Grant W. Claymore
Biography: Grant William Claymore was born on April 27, 1916, in Mobridge, South Dakota. He was the son of William Samuel Claymore and Emma Edwards. Grant spent his early years on the family ranch, the Triangle Z. He attended school at Genoa Indian Industrial School, Genoa, Nebraska, and graduated from Mobridge High School in 1933. Following high school, he attended Yankton College in Yankton, SD. He later worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
The 1940 Census indicates Grant was working as an accountant for the government at Ft. Yates, Sioux County, SD. On October 4, 1942, he married the former Catherine Beatrice Bailey, from Cannonball, North Dakota, who was the daughter of Herman Bailey and Elizabeth Mulhern. Both Grant and his new wife were members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. One daughter, Cheryl Lynn, was born to the couple prior to Grant shipping overseas.
Service Time: Grant entered the military at Martinez, California, on December 29, 1941. His enlistment record indicates he joined the Air Corps. We know he was an enlisted man as of Dec 1, 1942. At some point, he was in the Signal Corps and volunteered for tank destroyers. He was soon sent to Officer Candidate School (OCS) at the Tank Destroyer School, Camp Hood, Texas. On April 29, 1943, he graduated OCS as part of Class #27, was assigned to the Tank Destroyer Replacement Training Center and received his 2nd Lieutenant commission the next day. On June 9th, he was transferred to the 820th Tank Destroyer Battalion. We do not know what transpired following this assignment but eventually he was assigned, from the 53rd Replacement Battalion, to the 607th Tank Destroyer Battalion on Dec. 4, 1944. He became a member of the 3rd platoon in Company A. On the day of his assignment, Co A was giving supporting fire to the 379th Infantry Regiment and their actions establishing a bridgehead across the Saar River at Saarlautern, Germany. On March 20, 1945, Grant was lightly wounded at Waldesch, Germany, receiving a Purple Heart medal. By the end of the month, the 607th had crossed the Rhine River and was continuing the drive east into Germany.
On April 11th, the 3rd platoon approached Cottondorf where they encountered direct and small arms fire. One TD was knocked out by bazooka fire. Lt. Claymore ran through machine gun, mortar and artillery fire to the burning vehicle and rescued the gunner. He again returned to the vehicle, where ammunition was beginning to ignite from the fire, and pulled a 2nd crew member to safety. For his courageous action and extraordinary heroism, Lt. Grant W. Claymore was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross medal.
The above photos show Grant with his father, William, and Grant wearing his DSC, probably shortly after it was awarded.
He finished the war with the 607th and received credit for three of their campaigns; Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Germany. He was also awarded the EAME, WWII Victory, American Theatre Service and Good Conduct medals. Grant was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on August 16, 1945. He was transferred to the 612th TD Bn on October 6, 1945, and it is presumed he returned to the U.S. with them. Grant left the service on Dec 13, 1945, at Camp Beale, CA, at the rank of 1st Lt.
After returning to the U.S., Grant soon found work with the Veterans Administration. He and Catherine had three more children, Judith Ann, Joseph Clement and Sean Clement. In 1956, the family moved to Pacifica, California, and in 1960, Grant began working for the Social Security Administration. He was also a member of the Masonic Order. Grant passed away on April 18, 1970, and was buried in the Skylawn Memorial Cemetery, San Mateo County, CA.
We would like to thank Grant’s son, Sean, for providing the information and photos used in this tribute.