Jack Clift was born on 19 December 1918 in Decatur, Georgia. He completed college prior to enlisting in the US Army on 19 August 1942. Jack Clift attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers in 1942. That same year he qualified as a parachutist. This led to his assignment to the 11th Airborne Division with duty in the southern Pacific. Battles that LT Clift participated in included New Guinea, Philippines and Luzon.In January 1945, 1LT Clift was assigned to a long distance patrol to determine the feasibility of invading southern Luzon. This perilous mission involved landing on enemy held territory and reconnoitering the area to determine the location of Japanese troop concentrations and vital installations. 1LT Clift's daring initiative and bravery materially aided the patrol to return with valuable information which facilitated the planning of the successful invasion of southern Luzon. 1LT Clift's gallantry in action earned him the nation's third highest valor award, the Silver Star. Later, during the actual invasion, 1LT Clift demonstrated great bravery in connection with military operations against the enemy on Luzon and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. Then Captain Jack Clift was relieved from active duty on 25 January 1946.