Sergeant G Clarke, Service No 1318934

Sergeant G Clarke, Service No 1318934, was serving with 611 Sqn at Biggin Hill. “Ramrod” 73 was flown on 14 May 1943, with Antwerp the target for forty-two B-17s of the 94th and 95th Bomb Groups, USAAF. Small formations of enemy fighters harassed the raiders several times, and just after "bombs away" twelve fighters made a concerted attack, and the Squadron had to fight hard to keep them away from the Fortresses. Sqn Ldr Charles (Commanding Officer) shot down a Fw190 ("Kill" 996) and Sgt G Clarke (flying Spitfire LRIX EN558) was seen to have hit a Bf109. Sadly, he failed to pull out of his attack and collided almost head on with an enemy aircraft, both interlocked and crashed, but this took the "kill" tally to 997. No parachute was seen and Sgt Clarke was posted as ‘missing believed killed’. However we have been contacted by Derek Showell who has a painting of EN558 and researched what happened. He established that Sgt Clarke survived and became a prisoner of war at Camp 357 with prisoner number 98.

The Squadron records make no further mention of him and it is assumed that he spent the rest of the war in captivity and returned to England after the cessation of hostilities. Beyond that we do not know what happened to him after the war and how badly injured he was by the accident.

If anyone can provide any further information it would be greatly appreciated.