Battle of Britain London Monument – P/O A V Clowes

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – P/O A V Clowes


Arthur Victor Clowes was born in New Sawley, Derbyshire and educated at Long Easton Council Elementary School. He joined the RAF in January 1929 as an Aircraft Apprentice and passed out in December 1931 as a Metal Rigger.

Clowes later applied for pilot training and was serving with No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere at the outbreak of war. The squadron was immediately sent to France. On 23rd November 1939, whilst sharing in the destruction of a He111, Clowes’ Hurricane was struck by a French Morane, losing one of his elevators and most of the rudder. He managed to make a successful landing back at Vassincourt.

On 29th March 1940 Clowes destroyed two Me110’s, on 14th May a Me109 and a Ju87, on the 23rd he shared a He111 and on 14th June he shot down a Me109. The squadron was withdrawn to Tangmere on the 18th and was fully operational again by the end of July. Clowes received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 11th July 1940).


He claimed a He111 and a Ju88 destroyed on 16th August, a Me110 and a He111 damaged on the 30th, two Do17’s and a Me110 probably destroyed on the 31st, a Me110 shot down on 7th September and a Do17 shared on 24th October.

Awarded the DFM (gazetted 20th august 1940) for his work in France, Clowes was commissioned in September, promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant and given command of A’ Flight on 10th October.

His portrait was made by Cuthbert Orde (below).

He led No. 1’s first offensive sortie on 1st January 1941, strafing German installations between Calais and Boulogne with two other pilots. Clowes was posted to 53 OTU Heston on 29th April 1941 and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 13th May 1941).

He commanded 79 Squadron at Baginton from December 1941 to February 1942, 601 Squadron in the Western Desert from 21st August to 22nd November 1942 and 94 Squadron in the Eastern Mediterranean from June to September 1943.

Granted a Permanent Commission in the Secretarial Branch in September 1945, Clowes later went to RAF Staff College.

He died on 7th December 1949 from cancer whilst still serving.




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