CLARKSON Peter Wilberforce 427499

LEST WE FORGET 

Flying Officer Peter Wilberforce CLARKSON

Service No: 427499
Born: Toodyay WA, 18 October 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 July 1942
Unit: No. 13 Squadron, Gove NT
Died: Aircraft Accident, (No. 13 Squadron Ventura aircraft A59-56) Cape Arnhem NT, 27 January 1945, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Adelaide River War Cemetery NT
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry Wilberforce Clarkson and Emma Isabel Clarkson, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

The withdrawal of No. 1 Squadron to re-equip with Mosquito aircraft threw a large burden on No. 13 Squadron which was now required to provide all convoy cover.  This squadron lost two aircraft in January. One struck the ground while on an operational travel flight and all members of the crew were killed. The same day (27th January) another Ventura engaged on a training exercise at Gove crashed into the sea.  There were three survivors from this crash but one of them died later.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 402

Tragedy struck on the 27th of January, when A59-56 crashed near Bremer Island close to Gove while on gunnery exercises.  Killed were: Warrant Officer Eric Peacock WIT Op Air, Flight Lieutenant Edward Calder Nav “B”, and Flight Sergeant Lloyd Ames Fitter IIA.   A 42 Squadron Catalina picked up three survivors: they were Flying Officer Peter Clarkson Pilot (who subsequently died), Warrant Officer Gordon Cathro Air Gunner, and Warrant Officer GeorgeMurdoch WIT Op Air.

To compound this tragic day, Ventura A59-84 crashed in heavy weather when landing at Gould strip near Batchelor, killing all on board.  The members lost (on this operational travel flight) were Flight Lieutenant George Anderson (Pilot), Flying Officer Nurden Chowns (W/T Op Air), Warrant Officer John Kay (W/T Op Air), Flying Officer Bruce Poole (Nav “B”), Leading Aircraftman James Pugh (Fitter IIE) and Flying Officer Charles Watts (W/T Op Air).

Extract from Grantham, S.R. (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991 – Page 83

The crew members of A59-56 were:

Flight Sergeant Lloyd Haig Ames (210069) (Fitter II Airframe)
Flight Lieutenant Edward Louis Calder (406770) (Navigator “B”)
Warrant Officer Gordon Frank Cathro (417991) (Air Gunner) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 November 1945
Flying Officer Peter Wilberforce Clarkson (427499) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer George Robert Murdoch (420396) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) Survived, Discharged from the RAAF: 11 February 1946
Warrant Officer Eric Clyde Peacock (423425) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

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 A9845, 114

Bibliography:

Grantham, S. R.  (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991