Clark Griffith was born on January 10, 1942, in Gadsden, Alabama. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Alabama on June 2, 1963, and went on active duty beginning September 10, 1963. Lt Griffith next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Craig AFB, Alabama, on October 23, 1964, and after completing Pilot Instructor Training, he served as an instructor pilot with the 3640th Pilot Training Squadron at Laredo AFB, Texas, from December 1964 to August 1968. Capt Griffith then served as an OV-10 Bronco forward air control pilot with the 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions, flying 280 combat missions out of Bien Hoa AB in the Republic of Vietnam from August 1968 to August 1969. After Vietnam, he transferred to the 3617th Pilot Training Squadron at Craig AFB, where he served as an instructor pilot from September 1969 to April 1972, followed by service on the staff at Headquarters Air Training Command at Randolph AFB, Texas, from April 1972 to July 1973. Maj Griffith was Chief of the Rated Supplement Section with Headquarters Air Force Military Personnel Center at Randolph AFB, Texas, from July 1973 to August 1976, and then attended Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1976 to July 1977. His next assignment was to the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, where he served as operations officer for the 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), and then commander of the 335th and 336th TFS, between July 1977 and August 1982. Col Griffith attended National War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., from August 1982 to June 1983, and then served as Chief of the Flying Training Branch and then Chief of the Training Programs Division at Headquarters U.S. Air Force in the Pentagon from June 1983 to March 1985. He was commander of the 64th Air Base Group at Reese AFB, Texas, from March 1985 to July 1986, and then commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB, Texas, from July 1986 to July 1987. His next assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel with Headquarters Air Training Command at Randolph AFB, from July 1987 to March 1988, followed by service as Director of Assignments with Headquarters Air Force Military Personnel Center, also at Randolph, from March 1988 to September 1989. Gen Griffith next served as Vice Commander of the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB, Utah, from September 1989 to April 1992, and then as Commander of Keesler Training Center at Keesler AFB, Mississippi, from April 1992 to June 1993. He took command of 2nd Air Force at Keesler in July 1993, serving until June 1995, when he became commander of the Joint Task Force in Southwest Asia. Gen Griffith's final assignment was as Vice Commander of Air Education and Training Command at Randolph AFB, where he served from June 1995 until his retirement from the Air Force on April 1, 1998. He wears Command Pilot Wings and accumulated over 4,600 flying hours during his Air Force career.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
Captain John C. Griffith distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Forward Air Controller at Diem and Tan Am, Republic of Vietnam from 17 August 1968 to 2 August 1969. During this period Captain Griffith flew extremely hazardous missions through adverse weather conditions and through the constant threat of hostile ground fire and attack. In spite of this he superbly accomplished these highly intricate and hazardous missions in support of free world forces combatting aggression. Through his personal bravery and energetic application of his knowledge and skill he significantly furthered the goal of the United States in Southeast Asia. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Griffith reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.