CLARKE Robert Douglas 1831

LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Robert Douglas CLARKE AFM

Service No: 1831
Born: Coolgardie WA, 14 June 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 May 1935
Unit: No. 31 Squadron, Coomalie Creek, NT
Awarded the Air Force Medal (AFM), 1 January 1942 (Citation Title: No. 25 Squadron)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 31 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-46), South Timor, 17 November 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William George and Elizabeth Annie Clarke; husband of Ivy Annie Clarke, of Maylands, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Kalgoorlie WA
Remembered: Panel 8, Northern Territory Memorial, Adelaide River NT
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the 17th (November 1942) the Beaufighters were over Timor for the first time, while Hudsons from Nos. 2 and 13 bombed Maubisse, Dili, Bobonaro, and Baucau.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 647

The squadron’s first operation was on 17 November when three aircraft were sent to Moabissi and three to Bobonaro, on Japanese-held Timor. It was a bad start as Wing Commander Douglas Carson Riding (177) and Warrant Officer Robert Douglas Clarke AFM (1831) were lost. They were at low level being pursued by an enemy aircraft when Riding turned and the wingtip struck the water.

Extract from Parnell, N.M. (Neville M.) Whispering Death: A history of the RAAF’s Beaufighter Squadrons, AH & AW Reed Terry Hills NSW, 1980 – Page 38

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/97/225

Bibliography:

Parnell, N.M. (Neville M.) Whispering Death: A history of the RAAF’s Beaufighter Squadrons, AH & AW Reed, Terry Hills NSW, 1980
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990