Charles McClure was born on October 4, 1916, in St. Louis, Missouri. After attending the University of Missouri, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program for Navigator Training on October 12, 1940, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his navigator wings on December 5, 1941. His first assignment was as a B-25 Mitchell navigator with the 95th Bomb Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group at Pendleton Field, Oregon, from December 1941 until he was selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. Lt McClure was the navigator on the 7th B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942, and after bombing its assigned targets in Tokyo, the crew crash landed off the coast of China. He was badly injured during bailout, and was evacuated to the United States where he was hospitalized until June 1943. Capt McClure served as an instructor navigator from June 1943 until he was again hospitalized in February 1945, being medically retired from the Army Air Forces in June 1945. Charles McClure died on January 19, 1999.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. Lieutenant McClure volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Lieutenant McClure and the military service.