Biography

Clainos, Peter Demosthenes
[LtCol Co 1Bn7thCR]

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August 9, 1950

To clean out the NKPA survivors and reinforce the area against another attack Hap Gay called on his reserve, the 1/7. This battalion was commanded by a forty-one-year-old West Pointer (1933), Peter Demosthenes Clainos, who was born in Greece and reared in New Hampshire. At West Point he had been a featherweight (129 pounds) boxing champ. He was still a featherweight and an intense, chain-smoking, combat-experienced fighter. During World War II he had trained a Greek battalion which wound up (minus Clainos) fighting in the Mediterranean Theater with British commandos. Clainos went on to command a battalion in the Pacific where he was wounded and won a Silver Star for heroism.

 He remembered: "When Korea started, Eighth Army took about forty percent of my men to fill out the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth divisions. I landed in Korea at sixty-seven percent of my authorized strength. We were first assigned to backstop the ROKs at P'ohang with heavy weapons not troops. We gave the ROKs fire support and watched the fighting all around us from a hilltop for four days, rotating companies, to get the smell of gunpowder. This gradual initiation into combat proved to be invaluable training for the men; it built confidence.

"We were Hap Gay's favorite battalion. We became the so-called Palace Guard at Taegu. The press called us Clainos's Clouters or Clainoss Cavaliers. We were greatly reinforced with manpower, artillery, and tanks to make a battalion combat team. Whereas the normal battalion had eight hundred-plus men, I had fifteen hundred. It was a very powerful, self-contained force designed to clean out the enemy when he concentrated in force and broke through our thin lines.[8-12]

 

Name Peter D Clainos

Service Number O-0019269

Home State New Hampshire

Home County Hillsborough

Component USA Regular Army

Troop 1st Cavalry Division Infantry

Troop Element Cv Div Cav Regt Inf Unit 0007

Specialty Field Communications Chief

Rank Lieutenant Colonel

Branch Infantry

Place Casualty South Korea

Date Casualty 09/21/1950

Casualty Type Returned to Duty FECOM (Far East Command)

 

Details Seriously Wounded in Action by Missile, Returned to Duty FECOM

 

 Disposition Place South Korea

Disposition Date 09/21/1950

Summary Overview for Peter D Clainos military casualty record during the Korean War

Lt. Col. Peter D. Clainos' 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, had orders to support the ROK troops with fire only.

But on 23 July, North Koreans surrounded the 81-mm. mortar platoon of D Company, forcing it to fight at close range.

William O. Witherspoon

Peter Demosthenes Clainos

Date of death: June 29, 1994
Home of record: Hillsboro New Hampshire

Peter Clainos graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1933. He retired as a U.S. Army Colonel.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

biography

Silver Star



Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Peter Demosthenes Clainos (ASN: 0-19269), United States Army, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy as Commanding Officer, 2d Battalion, 32d Infantry Regiment, 81st Infantry Division, during World War II.

General Orders: Headquarters, 81st Infantry Division, General Orders No. 9 (1945)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 32d Infantry Regiment

Division: 81st Infantry Division biography

Silver Star



Awarded for actions during the Korean War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Peter Demosthenes Clainos (ASN: 0-19269), United States Army, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in Korea.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division, General Orders No. 160 (1950)

Action Date: Korean War

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 7th Cavalry Regiment

Division: 1st Cavalry Division biography

Silver Star



Awarded for actions during the Korean War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Peter Demosthenes Clainos (ASN: 0-19269), United States Army, was awarded a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in connection with military operations against the enemy as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in Korea.

General Orders: Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea: General Orders No. 66 & 111 (1951)

Action Date: Korean War

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 7th Cavalry Regiment

Division: 1st Cavalry Division biography

Legion of Merit



Awarded for actions during the Korean War

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Colonel (Infantry) Peter Demosthenes Clainos (ASN: 0-19269), United States Army, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in Korea, from 1950 to 1951.

General Orders: United States Military Academy Register of Graduates

Action Date: 1950 - 1951

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Company: Commanding Officer

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 7th Cavalry Regiment

Division: 1st Cavalry Division biography

Legion of Merit



Awarded for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Colonel (Infantry) Peter Demosthenes Clainos (ASN: 0-19269), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from March 1961 to July 1963.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 37 (August 9, 1963)

Action Date: March 1961 - July 1963

Service: Army

Rank: Colonel