|Jim Hardy Clary|
|Born||September 23, 1939
Hale County, Texas, USA
|Died||January 11, 2010 (aged 70)
|Alma mater||Monterey High
Texas A&M University
Decorated Vietnam War veteran
(2) Vanita Sue Collings Clary (married 1976-his death)
|Children||Robertson Scott Clary
Dave H. Clary
|Parents||Arthur and Gladys Hardman Clary|
Clary was born in Plainview, the seat of Hale County, Texas, the second son of Arthur Clary (1904-1965) and the former Gladys Hardman (1906-1975).In 1941, his family moved to Lubbock, where he graduated in 1958 from Monterey High School. He then entered Texas A&M University in College Station, from which in 1962 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics. He was a member of the Aggie Corps of Cadets and was commissioned upon graduation as an Army second lieutenant. He was first assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he was a rifle platoon leader. He led his platoon on sixteen parachute jumps, including the large maneuver known as “Operation Swift Strike”. In 1964, he acquired his army aviator wings and was soon part of the first aviator class assigned to South Vietnam.
In two one-year tours of duty in Vietnam, Clary amassed over one thousand hours of combat flying time, mostly in helicopter gunships. In November 1965, Clary fought in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley, as depicted in the Mel Gibson film We Were Soldiers, based on the book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. In February 1968, Clary flew around the clock during the Tet Offensive. He won the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross, the Air Medal with 23 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal. He was among the first Army aviators to fly the HueyCobra gunship in combat. He left the military in 1971 at the rank of major.
During the 1970s, Clary established and operated an agricultural irrigation business in West Texas. In 1980, he became an investment advisor and a certified financial planner. From 1994 until his retirement in 2008, he owned the brokerage firm, Clary Securities in Lubbock. He was a board member of the Lubbock Better Business Bureau and the West Texas Museum Association. He was a member of the TAMU Association of Former Students, the Aggie Club, the Lubbock A&M Club, and the Texas Tech University Red Raider Club.
Clary died in Lubbock at the age of seventy. He was survived by his wife, the former Vanita Sue Collings (born 1944), whom he married in 1976, and four sons from a previous marriage, Robertson Scott Clary (born 1964) of San Antonio, David Hardman Clary and Ross Hampton Clary (both born ca. 1971) of Houston, and Steven Grigsby Clary (born 1972) of Dallas. Clary was cremated.