Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. W T Clark

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. W T Clark

 

William Terence Clark was born in Croydon on 11th April 1919. He joined 615 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at Kenley in March 1938 as an Aircrafthand. He trained and flew as an Air Gunner in Hawker Hectors on Army co-operation duties.

Called to full-time service on 24th August 1939, Clark remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner.
He completed his training and joined 219 Squadron at Catterick on 12th July 1940.

 

 

With the advent of the Beaufighter and airborne radar some of the air gunners of 219 were trained on radar with the squadron as Radio Observers. Clark qualified in this category.

On the night of 16th/17th April 1941 Clark flew with 219’s CO, W/Cdr. TG Pike, when his own navigator was taken ill. They intercepted and destroyed a Ju88 and a He111 in the Guildford area.

During the night of 27th/28th April, flying with F/O DO Hobbis, his regular pilot, Clark assisted in the destruction of an unidentified enemy aircraft, on 1st/2nd June and 13th/14th June they shot down He111’s.

Clark was awarded the DFM (gazetted 8th July 1941).

In July 1941 he was posted to 1455 Flight, then forming at Tangmere with Turbinlite Havocs. In May 1942 he went to 1451 Flight at Hunsdon on the same duties, locating enemy aircraft by radar in the Havoc, for accompanying fighters to attack and destroy. The scheme was not a success and was eventually abandoned.

Commissioned in May 1942 from Warrant Officer, Clark moved to 60 OTU in October 1942 as a Navigation/Radar Instructor. In May 1943 he was posted to 488 (NZ) Squadron at Ayr as Navigator to the newly-arrived ‘A’ Flight Commander, S/Ldr. DO Hobbis, his original pilot from 219 Squadron and 1455 and 1451 Flights.

On 20th December 1943 Clark was flying with P/O D Robinson when they destroyed a Me410 over Sussex.

At the end of his tour in March 1944 Clark went to North Weald Sector Operations, where he trained as a Controller. Whilst there he was given leave to visit 488, then at Colerne. He went to dispersal to see Robinson, now a Flying Officer. His navigator was unfit to fly and Clark offered to take his place.

On this sortie, a beachead patrol on the night of 28th/29th July, they destroyed a Ju188. Clark returned to North Weald next day.

He rejoined 488 in August 1944 but two months later went to RAF Honiley Ground Approach School, after which he took No. 1 GCA Unit to Prestwick, as second-in-command.

Clark was released from the RAF in November 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

 

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