Military Trader is sad to announce the passing of longtime contributor, Clem Kelly. A man whose name is synonymous with militaria collecting, Clem died at the age of 87 on 3 February 2018 from heart failure.
Clem graduated from Jesuit Catholic Preparatory School in New Orleans in 1948, joined the US Navy Reserves, served in the US Army Signal Corps during the Korean War and attended the US Merchant Marine Academy.
He served 30 years aboard numerous merchant ships which allowed him to pursue his childhood passion of collecting military insignia. During his seven years of sailing in and out of Vietnam, Clem acquired an unimaginable collection of Vietnam War insignia. Every country’s port was a gold mine of tailor shops and junk stores.
In 1989, Clem took over the Vietnam Insignia Collectors Newsletter from Cecil Smyth. He quickly became the de facto overseer of the hobby.
Clem contributed numerous articles on various military insignia to Military Trader and Military Advisor. His knowledge and expertise will be missed. He will long be remembered. — Bill Brooks