a

Clark's magnanimity and devotion to his ideals are typified in his provision in his will for the Edwin Howard Clark Machine Gunner's Trophy. This consists of a beautiful bronze casting of a machine gun group. The trophy is awarded annually to the Infantry machine gun company of the Regular Army which attains the highest score in a general competition. It is the permanent property of the United States Infantry for the purpose of this annual award. Each year the winning company receives an engraved placque. Cash prizes for the first, second and third place are also provided. The bequest is a tribute to the vivid and heroic service which formed so tragic a part of Clark's life.b

In addition to the fund which he left for the Edwin Howard Clark Machine Gun Trophy, Clark left to his class (1917) a considerable sum for the advancement of fellowship of the class and the carrying on of its activities. The balance of his estate he left to his friends.

Clark was a man of exceptionally high ideals. His extreme sensitiveness could not conceal his fine courage. He possessed an enviable characteristic which is rarely fully appreciated, namely, an unfailing loyalty to everything and everyone he was associated with.

By His Classmates.


Thayer's Notes:

a See the pages at Find-a‑Grave and ArlingtonCemetery.Net.

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b The following is from US Army Order of Battle 1919‑1941, Vol. 4, Appendix A, p2697:

Edwin Howard Clark Machine Gun Trophy. Established in 1927 at the bequest of Capt. Edwin Howard Clark, Infantry. Captain Clark, upon his death on 29 July 1923, left money in his will to establish the trophy and competition. A graduate of West Point, Clark served with the 1st Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Division during World War I. He suffered shell shock during the Meuse-Argonne Campaign and was medically retired in 1920. The Clark Trophy was awarded annually to the infantry machine gun company that achieved the highest score per gunner in the regular season's target practice. In addition to the rotating trophy, the unit received a permanently retained bronze plaque and $300.00 for the unit's soldiers' fund. The 1933 competition was cancelled due to the Great Depression and the requirement for personnel to run the newly established CCC camps. The competition resumed in 1934 and lasted until the beginning of World War II.

I've been unable to discover the whereabouts of the Trophy today, or whether it continues to be awarded. (It will be noticed that although the preceding paragraph states that the competition "lasted until the beginning of World War II", the document of which it is an excerpt only covers the period to 1941, and no inference can be made either way as to whether the Trophy continues to be awarded.) Here, however, is a photograph of it, now in the Wyoming State Archives Photo Collection:


[image ALT: missingALT. It is the Edwin Howard Clark Machine Gun Trophy.]

The Edwin Howard Clark Machine Gun Trophy

Photograph, date unknown, by J. E. Stimson (1870‑1952)


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Page updated: 8 Feb 17