LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Albert George DeCLERCK

Service No: 402790
Born: Newcastle NSW, 6 August 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 October 1940
Unit: No. 462 Squadron, Fayid, Egypt
Died: Air Operations: (No. 462 Squadron Halifax aircraft W7659), Eastern Mediterranean, 23 October 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Louis Francois and Winifred Mable DeClerck; husband of Marjorie Alice DeClerck, of Dudley, New South Wales. Australia
Roll of Honour: Newcastle NSW
Remembered: Column 265, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Nelson Bay Memorial, Nelson Bay NSW
Remembered: Newcastle Boys High School Memorial Entrance World War II, Waratah NSW

Halifax W7659 took off from Fayid at 2135 hours on the night of 23 October 1942 to bomb dispersal aircraft at Maleme aerodrome, Crete. Two aircraft of the Squadron took part in the raid and W7659 failed to return. While on route W7659 ran into a heavy snowstorm and the aircraft crashed into the sea when the controls and instruments froze. Sergeant Simpson, who became a Prisoner of War, floated on a petrol tin for eight hours before being rescued and was the only survivor.

The crew members of W7659:

Flight Sergeant Albert George DeClerck (402790) (Pilot)
Sergeant Leslie Walter Giles (1153580) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Arthur Henry Pepper (R/82619) (RCAF) (Mid Gunner)
Sergeant George Frederick Simpson (538225) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant John Wilson Tyson (551714) (RAF) (Tail Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Hughes Whitmore (999518) (RAFVR) (Observer)

References:

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, 163/101/162
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line