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NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20)

CAPT. Craig A. Clapperton (Clap)

Captain Craig “Clap” Clapperton is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He was commissioned in 1989 via the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps and designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1991. In 2008, he earned a Master of Arts degree in National Strategy and Security Studies from the Naval War College and was a member of the College’s elite Stockdale Group. He is a graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command and completed nuclear power training in 2010.

Captain Clapperton’s first operational assignment was with the VA-34 Blue Blasters, flying the A-6E Intruder. During this tour, he flew missions over Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operations DENY FLIGHT and SHARP GUARD and over southern Iraq in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Following transition to the EA-6B Prowler, he completed tours with the Cougars of VAQ-139 and the Wizards of VAQ-133 where he made three deployments in support of Op erations SOUTHERN and NORTHERN WATCH.

Captain Clapperton commanded the Shadowhawks of VAQ-141. The squadron flew missions in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM operating from USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 75) and Al Asad Airbase, Iraq, and earned the Battle E and Golden Anchor Awards for operational and retention excellence. In September 2007, Captain Clapperton was awarded the prestigious Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership.

In his most recent operational tour, Captain Clapperton was the Executive Officer of USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). During his tour, TRUMAN earned the Battle E and the Chief of Naval Operations Retention Excellence Award, participated in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN, and executed the largest maintenance availability ever conducted by Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Captain Clapperton’s tours ashore include flag lieutenant to the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander, Second Fleet, and as a flight instructor. Additionally, he served overseas on the staff of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in the Strategic Direction Center.

In November of 2012, Captain Clapperton became the 26th commanding officer of USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC20).

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