Flying Officer Roy Leslie CLARKE

Service No: 408968
Born: Elsternwick VIC, 1 February 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1941
Unit: No. 61 Squadron (RAF), RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 61 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JB132), Nottinghamshire, 1 September 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery, Nottinghamshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred James Clarke and Rebecca Ann Clarke, of Hastings, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Hastings VIC
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster JB132 took off from RAF Syerston at 2008 hours on the night of 31 September 1943, detailed to bomb Berlin. The expected return of JB 132 was approximately 0315 hours on 1st September. Lancaster R5698 of No. 1654 Conversion Unit took off on the same night on a training exercise and was due back at Wigsley at about 0240 hours. At 0326 hours the two aircraft collided at a height of 1,500 feet 4 miles north west of Syerston. The aircraft exploded in mid air and caught fire with the crews of both aircraft being killed.

The crew members of JB132 were:

Sergeant Jack Blackett (1092940) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Roy Leslie Clarke (408968) (Second Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Richard Edward Davies (67648) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant John Reid Forrest (658923) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Trevor Francis Joyce (107718) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Alan Paterson (639330) (RAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant John Knox Watson (1369957) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Squadron Leader Dennis Crosby Wellburn DFC (40965) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

The crew members of R5698 were:

Sergeant John Henry Hutchinson (853608) (RAFAuxAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Walter Stephen Jobling DFC (120547) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Edward Neilan Jones (1087736) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant George Robert Joyce (1238563) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Joseph Widger Murphy MacDonald (156663) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Robert William Rashbrook (415917) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant George Herbert Tough (1044676) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
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, 166/7/179

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