Clifford Risley Jr. (1925 - 2016)

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Clifford Risley, Moorpark

As his B-24 descended into the steep canyon in what is now Taiwan, Moorpark resident Clifford Risley watched with fear as the three bombers before his were shot down by heavy ground fire.

THEY MADE IT BACK—Paul Miller, seated far left, gathers with fellow crew members around the engine of a B-17 Flying Fortress after narrowly escaping death during a dangerous mission to bomb a Nazi rail yard in 1944. The B-17 pilot, Lt. John “Jack” Furrer, far right, shakes the hand of thefighter pilot who helped the damaged plane make it back to safety. Courtesy of Nannette Furrer THEY MADE IT BACK—Paul Miller, seated far left, gathers with fellow crew members around the engine of a B-17 Flying Fortress after narrowly escaping death during a dangerous mission to bomb a Nazi rail yard in 1944. The B-17 pilot, Lt. John “Jack” Furrer, far right, shakes the hand of thefighter pilot who helped the damaged plane make it back to safety. Courtesy of Nannette Furrer “It was scary,” said the WWII veteran, who was 19 at the time. “There was a mountain range on both sides (of the canyon), and the Japanese had it protected with aircraft guns at all altitudes.”

Clifford Risley, Moorpark

As his B-24 descended into the steep canyon in what is now Taiwan, Moorpark resident Clifford Risley watched with fear as the three bombers before his were shot down by heavy ground fire.

THEY MADE IT BACK—Paul Miller, seated far left, gathers with fellow crew members around the engine of a B-17 Flying Fortress after narrowly escaping death during a dangerous mission to bomb a Nazi rail yard in 1944. The B-17 pilot, Lt. John “Jack” Furrer, far right, shakes the hand of thefighter pilot who helped the damaged plane make it back to safety. Courtesy of Nannette Furrer THEY MADE IT BACK—Paul Miller, seated far left, gathers with fellow crew members around the engine of a B-17 Flying Fortress after narrowly escaping death during a dangerous mission to bomb a Nazi rail yard in 1944. The B-17 pilot, Lt. John “Jack” Furrer, far right, shakes the hand of thefighter pilot who helped the damaged plane make it back to safety. Courtesy of Nannette Furrer “It was scary,” said the WWII veteran, who was 19 at the time. “There was a mountain range on both sides (of the canyon), and the Japanese had it protected with aircraft guns at all altitudes.”

“We were under heavy fire,” said Risley, a navigator, who left active duty in 1945. “We got shot at, but not fatally. . . . I felt like God was protecting us.”

The B-24s gradually gained altitude to climb out of the enemy’s range.

It was but one of 44 missions Risley flew in World War II.

Thankful to be alive, the Indiana native, who spent 17 years in the reserves, will join his fellow members of the American Legion during the American Legion Post 502’s Memorial Day service on Mon., May 27 in Moorpark.

Monday is an important day, not just for veterans but for all Americans, said Jim Carpenter, the Moorpark post’s adjutant. “We need to honor the sacrifices made by the young men and women who put their lives on the line for our country.”

Risley, a retired research director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago, said his memories of the war remain fresh in his mind.

“You live with it all of your life,” he said. “Every day something brings back memories.”

The married father of three said he looks forward to catching up with other local veterans.

“There’s a special bond between anybody who serves,” he said. “You feel like you’re brothers.”

—Stephanie Sumell

Clifford Risley Jr. Biography & Family History

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Birth

Death

Cause of death

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Burial / Funeral

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Obituary

Last Known Residence

Moorpark, Ventura County, CA USA

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Family

Parent: Adam Clifford Carl Risley
Parent: Henrietta Jeanette Tappy
Siblings: Marjorie Lois Risley and Esther Irene Risley

Wife: Berneice Christine (Striebel) Risley
Children with Berneice: Cheryl "Cheri" Lynn Risley, Bruce Paul Risley, and Clifford Randall "Randy" Risley

Education

Ball State University

Professions

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Organizations

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Military Service

WWII and post war Reserve.

Middle name

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Surnames

Suffix

Jr.

Ethnicity

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Nationality

USA

Religion

Methodist

Gender

Male

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Timeline

1925 - In the year that Clifford Risley Jr. was born, in July, the Scopes Trial - often called the Scopes Monkey Trial - took place, prosecuting a substitute teacher for teaching evolution in school. Tennessee had enacted a law that said it was "unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school". William Jennings Bryan headed the prosecution and Clarence Darrow headed the defense. The teacher was found guilty and fined $100. An appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld the law but overturned the guilty verdict.

1948 - When he was 23 years old, on May 14th, the State of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel's first Premier, and the U.S. officially recognized Israel. That evening, Egypt launched an air assault on Israel.

1978 - By the time he was 53 years old, on November 18th, Jim Jones's Peoples Temple followers committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana - where they had moved, from San Francisco, as a group. Jones was the leader of the cult and ordered his followers to drink cyanide-laced punch, which they did. Whole families (women and children included) died - more than 900 people in all.

1991 - When he was 66 years old, on December 25th, the Soviet Union flag was lowered and replaced by the Russian tricolor flag. It was the end of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as President of the Soviet Union and Boris Yeltsin became President of the Russian Republic.

1992 - At the age of 67 years old, Clifford was alive when on April 29th, riots began in Los Angeles after the "Rodney King" verdict was issued. Four LAPD officers had been accused of using excessive force (assault) on African-American Rodney King, who had been stopped for drunk driving. The beating had been videotaped. Their acquittal sparked a 6 day riot in Los Angeles.

Clifford Risley Jr. Family Tree

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Obituary

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Clifford Risley Jr., father to 3 children, passed away on May 26, 2016 at 91 years old. No cause of death has been entered. Clifford was born on January 16, 1925. He was born to Adam Clifford Carl Risley and Henrietta Jeanette Tappy, with siblings Marjorie and Esther. He married Berneice Striebel. and they gave birth to Cheryl "Cheri" Lynn Risley, Bruce Paul Risley, and Clifford Randall "Randy" Risley. We know that Clifford Risley Jr. had been residing in Moorpark, Ventura County, CA USA.

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