John Clemons (1896-?)

by Johnnie Jones

John Clemons was an African American born on September 27, 1896 in Camden, New Jersey to Catherine Clemons and Clay Clemons. The Clemons professed a Catholic faith. His highest formal education was 6th grade. Although a United States citizen, John Clemons was not a registered voter. Prior to his enlistment, John worked as a chauffeur for W. M. Green and lived at 1103 Hamilton Ave, Norfolk before the war. He was a member of the Elk’s Lodge.

John Clemons was enlisted into the National Army of the United States at Jefferson Barracks Military Post located on the Mississippi River at Lemay, Missouri, south of St. Louis.  as a private. He was assigned to Company B, 9thCalvary

Clemons received two months of basic training at Fort McDoll, California. Clemons embarked from Fort McDoll on the USS Logan and arrived at Manila, Philippines on June 6, 1917; and proceeded to Camp Stotsenburg, Philippines. During this time Clemons was promoted to Private 1st Class on June 22, 1918.  Clemons returned to the US on the USS Dixie on June 6, 1919 and was discharged one month later in Columbus, Ohio.

Clemons’ occupation after war was a Mess Attendant 1st Class in the US. Navy. He was stationed at the Hampton Roads Naval Base in 1920.


“Clemons, John” World War I History Commission Questionnaires, Virginia War History Commission, Library of Virginia.

“United States, Enlisted and Officer Muster Rolls and Rosters, 1916-1939”, FamilySearch( : Sun Oct 29 13:42:30 UTC 2023), Entry for John Clemons, 30 Jun 1919.

Johnnie Jones is an NSU graduate, class of 2023.