Thursday, January 7, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1821


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty-four years ago today, January 7, 1962, President John F. Kennedy met with Retired US Army General Lucius Clay* in the oval office at the White House.

General Clay, JFK's adviser on Berlin, gave the order for the "Berlin Airlift" of 1948-1949 which allowed free West Berlin to survive a Soviet blockade of their city.  The General became known as the "Father of the Berlin Airlift".

On May 9, 1962, the General made the statement that if West Berlin should ever be lost to the communists, "it would mean the end of the free world."  General Clay was with President Kennedy in West Berlin in June 1963. 

JFK said...

"I am proud to come here in the company of my fellow American General Clay who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis."

The retired General also served as chairman of the Committee to Strengthen the Security of the Free World.  On March 22, 1963, President Kennedy wrote a letter to General Clay thanking him and his committee on their recently issued report on United States military and economic assistance programs.

*General Lucius D. Clay (1898-1978) was born in Marietta, GA, the son of Alexander Stephens Clay**, United States Senator 1897-1910.  LDC graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1918, and during WWII earned the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Service Medal & the Bronze Star.

After WWII, General Clay served as deputy to General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Commander of US forces in Europe as well as military governor of the US Zone in occupied Germany, 1947-1949.

**Alexander Stephens Clay (1853-1910) served in the United States Senate from 1897 to 1910.  ASC was born in Powder Springs, GA and graduated from Hiwassee College (TN) in 1877.  He was admitted to the Bar in 1877, and served in both the House and Senate of Georgia before being elected to the US Senate.

General Lucius Clay