Patrick C. Mudd, who served as Charles County's elected Clerk of the Circuit Court for 38 years, died Saturday at his La Plata home of an undisclosed illness. He was 80.

Mudd was a World War II veteran who survived capture by German forces in Europe, and was a formidable baseball catcher who helped found Charles County's Little League.

Elected officials joined several hundred mourners at Mudd's funeral Tuesday at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, in Chapel Point.

Mudd was survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Anne Baldus Mudd, four children and five grandchildren.

Patrick Conroy Mudd, a lifelong Charles County resident, was born in 1919 in Bryantown.

During World War II he was drafted into the Army and became a tank commander in the 10th Armored Division. During the pivotal Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, Mudd was blown from his tank when it was hit by a bazooka shell--an incident that left him with lifelong hearing loss.

He was captured, and remained a prisoner of war until liberation by American troops in April 1945.

He returned to Charles County and in 1946 won the first of nine consecutive elections as a Republican. His political career ended with his retirement in 1984.

Mudd was a member of several boards of directors and an active member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society.