Flight Sergeant Clive Arthur RYE

Service No: 423427
Born: Newcastle NSW, 13 December 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1942
Unit: No. 76 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Holme-on-Spalding Moor
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 76 Squadron Halifax aircraft LW636), Yorkshire, 1 March 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Stanley Clive and Winnifred May Rye, of Milson’s Point, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: North Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2336 hours on the night of 1 March 1944 Halifax LW636 took off from Holme-on-Spalding Moor detailed to bomb Stuttgart, Germany. About two minutes after take-off the aircraft stalled and spun in about one and a half miles up wind of the runway, and all the crew were members killed. The aircraft had taken off with a load of incendiaries. A Court of Enquiry concluded that the crash occurred due to an error by the pilot in pulling up the aircraft flaps when the undercarriage was still down. The Court also noted that falling snow may have contributed to the crash by adhering to parts of the plane making it easier to stall.

The crew members of LW636 were:

Sergeant Philip Charles Bates (1391048) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Frank Chester Flitcroft (171865) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Geoffrey Hamilton Hawkins (1604329) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer James Leonard Richards (J/19978) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Clive Arthur Rye (423427) (Tail Gunner)
Pilot Officer Robert Sirluck (J/86913) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Rudolph Tipaldi (1822669) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper 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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/36/209


Chorley W R, To See the Dawn Breaking: 76 Squadron Operations, W R Chorley Devon UK, 1981

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