COL (Ret) Clarence G. Matsuda, Company
into the Ranger Hall of Fame
COL (Ret) Clarence (Clancy) G. Matsuda, Company A-2,
was inducted into the
Ranger Hall of Fame on 21 July 2021 in a ceremony at Fort Benning, GA. His
proposed citation is:
Colonel (Ret) Clarence Matsuda was awarded a Ranger Tab after completing Ranger
School on 22 March 62. He used his Ranger training as a Recon Platoon Leader
with the 173d Abn Bde and while serving as Executive Officer for the 82d Abn
Division Raider Detachment that included a combat deployment to the Dominican
During his first tour in Vietnam, then CPT Matsuda was in command of a 9th
Infantry Division company when his unit came under withering fire from an enemy
force entrenched in bunkers. Under his leadership the enemy attack was broken
and Matsuda was awarded a Silver Star for his actions.
CPT Matsuda was then hand-picked to command the 9th Division's Long Range Patrol
Platoon and build it to a company-size unit. There his Ranger skills were
invaluable when he accompanied a patrol to observe his men on a mission. The
patrol made contact with the enemy and Matsuda performed rear security as the
Rangers made their way to a landing zone where they were successfully extracted.
He demonstrated outstanding organizational ability by selecting Ranger-qualified
officers as his platoon leaders and supervising his Rangers as they built a
first-class company area he designed at Camp bearcat. He created training for
his soldiers and started a 9th Division Recondo School that was so successful,
other units in Vietnam sent their long range patrols to the school for training.
Retiring after more than 26 years of service to his country, Ranger Matsuda
continued to lead the way by serving as an E Company unit director and attending
75th Ranger Regiment Association meetings where he nominated one of his former
Rangers for president of the Association and encouraged another to run for the
same office to which both were elected. COL Matsuda believed Rangers lost in
combat should not be forgotten and helped to design a memorial service held at E
Company reunions. The Ranger Creed is sacred to COL Matsuda and he has lived it
in thought, word and deed.
2021 Ranger Hall of Fame inductees and their citations can be found at:
Ranger HOF. Enter 2021 in the “Filter by Year(s)” block.
Clancy was unable to attend the ceremony. His son, Matt, represented him and made the flowing presentation.
I am pleased to represent my father, COL Clarence Matsuda, who is unable to be with us today. And I am honored to present his remarks now.
“I would like to thank the 75th Ranger Regiment and the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade for the great honor of selection for the Ranger Hall of Fame. And I would like to
thank the LRRPs of E Company for nominating me. I am grateful for your generosity and humbled by your kindness.
Serving as the commander of E Company, the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Company for the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta, was one of the greatest privileges and most
formative experiences in my life. I am tremendously proud of what we accomplished.
When we began, the long range patrol was a platoon-sized force. We grew that capability to a full company. We built the LRRP company area at Camp Bearcat from scratch, not
only for our own lurps, but for those who followed us. We created the Long Range Reconnaissance curriculum for the 9th Infantry Division Recondo School, a curriculum that trained not just
the LRRPs of the 9th Infantry Division, but also LRRPs from other divisions who trained at our Recondo School. And we conducted many, many successful reconnaissance and combat missions
providing critical reconnaissance and intelligence for the division leadership.
As proud as I am of what we accomplished, I am even more proud of the men I served with. I was blessed to serve with some of the greatest soldiers ever to have served their country.
None of the accomplishments of which I am so proud would ever have been possible without the dedication to the mission and commitment to each other of the LRRPs of E Company.
Of LRRPs like those who have traveled to Fort Benning to attend this ceremony. And of men like Roy Nelson, Hilan Jones and many others who cannot be with us today, but will always be a part of
those of us who served together.
The time in which I was blessed to serve as the commander of E Company is among the most pivotal chapters of my life. The hardships and trials, the successes and accomplishments,
but most of all the comradery of the LRRPs of E Company, shaped all of my subsequent undertakings.
I would be remiss if I failed to thank my wife of almost 58 years, Connie. Sweetheart you have always been my rock, my teacher and my guiding star.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, I would not have been the commander E Company remembers, or the man I have become (…well, the good parts of that man,
anyway…). I love you.
I would like to conclude the way I began. By thanking the 75th Ranger Regiment and the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade for the honor of selecting me for the Ranger Hall of Fame.
And by thanking the LRRPs of E Company for choosing me to represent us in this great honor. Rangers Lead the Way!"
If I may be permitted a moment, I would like to add my family’s thanks and my personal thanks to the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade,
and the LRRPs of E Company for choosing my father for this esteemed recognition.
Matt Matsuda representing Clancy
E Co LRRPs – The first man on the left joined E Co after Clancy left.
Men four through seven were most responsible for submitting Clancy’s nomination. They are L to R: Jerry Johnson, Tyrone Muse, Ron (Tess) Tessohnon, Rick Stetson, Duane (Poncho) Alire,
Bob Hernandez, Roy Barley and Preston (Puck) Smith.
E Co LRRPs with Joe Stringham (Middle), USMA ’61 and also a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame.
75th Ranger Regiment Commander, COL J. D. Kiersey, and Command Sergeant Major, CSM Curt D. Donaldson, with Matt
Dinner the night before. The same people plus Sandy Stringham and our son, Matt.
Evidently each inductee was given a special bottle of whiskey by some group. One of the men was sure that if Clancy had been there he would have opened the bottle and offered them all a drink.
So that is what they did and they are toasting Clancy with his bottle of whiskey!