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Clifford Richard Doss
Clifford Richard Doss was born on June 2, 1924 in Palomar Park, Compton, California. He was 1/4 Cherokee Indian. He attended Arlington High School where he met Dorothy JoAnn Davidson. My father worked at Rohr Aircraft as I was growing up in Arlington. The years he worked there, are about from 1948/50 to 1958. When WWII broke out, he along with his 3 brothers hurried to sign up. Because they were brothers the military split them apart and they were not allowed to be together. That was disappointing to them, but they wanted to do their part. Father was sent to Guadalcanal, part of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Along with his crew, they took care of General Douglas MacArthur’s plane when he landed, along with any other plane. But before they could do that, they had to make a run way for the planes to land. To make the best of the days spent there my father encouraged the men to work together and build a church. He also was a kidder and would wear a grass skirt and dance. The last days on Guadalcanal, a medical ship came in with wounded soldiers. He along with others were helping take the wounded to the ship. As he started walking up the ramp he saw his older brother Ronald Doss for the first time since the war had started. They embraced each other and they ended up coming home together. But father was unable to get a pass, so he hid in the bottom of the boat, where the men who were injured the worse were kept. To make the trip seem shorter and to keep the men laughing he danced, sang and did what ever it took, to put smiles on their faces. The word got out to the Captain of the ship. When the Captain came down to see him, father had his back to him. The Captain watched for awhile than came up behind him and said, "Keep up the good work." That was my father. Not always doing what he was told, but doing the right thing. They were on Guadalcanal for 3 years. Being with his family once more, meant everything to him. His sister, and all 3 brothers made it back. His parents were so grateful.
He married JoAnn Davidson on Valentine’s Day 1945 in Riverside, California.
Working on planes was what he was good at. And Rohr hired him on the spot. The June 1957 issue of The AeROHRcrafter announced Clifford's promotion from Manufacturing Methods Analyst to Assistant Foreman, KC-135. According to the September 1957 issue of The AeROHRcrafter, Clifford played on a Rohr golf team. He was very athletic, he danced like a dream, and he could sing as well.
My world fell apart in 1958 when my father’s older sister died in a car crash. She was the hub that held the family together and she was his best friend, besides being his sister. He was so glad that the War was over and that life was good again, and for a few years it was. But losing his sister and grandmother within a month took its toll. Right about then, Rohr had told him to dismiss some of the men working there. I’m not sure what was going on at the time, but like most companies sometimes they just have to downsize. I had just started Junior High, which was right up the street from Rohr when this went down. Many of the kids I went to school with started telling me that my dad was all kinds of names. They use to throw things at me during lunch. When I told my father about it, he explained why they were doing that. And that it was not because they hated me, but they hated him for laying off their fathers. The young just don’t understand what men have to do even when you explain. My father did not want to lay people off. He was a man who made friends with the people he worked with. So these people were friends. People you have over to your house for a bar-b-que.
He passed away on June 30, 2008 in Buffalo, Dallas County, Missouri. He was survived by his two sons, Norman and Robert, his daughter Joyce, and 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Submitted by Joyce Doss Potter, July 1, 2019.