Flying Officer Clifford Clarke HEATHCOTE

Service No: 401440
Born: Essendon VIC, 26 February 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1941
Unit: No. 247 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Marsden
Died: Air Operations: (No. 247 Squadron Typhoon aircraft JR196), France, 14 January 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Grandcourt War Cemetery, Seine-Maritime, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Betts Heathcote and Ivy Faulkiner Heathcote, of Hampton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 14 January 1944Typhoon JR196 took off from Marsden and crashed near St Valerie, France and Flying Officer Heathcote was killed. The aircraft was one of a formation of eight aircraft carrying out dive bombing attacks against a target near Doudeville, south of St Valerie. The target was bombed at about 1100 hours causing a huge explosion and much debris rising in the air. This occurred as JR196 section of the formation was already in their dive and as JR196 pulled out of its dive after having scored further hits on the target, it was observed that grey smoke was coming from the engine of the aircraft. Flying Officer Heathcote was told of this on the radio, but there was no reply, and the aircraft was then lost from the sight of the Commanding Officer of the Squadron. JR196 was last seen of by another aircraft in the formation when its hood was jettisoned at about 3-4,000 feet in Doudeville. As there was no anti-aircraft fire encountered during the dive, it was assumed that the debris from the explosion may possibly have been the cause of the engine trouble.


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166//17/444

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