Misses His Target
With the RCAF somewhere in England Aug 21
- They were all in good spirits, for Flt.-Lt. Freddy Clarke, of Calgary,
the only Canadian troop pilot who didn't come home on schedule, had
just wobbled in from a hospital with little more than a sore head and
a black eye to show for a crash landing in the sea.
Word went around to keep away from Horncastle, who was described as
"temporarily a bad man to know - definitely a dangerous character."
A scrap with a Focke-Wulf-190 that was first, a cinch, then a flop,
was to blame.
Horncastle didn't look dangerous as he sat at the table, dangled his
leg over the side and grinned at a group of officers standing around
him, all of whom apparently had been giving him quite a ride.
"I guess I was pretty sore for a while." Cliff explained.
"But I'm feeling better now. After all, Holly (F.O. Hollis Hills,
of Los Angeles) got a Jerry. But boy, it would have been nice to make
Horncastle and Stover were flying together
on one of the dawn-to-dusk flights members of this squadron made. They
went out about 8 a.m. and were 25 miles inside France when, said Cliff,
a FW-190 "jumped on us."
"He turned on me when he saw me coming," Cliff went on. "But
somehow or other I got on his tail. I chased him for about five minutes
and if it hadn't been for the guns (jamming) it would have been a set
up. But as luck would have it, only one of the guns of Horncastle's
Mustang would fire.
"Boy, oh boy, Cliff concluded sorrowfully. I sure am a disappointed
Home in South Pasedena, California
Enlisted in Toronto, 5 September 1940
No.1 ITS (graduated 24 January 1941)
No.7 EFTS (graduated 4 March 1943) and
No.10 SFTS (graduated 21 June 1941)
Shot down a FW.190 at Dieppe, 19 August 1942
HILLS, F/O Hollis Henry (J5803) - Mention in Despatches
- No.400 Squadron
Award effective 1 January 1943 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 232/43 dated 12 February 1943
During the Battle of Dieppe on 19th August 1942, this
officer accompanied his Flight Commander on two low reconnaissances over
the approaches to the battle area. During the second of these, they were
attacked by three FW.190s. When Flying Officer Hills found he could not
warn his Flight Commander, owing to a radio failure, he engaged the three
enemy aircraft, shooting down one and driving off the other two, until
the Flight Commander became aware of the situation.
NOTE: Unit identified in AFRO as No.400 Squadron. Later
transferred to US Navy with which he won an American DFC which is now
in the Canadian War Museum (AN 19890038-001). The same museum has a model
of a Mustang in the colours of one flown by him. No published citation
to award. Directorate of History and Heritage files have recommendedation
for MiD compiled by W/C R.F. Begg, Commanding Officer, No.414 Squadron
on 23 August 1942.
NOTE: Public Records Office Air 2/8769 has recommendation
for a Croix de Guerre from No.414 Squadron, dated 1 February 1943. The
wording is identical to the above except that the following is added:
"Flying Officer Hills, who is an American, has since transferred
to the U.S. Naval Air Arm."
The following is an excerpt written by Ian Clarke
after several conversations with his father Freddy
Having survived the intensity of the training regimen
at Old Sarum, and the imperious eye of the eccentric Campbell-Voullaire,
Clarke was finally posted to an active squadron in mid May of 1941. He
joined the first organized unit of the RCAF ever to set foot on English
soil, No. 110 "City of Toronto" (Army Cooperation) Squadron
(Auxiliary)1. Only two months before
110 had been renumbered No.400 Squadron. Appropriately enough the squadron
had first arrived at Campbell-Voullaire's Old Sarum before moving on to
Odiham, Hampshire in June of 1940 2.
They were still there when Clarke joined "A" Flight under Flight
Lieutenant G. H. Elms, but by the time "A" Flight had moved
on to fighter tactics training and ops at Middle Wallop in October, he
had been sent on to Croydon in the formation of 400's sister squadron,
No. 414 3.
Clarke's first month with 400 Squadron did not go particularly well. Hitting
power cables on one low level practice area search, and breaking his tail
wheel in a forced landing having lost his way from Gatwick to Odiham on
the same day would have done little to endear him to Squadron Leader Campbell-Voullaire.
Yet it was back to the Army Cooperation School that Clarke had to return,
not to upgrade his skills but to participate in the conversion from Lysanders
to the new Curtiss Tomahawks with which 400 Squadron would soon be equipped
4. The C.O. performed two flying checks
within a week at the end of May. Since the second only lasted a scant
five minutes, barely long enough to take off and land downwind, apparently
there was nothing wrong with Clarke's flying skills 5.
Six flights in a Harvard to familiarize himself once again with the characteristics
of a single engine, low-wing monoplane included circuits and landings
as well as aerobatics. This led to six flights, all under an hour each,
in a Tomahawk, the first three practicing circuits and landings and the
last three devoted more to the joy of flying his first real high performance
fighter aircraft. The elation was short lived. Within hours Clarke was
flying back to Odiham in one of 400 Squadron's Lysanders with Jack Amos,
a Pilot Officer from North Battleford in the second seat. It would be
nearly a month before Clarke was given another turn on a Tomahawk. Meanwhile
he began the serious business of learning the skills of a tactical reconnaissance
As junior members of the squadron the newly attached pilots ferried airmen
and soldiers to various airfields in southern England while building up
hours in formation flying, dive bombing practice, towing drogues for anti-aircraft
units, aerial photography, and the detailed routines of close, contact,
and tactical reconnaissance. On July 2 on a practice reconnaissance flight
Clarke's radio/telephone (r/t) failed foreshadowing the problems that
would plague him the day of the raid on Dieppe. On the fourth a more serious
problem occurred in the same aircraft when the throttle stuck open at
1,650 rpm leaving him in the air for three hours trying to ride the aircraft
down. Three days later he spent an hour and twenty minutes working with
the same problem on the same aircraft 6.
The rest of July passed almost uneventfully, a considerable amount of
time being devoted to the drudgery of towing drogues for ground and air
gunnery practice, a task relegated to the junior officers of the squadron.
On the 24th, in the company of one of the squadron's administrative officers
while touring the coast of Wales at zero feet, Clarke felt the aircraft
shudder as one of the heavily cowled main wheels struck a swell. With
considerable energy and quickness he pulled the aircraft into a steep
climb while Flight Lieutenant Herbertson remained blissfully unaware of
the danger to the aircraft and to himself 7.
August opened somewhat more auspiciously as Clarke was given a Tomahawk
for the day. The exercise went considerably deeper into combat tactics
than he had been allowed to go before. In five separate flights he practiced
air to ground strafing, air-to-air rear quarter attacks, and air-to-air
beam approaches. Later in the month, a new posting gave him even better
opportunities to fly the single seat fighters. On August 13th, along with
a flight's complement of pilots, ground crew and other support staff received
orders to proceed to Croydon where they were to form the new 414 Squadron
at Croydon, a move that would alter the entire course of his life. It
was from Croydon that he would meet his future wife, and it was with 414
Squadron that he would both participate in the Dieppe raid and eventually
lose his best friend, Cliff Horncastle.
Clarke was posted to 414 only two days after its inception. The RCAF's
twelfth squadron formed overseas and the second army cooperation squadron,
414 was known as the "Sarnia Imperials." Like its sister squadron,
414 would be re-designated as a fighter reconnaissance squadron in June
1943 8, not long after Clarke had completed
his last operational flights in preparation for a new posting to 39 Reconnaissance
Wing as Flight Lieutenant, Ops 9.
Two Tomahawk "flips" with his new squadron later in the month,
one in which he had to contend with an "oil gusher," not an
uncommon complaint in the P40s, seemed to bode well for his advancing
status as a pilot 10. It was, at the
same time, an indication of the progress being made in converting the
two army cooperation squadrons from Lysanders to the more operationally
useful and certainly more powerful Tomahawk. By September, Clarke and
at least two others from the original group at Lethbridge, Jack Amos and
Cliff Horncastle, had achieved full-fledged fighter pilot status with
the new squadron. Amid a certain amount of ferrying that needed to be
done to bring the squadron up to operation strength with the new aircraft,
Clarke added twenty-four hours to his Tomahawk totals with a considerable
amount of formation flying. These included squadron formations, formation
landings, section formations, and low level practice. Other than managing
to bury a propeller on one landing after formation practice, the flying
seems to have gone as planned 11.
Having quadrupled his time on Tomahawks in September, Clarke doubled it
again in October, adding another 20 hours to his cumulative totals. The
first part of October began with great excitement, although the squadron
had still not performed its first operational flight of the war. In Tomahawks
he participated in a "vic" formation fly-past for the Duke of
Kent, and practiced section attacks on armored divisions, low flying aerobatics,
low flying formations, and section "vic" formations with landings.
It was a new high point for the squadron, but it was short lived. In fact,
414 would not fly its first operational mission until June the next year.
This appears to emphasize the dedication of the Canadian army cooperation
squadrons to "obtain . . . photographic reconnaissance for Allied
invasion planners 12." Since no
tactical invasion planning occurred in Europe until the summer of 1942,
the Tac R squadrons remained, in effect, in a continuous training mode
until the planning of the Dieppe raid required their photographic assistance.
What had been rather exciting in October began to prove somewhat routine
and potentially somewhat tedious in November. Clarke's hours on the Tomahawk
slumped from a previous high of twenty-two to fifteen, and in December
to little more than eight. At one point he even resorted to the use of
the squadron's Tiger Moth for forty-five minutes of low flying practice
The period between October 1941 and August 1942 may have been something
of the doldrums for the squadron but it was a high point in Clarke's flying
career. Both he and the squadron were introduced to the new North American
P-51 1A Mustang, but he was also promoted to the command of "A"
Flight, 414 Squadron in January. At the same time, Pilot Officer Hollis
("Holly") Hills, an Californian with the RCAF, joined the squadron
at Croydon. Hills would figure prominently in the incidents over Dieppe
later in August.
February passed rather laconically. Clarke flew under fifteen hours total
as leader of "A" Flight, only fifty minutes of which were devoted
to Tomahawks, although he does seem to have staked out some claim to RU
G and RU A along with RU F for "Freddy" which he came to rely
upon 14. Nevertheless, in March it was
the carburetor heater in RU F which failed on landing after a formation
practice that forced him to make a particularly difficult landing approach
in a nose-up, stall attitude from which both he and the aircraft survived.
A week later he was participating in a formation flight for the benefit
of General Bernard Montgomery, a fitting demonstration for the commander
of the Commonwealth armies in Europe. Before the month was out, P/O Clarke
had been promoted to Flight Lieutenant, a rank more befitting a flight
In April, the idiosyncrasies of the Tomahawk cost the squadron the use
of RU A. After another bout of formation flying, F/L Clarke experienced
an oil pump failure and proceeded with emergency procedures to make a
forced belly landing in a farmer's field near Cliddesden 15.
The aircraft was unserviceable for a considerable length of time but it
was repaired and flew again, although F/L Clarke's later experience with
RU A was in a Mustang and not the Tomahawk which he had been forced to
By mid May 1942 it had become clear that the general tenor of squadron
training had changed abruptly. This could have been a response to the
new offensive strategies being adopted by fighter and bomber command in
mid 1942, but for the Canadian army cooperation units it had to mean something
more. Devoted as they were to support of invasion planning, it is obvious
in retrospect that the pressure to open another front against the Germans
in Europe, and the desire to use a major foray against the fortified French
coast as a fact gathering experiment, was about to bring the reconnaissance
squadrons into action over France. Of twenty two flights that month nineteen
were made in Tomahawks. Many of these dealt with tactical reconnaissance
in poor weather and "weather tests" with low flying practice.
Formation flying with cover in sets of two presaged the squadron's precise
role over Dieppe on the morning of August 19th 16.
For F/L Clarke in particular, and for the squadron in general, June signaled
a quantum change in training. Although many were of shorter than usual
duration, he flew fifty-six times, far more than any previous month during
this extended training period. An intensive series of air to air tactics
consumed most of his time on Tomahawks for June. Then, at mid month,the
first Mustangs arrived at Croydon most of which appear to have been from
the AG series and among the first 100 or 110 to have been produced. After
two weeks of familiarization exercises, F/L Clarke and two others in "A"
flight participated in 414 squadron's first operational sortie, a "dusk
patrol" along the coast in which no raiders were seen 17
The Mustang was a successor to the Tomahawk that had been identified as
such even as the Purchasing Commission was ordering the RAF versions of
the Curtiss Hawk. Unlike the supercharged Merlin engine versions of the
Mustang 1B, the 1A was not as effective at altitude, but in a low level
tactical reconnaissance role, these disadvantages would be largely nullified.
Some pilots complained of the large and obtrusive gun site and its brutal
plate of armored glass. Even with the same effective power plant as the
Tomahawk, the Mustang's superior design made it 50 knots faster. It was
a crucial advantage over the Tomahawk that the Mustang would take into
combat over Dieppe against Germany's superior fighter, the Focke-Wulf
190 18. It was made doubly critical
in view of the preponderance of FW 190 in the aerial combat, as if the
Me 109F barely existed.
On July 30, less than three weeks before the raid F/L Clarke took Mustang
AM167 up for a practice flight but shortly into the flight the radio burned
out and he had to abort. This tendency if it was such, would cost Clarke
dearly on the 19th. Like July, August continued with relatively light
flying duties. On the 6th he flew a practice "contact recce",
a system which was intended to provide direct tactical support to ground
troops. Then, at night, during the evening of the 18th, Clarke and his
squadron flew to Gatwick in preparation for the Dieppe Invasion 19.
The squadron had a limited, singular task to perform as outlined in the
battle plan. The rumor of the presence of an armored division on leave
from the eastern front and stationed in Amiens south of Dieppe, dictated
that 414 would fly set patterns on the routes between Dieppe and Amiens.
Early in the morning of the 19th of August, before sunrise, flying Mustang
AG 655, Clarke took off as leader of "A" flight with P/O Hills
flying cover. They were the first up of any of the four Mustang squadrons,
two RAF and two Canadian. With Hills weaving above and behind, Clarke
was to perform a road reconnaissance and to report on the movement of
any armour toward the beech. Hills was to protect him as he concentrated
on this task. Searchlights at the coastal installations allowed Hills
to see the other Mustang quite readily; but once they had crossed the
French coast just south west of the town of Dieppe, Hills could see nothing
on the ground or in the sky, including his leader. Trying to finish the
mission alone he was unable to see any of the mapped roads, nor did he
see any sign of the armour. Hills "returned to Gatwick, alone and
with no damage." 20
Meanwhile F/L Clarke was having much the same experience. Without cover
he proceeded as best he could to track the road to Amiens that would run
in behind Dieppe in a southerly direction. Dieppe, at least, was marked
by a considerable amount of fire and the searchlights of the artillery
positions searching for the Boston medium bombers that had been sent against
them. As twilight bloomed on the northeastern horizon, having seen nothing
of the armored division, the lone Mustang turned back toward England on
a course that would take him over an anti-aircraft position. Flying at
zero feet F/L Clarke fired a short strafing burst at the emplacement without
enough time to record his hits, if any, and proceeded out over the channel.
In the distance, coming off the English coast he spotted a spec that rapidly
grew into a German FW 190. Both aircraft streaked past one another without
firing a shot and F/L Clarke continued on to Gatwick in the belief that
they were both simply glad to be making it back in one piece 21.
He would not receive so happy a reception on his next sortie later that
Originally scheduled for only one sortie over Dieppe, Clarke and Hills
accepted responsibility for another in the mid morning during a particularly
chaotic moment in the squadron. Without the cover of night, it was particularly
important that the relationship between the observer and his cover be
maintained at all points during the mission. Observing radio silence according
to the standing orders, they had no way of knowing that F/L Clarke's Radio/Telephone
had failed him once again. As they crossed the channel, it became readily
apparent that they had become part of the greatest air battle yet fought
over Europe 22. As they neared the coast
west of Dieppe Hills spotted a flight of four FW 190s to the right at
1,500 feet, on a course that would take them directly overhead the two
Mustangs as they crossed the beach. Hills broke silence and called twice,
the second time after F/L Clarke had turned left toward the Amiens road
but directly under the Germans, giving the ideal attack advantage.
Realizing that he would have to take extraordinary action, P/O Hills swung
wide to his leader's left:
"This put me right over town dusting the chimney
tops. I believe the 190s had lost sight of me as I had stayed under
them. My plan was to cut off the lead FW before he could open fire on
Freddy. My timing all went to pot when a crashing Spitfire forced me
into a sharp left turn to avoid a collision. That gave the FW pilot
time to get to firing position and he hit Freddy's Mustang with his
first burst. . . . Glycol was streaming from the radiator but there
was no fire. I was able to get a long shot at the leader but had to
break hard right as the number two man was having a go at me. He missed
and made a big mistake sliding by my left side. It was an easy shot
and I hit him hard. . . . I knew that he was a goner. . . " 23
F/L Clarke was oblivious to the action that was unfolding
above his head until the first shells slammed into the oil cooler of his
aircraft's Allison engine:
"The next thing I know is there is `all Hell and
corruption' going by. . . . I'd been hit. . . . The radiator was shot
up, my instruments on either side of me were gone. The armour plating
saved me. So I jettisoned the hood hoping that it hadn't been jammed
with the shots, and it wasn't. And I thought, `They're right, it's nice--not
windy in here at all.'. . ."
Instinctively he had twisted his aircraft into a hard
climbing right hand turn: "I got about 800 feet. That's all she'd
get." Without his radiator he knew that it was only a matter of time
before the engine seized completely. Although the pilots had been offered
the inland race track as a potential crash landing site, he had no intentions
of risking capture, and preferred instead to take his chances in the channel.
He would never have made it had it not been for the timely return of Hills
to the scene of his leaders's obvious distress. Assuming the FW now tailing
the stricken Mustang was hoping for the capture of an intact Mustang,
Hills saw him begin to slide in behind for the kill to stop Clarke short
of the channel. "I had to try to stop him so I gave a short high
deflection burst at him. I was hoping to get his attention and it worked.
He broke hard left into my attack." 24
As P/O Hills attempted to mix it with the German, proving that the Mustang
could at least out turn the Focke-Wulf, Clarke continued in his struggle
to reach the water. It was a perilous moment, considering that no one
had been known to "ditch" a Mustang and survive, principally
because of the large air scoop under the belly hat acted as a rather unfortunate
rudder, directing the nose of the aircraft immediately toward the bottom.
This did not happen in Clarke's case. Unfortunately it is still unknown
as to exactly what did happen in the last seconds of the crash landing.
F/L Clarke's memory has survived only to include the moment above the
water at 10 feet, an airspeed indicator reading 90 knots, and the moment
when he woke up in the bottom of a landing craft:
"I limped out to the water. Just as I crossed
the coast that prop . . . seized as solid as a . . . . There I am down
wind, across the trough. . . . Everything's ag'in ya. Using my trim
to keep my tail down, the last thing I remember is about 90 miles an
hour on the clock, trying to get that tail down. I wanted the tail to
hit first to kill the speed before she flopped in, because it would
just go in if you hit the air scoop. The next thing I remember I came
to in a landing craft. . . . I hit the gun site I think. The perspex
was coming out of [my forehead] until ten or fifteen years ago. They
say a young army guy hit the water with his arms going and got me out
of the aircraft. I would give anything to have known who he was."
With the other wounded F/L Clarke was transferred to
the Destroyer HMS Calpe which was itself under extremely heavy attack
for most the late morning and early afternoon while they tried to retrieve
those whom they could. After being treated for the wound to his head he
finally returned to Purley where he and Holly were billeted in a requisitioned
"About five the next morning, my door burst open.
I was grabbed in a bear hug by what smelled like a huge clump of seaweed.
It was Freddie Clarke, rescued by the Amphibious forces as I had [told
the squadron]. . . on my return from the mission. His head sported a
huge bandage covering the severe cuts he had received in the ditching.
We had been warned that ditching a Mustang could be hazardous to your
1. The Historical Section of the Royal Canadian Air Force, The R.C.A.F.
Overseas: the First Four Years, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1944),
2. Kostenuk and Griffin, RCAF, p. 80.
3. See: Frederick E. Clarke, "Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot's Flying
Log Book," R.C.A.F. Form R-95, entries for August 24, 1941 ff.
4. The Tomahawk was a close cousin of Curtiss's more famous Kittyhawk,
the P40 made famous by General Charles Chennault's "Flying Tigers"
in China. It was a relatively powerful single seat fighter, fitted with
an oil cooled, in-line, Allison engine, capable of 370 knots. Like the
North American P-51 Mustang 1A that followed it, the Tomahawk was developed
especially for the Royal Air Force, to RAF specifications. It became a
particular favorite of pilots like Fred Clarke who were more than six
feet tall, primarily because of its extraordinarily spacious cockpit.
The British Purchasing Commission had seen the Tomahawk's prototype, the
Curtiss P40 Hawk and orders for the RAF version began in 1940 bringing
1740 aircraft across to Britain despite the American neutrality embargo.
The Tomahawk's Allison was particularly suited to low-level tactical reconnaissance
and attack, but the engine was not supercharged and did not function well
at altitude. This problem plagued the P-51 Mustang 1A with a similar Allison,
but the streamlined design of the Mustang made it a superior aircraft
even for low-level work by minimizing the loss of efficiency due to drag.
See: William Newby Grant, "P-51 Mustang," in Classic Aircraft
of World War II, (Greenwich, Ct.: Bison Books, 1981), pp. 272-73.
5. See in particular: F. E. Clarke, Log Book, for May 19, 25 and 31, 1941.
6. See in particular: F. E. Clarke, Log Book, for July 4 and 7, 1941.
7. Ibid, July 24, 1941.
8. Kostenuk and Griffin, R.C.A.F., pp. 80 and 104.
9. See: F. E. Clarke, Log Book, for May and July, 1943.
10. See: F. E. Clarke, Log Book, for August 26 and 27, 1941.
11. Ibid., August 1941. The note about "put[ting] the prop in] on
landing occurs on September 19.
12. Kostenuk and Griffin, R.C.A.F., p. 104.
13. See: F. E. Clarke, Log Book, for November and December, 1941. The
reference to the Tiger Moth appears on December 12th. On Boxing Day he
carried out more low flying practice in a Miles Magister, but finished
off the month with two and a half hours of low flying, fighter tactics,
formation and cloud flying as well as R/T work in a Tomahawk.
"I remember the first time I tried to fly a Tiger Moth in England
after I had been flying the fighters, and I couldn't get it back down
on the ground. I couldn't fly it slowly enough to land it at first. I
floated clear across Croydon aerodrome--had to go around and readjust
my sights and come back in." Interview with F. E. Clarke, February
14. The two army cooperation squadrons had only been assigned squadron
identification numbers in October of 1941. No. 400 Squadron used the SP
series while 414 was assigned RU.
15. F. E. Clarke, Pilot's Log, April 14, 1942. Fred Clarke recounts the
story that when his oil pressure disappeared he waved of his wing man,
Stuart "Chappy" Chapman, who simply continued to follow him
down assuming that they were continuing with low level formation practice.
Only when he saw the propeller of RU A's propeller quit and begin to scrape
through the earth did he realize that practice was over. Clarke meanwhile
clambered out of his aircraft to be greeted by a little boy who came running
across the field to ask, "Is it true that you've had an engine failure,
and had to do a forced landing in this field?" "Oh yes,"
came the response through paroxysms of laughter.
16. Ibid, May 1 to May 30, 1942.
17. See Kostenuk and Griffin, R.C.A.F., p. 104; and F. E. Clarke, "Log
Book," June 30, 1942.
18. The allied air forces became intimately familiar with the capabilities
of the FW 190 when a Luftwaffe pilot mistakenly landed at the RAF aerodrome
at Pembrey. It confirmed their worst fears. On the 9th of August the report
issued by the RAF on the captured aircraft emphasized its "exceptional
flying characteristics," the superlative search view from its well
protected cockpit, and its outstanding aileron controls. It surpassed
the Spitfire V in every respect, . . . only the new Spitfire IX really
compared favorably. As cited in: John P. Campbell, "Air Operations
and the Dieppe Raid," Aerospace Historian, (Spring, March 1976),
19. F. E. Clarke, "Log Book," July and August, 1942. See in
particular the entries for July 30 and for August 6.
20. Hollis F. Hills, "Mustangs at Dieppe," unpublished manuscript,
(np, nd), p. 1.
21. Interview with F. E. Clarke, March , 1991.
22. "Starting at sea level and going all the way up to contrail level,
the sky was full of Fighters in one massive dogfight. I was busy but in
hurried glances counted eleven parachutes at one time." Hollis F.
Hills, "Mustangs at Dieppe," p. 2.
23. Hollis F. Hills, "Mustangs at Dieppe," p. 3.
25. Ibid., p. 4.
Plenty of Excitement (over Dieppe)
Ottawa feb 8 - ... One of the squadrons, that
commanded by Wing-Cmdr. Begg, had more than its share of excitement. Flight-Lieut.
Fred Clarke, of Calgary and the Barbadoes, was attacked by a Fock-Wulf
190 and shot down into the sea. His pal, P.O. Holly Hills, an American
now a member of the United States Navy, attacked the Focke-Wulf and shot
it down in flames, the squadron's first and only victim to date, Clarke
later was picked up by a naval craft unhurt.
F.O. Charles (Smokey) Stover, of Sarnia. Ont.,
was flying at about 50 feet when forced to take evasive action from a
Focke-Wulf 190. He dived down too low and his wing hit a telephone pole.
Although three feet of his wing tip was sliced off and half his aileron
gone, Stover brought his machine safely back to base.
Since then Stover has been married to the daughter of a former pilot of
British Imperial Airways.
Sgdn-Ldr. Frank Greenwood, of Beloeil, Que., second-in-command of his
squadron, who also has been married since he left Canada, recently became
a father. He holds the record of having landed the first aircraft on the
present station, setting down a Tiger Moth-when the runways were only
Victories Include :
|19 Aug 1942
29 April 1944
13 Sept 1944
21 Sept 1944
Score = 5 / 0 / 1 + 3 destroyed On The Ground
* Over Dieppe - Considered the 1st ever Mustang kill (with Mustang 1 - AG470 RU-M)
Zeke = Mitsubishi A6M Zero
Sally = Mitsubishi Ki-21