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Chambers, Clarke

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Clarke Chambers was born on 3 June 1921 in Blue Earth, Faribault County, Minnesota, one of three children. He attended local schools, graduating from Blue Earth High School in 1939, and then enrolled at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, to study history and political science. In the middle of his junior year, December 1941, the US entered the war. Clarke completed his degree early, in December 1942, and was called to military service the following month. Following Basic Training in St. Petersburg, Florida, Clarke received additional schooling in the intelligence field, specifically weather and cryptography. In mid-1944 he was shipped to the Pacific and assigned to the 20th Air Force, 20th Bomber Command. Over the next twelve months Clarke was stationed at bases on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam; he then spent June - November 1945 on Okinawa before being rotated back to the US and discharged with the rank of sergeant. Again a civilian, Clarke used GI Bill benefits to obtain a Ph.D. in history from the University of California-Berkeley in 1950. He taught there for one year before moving, in 1951, to the History Department at the University of Minnesota, where he remained until retiring in 1990. Clarke was married in 1944 (wife Florence) and raised a family of four children. At the time of this interview (December 2002) Clarke and Florence Chambers lived in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.


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Clarke Chambers - Transcript.pdf (646 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Clarke Chambers