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Thread: Flt Lt Clark, RNZAF, April 1941

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    Default Flt Lt Clark, RNZAF, April 1941

    Looking for the full name of the above. He was captain for the delivery flight of Fortress I AN529 to the UK on April 15/16, 1941, and was possibly from Coastal Command.

    TIA.

    Robert

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    Robert,
    Leonard Ernle Clark (known as Ernle), born Christchurch NZ (where I still live) August 1906 (so not a young man), prewar a farmer in Canterbury, as well as NZ agent for Percival Aircraft (he flew a Gull solo to NZ in 1936 from UK), also a member of pre-war Territorial Air Force in NZ (flying Blackburn Baffins!), but after outbreak of WW2 returned to UK and from 11/11/39 he was appointed to an RAF commission, but transferred back to RNZAF commission from 1/1/44. But I am getting ahead of myself. By 1940, L E Clark was one of that small band flying unarmed PR Spitfires out of French airfields, and continued to do until they couldn't any more, then got onto trans-Atlantic ferrying. At end of WW2 (by which time he was in possession of a DFC) he was OC, 144 Staging Post, RAF Transport Command, Whenuapai (New Zealand), in acting rank of Squadron leader (I think). His date of seniority as a F/L dated 11/2/41. Service numbers NZ2362 (TAF/RNZAF), RAF number 77338. Most of this info taken from By such Deeds (Colin Hanson) published by Volplane Press 2001, otherwise our own Errol M Martyn! He might have more to say on subject.
    David D

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    Robert,

    I have a copy of his log book. Email me if you need a scan of the relevant page.

    Just a small correct to what David wrote - Clark was actually back in the UK before the outbreak of war.

    Errol

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    Many thanks, David.

    Errol: That's great news - thank you. There are likely three or four pages of entries recording familiarization flights on USAAC aircraft and ferrying AN529 around the Pacific Northwest and across the US in advance of the actual ferry flight.

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 12th February 2017 at 03:28.

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    Robert, et al,

    Interesting info on Clark. I notice from the Ferry Command ORB for Gander that he arrived there in Dec 1943 as senior control officer. No doubt the same man. Given in the diary entry as S/L L.E. Clark, DFC. He also assumed temporary command of the Gander unit on occasion when the CO was away.

    Errol - does his log book cover any flying around Gander during the period of his duty there from Dec 43 to Oct 1944? For that matter, I'm interested in anything related to his time and duties at Gander. Seems that after Gander he was posted to Dorval in Oct 1944.

    Regards,

    Darrell

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    Darrell,

    Clark's last flight in 1943 was on 26 Aug 43.

    In 1944 the logged only three entries:

    Apr 21 - 24. Ventura JT870. Pilot Sqn Ldr McPhail. 'Self' as 2nd pilot. Gander - Prestwick via Goose, BWI & Reykjavik. 15.21 hrs.

    Jun 26. Dakota KG567. Capt Montgomery. 'Self' as 2nd pilot. Stephanville - Gander. 1.15 hrs.

    Sep 23. Dakota. (no serial entered). Flt Lt Dahl. 'Self' as 2nd pilot. Montreal - Gander. 7.35 hrs.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Thanks Errol. Much appreciated.

    Darrell

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