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Thread: Sgt Oswald Lindsay Clubb VR 1256362

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    Default Sgt Oswald Lindsay Clubb VR 1256362

    Hello there,
    Please could anyone help with information on this pilot.
    Sgt Clubb came from Frinton-on-Sea and enlisted in April/May, 1940. After training went to 152 sqn until 29-3-42 when posted to 111 sqn.
    He was shot down on 111 sqn on 27-4-42 in Spitfire Vb, BL417 by JG26 on Circus 142. He is buried in the Pas de Calais area and was age 20.
    Could anyone please supply any details of his training and postings and when he arrived at 152 sqn in 1941.
    Thanks and regards,
    Roy

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    Default

    hello,

    I can't give you answers to your specific question, but there's a minor point I'd like to mention. He's buried in Pihen-les-Guines Communal Cemetery, and his grave marker is inscribed as O. LINDSAY CLUBB (but no hyphen). Can someone enlighten about this ? Is Lindsay his second name or not ?

    Joss

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    Default Correct name

    Hi there.
    Sgt Oswald Lindsay Clubb. First two names are Christian names.
    Thanks for full burial details, I was trying to spare the board space so abbreviated it.
    Thanks and regards,
    Roy

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    Default Sgt Pilot Lindsay Clubb

    Hi

    Sgt Pilot O Lindsay Clubb (he hated his first name and was known by his second name) was my Uncle. I was named after him.

    Here are some bits and pieces I have found concerning his death:

    The Air Historical Branch:

    Lindsay Clubb was the pilot of Spitfire BL 417 operating with No 111 Squadron. On 27 April 1942 at approximately 11.20 am his aircraft took off from RAF Debden in Essex as part of an escort cover wing, known as a “Circus”, over Occupied France. This particular operation was known as Circus 142. No 111 Squadron crossed the coast south of Mardyck at around 5,200 metres and flew towards St Omer. En route to the target German aircraft were encountered and numerous combats ensued – as a result of this Lindsay Clubb was reported missing.

    Royal Air Force Fighter Command Losses of the Second World War:

    This book records that Spitfire BL 417 was shot down by JG 26.

    The JG 26 War Diary Volume One 1939-1942:

    This book records that on 27 April 1942 Circus 142 brought the three Gruppen into the air at 11.18am. This was a raid on St Omer-Wizernes by seven Hurribombers escorted by two Spitfire Wings and supported by a Rodeo of three more Wings. The Rodeo did not make contact. The bombers and close escort wing came under attack by the First Gruppe just off the target, but reached the channel without loss. There is then a description of the engagement between No 71 Squadron of the Debden Wing and the First Gruppe. It then says Hptm. Priller’s Third Gruppe attacked the other two Debden Squadrons (which presumably includes No 111) and a general dogfight developed in which four Spitfires went down without loss to the Germans.

    The Victory Claims in the same book indicate that the pilot who shot Lindsay down was Obfw. Kuhdorf, Unit 7, Cl# 3. He was shot down at 12.20pm, 3 km north-west of Calais. Lindsay’s Spitfire is listed as not being a confirmed kill (presumably because Obfw. Kuhdorf did not witness it hit the ground).

    A letter dated 14 May 1945 from the Cure of Pihen-Les-Guines (which I still have):

    This letter reads as follows (my translation):-

    “The grave of Aviator Clubb is in good condition and well cared for. A workman has been appointed for 3 hours per day to keep in order the tombs of the English and German Military men.

    “I have no-one to take a snap shot of the grave. There are no more American or English soldiers in the village who could have done it.

    “The Germans (what they never did before) gave a solemn funeral to Aviator Clubb with a Military band, and guard of honour.

    “They even offered a magnificent wreath in admiration of the courage he showed in the combat.”

    A document that appears to be part of an article (from where I know not):

    This reads as follows:-

    “The old priest of the village takes up the story, ‘I certainly remember the name Lindsay Clubb. It is stamped on my memory because it stands for the only time I knew a German wish to honour an enemy dead. When the Spitfire crashed, a few miles away, the Commandant gave orders to save the pilot if possible. But he was not living when we reached him. Then the Commandant ordered a military funeral with band and guard of honour. So the young pilot was laid to rest in the little corner of our cemetery we kept for British dead. Further, the Commandant himself laid a magnificent wreath on the grave. He said he had never seen a braver fight.”

    I have been unable to track down any more objective info about the above incident. Was it a seriously difficult combat, or was this just a kind old Curate who wanted a young boy’s parents to feel proud of his sacrifice … we’ll perhaps never know.

    Somewhere I have details of his training and will confirm these later.

    Regards

    Lindsay Clubb

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    Hello Lindsay,

    I know Donald Caldwell's book, as I contributed to it at the time. May be not specifically on this day's battles, although I provided him a lot of information then. I don't live in the Calais area, one hour drive from this port.

    3 km NW of Calais is over the Channel, unless this is where the dogfight occured/started, and your uncle eventually flew towards France and crashed inland. I don't know where he crashed exactly. But I know for sure that some of the casualties buried in Pihen-les-Guines were recovered from the sea.

    Some locations also don't match subsequent informations found later, from the questionnaires of the pilots who were captured by the Germans for example.

    I know another case of a Spitfire pilot who didn't like his first name either (Woodrow). He would always sign "W". So his Squadron mates thought he was named William, which became "Bill". They learned his real first name when he was killed, on official papers. His parents who named him after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson also learned later that he never like it...

    I visited the cemetery many times, and if you don't have a picture of the grave, I can send you one.

    Thanks in advance for any extra details about his flying training.

    Joss

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    Default Sgt Oswald Lindsay Clubb VR1256362

    Many thanks to Lindsay and Joss for adding to my appeal on Sgt Lindsay Clubb.
    Your information is very welcome.
    He was with 152sqn at Portreath in 1941 and then to Eglington NI in early 1942.
    On 29-3-42 was posted to 111 'Treble One' sqn at Debden to 'A' Flt.
    I would be most interested to know where he trained prior to 152 sqn.
    Joss could I please have a photo of of Lindsay's grave and thanks for all your perious help.
    Roy

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    Default

    Hello Roy,

    Digital picture of the grave is on its way to you.

    Regards from France

    Joss

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    Default Sgt Oswald Lindsay Clubb VR1256362

    Hi Joss,
    Thanks for your prompt reply to my request.
    Lindsay could you please put up details of where Oswald Lindsay Clubb was educated ect please.
    Thanks from a soggy England.
    Roy

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    Default Lindsay Clubb - His Service in the RAF

    I cannot at the moment find my grandfather's handwritten summary of Lindsay's service, but I had at some time typed out part of it as below:

    25 August 1941

    Left No. 58 Operational Training Unit at Grangemouth to join No. 152 Squadron (Fighter Command) at Portreath, Cornwall - on arrival found squadron had moved and eventually joined on 28 August 1941 at Snailswell, Newmarket.

    29 August 1941

    Came home on short leave to meet David also home on leave from his ship. (Home was Frinton, and David was one of his brothers who was in the Merchant Navy). On return to Snailswell Lindsay found squadron had moved to Swanton Morley, Norfolk, and proceeded by road.

    1 September 1941

    Joined No. 152 Squadron at Swanton Morley.

    1 December 1941

    Squadron moved to Coltishall, Norfolk.

    24/25 December 1941

    Squadron flew to Portreath, Cornwall and escorted bombers during raids on enemy battleships lying in Brest Harbour.

    January 1942

    During January 1942 the squadron left Coltishall for Eglinton, near Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Lindsay was left at Coltishall to follow with one of the Spitfires which was under repair.

    8/9 February 1942

    Flew from Coltishall to Valley, Anglesey on 8th and proceeded from Anglesey to Londonderry, Eglinton on 9th.

    28 March 1942

    Left Eglinton to join No. 111 Squadron at Debden, Newport, Essex.

    29 March 1942

    Joined No. 111 Squadron at Debden.

    27 April 1942

    Reported Missing for operations over Northern France.

    I have a house in France and periodically we turn off the motorway to visit Lindsay's grave ... it is always at my wife's suggestion, as I never enjoy the experience ... the cemetery is kept in such impressively perfect condition that it tends to make one prone to feeling a little more emotional than usual. Just a couple of minutes of looking down at his grave and thinking how much I have had to enjoy in life thanks to him and his generation, and how little he had, and I have to retire before I make a complete clot of myself! He was a much loved son and brother.

    I have a pdf of his handwritten diary for 1942 ... about 2mb. If you want it you are welcome to have it but I'm not sure how to get it to you.

    Finally I believe the public school he went to was Dover College.

    Regards

    Lindsay

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    Default Sgt Pilot Lindsay Clubb

    Hi Joss

    Just to thank you for the offer of a photo of Lindsay's grave - most kind but as you can see we do occasionally see his grave. Whilst I am sure many would point out that it is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that is responsible for the upkeep of the grave, we as a family are eternally grateful to the French for looking after Lindsay in his final resting place.

    Somewhere I have some photos of the original white cross if you would like them for your records.

    Kind regards

    Lindsay

    Quote Originally Posted by jossleclercq View Post
    Hello Lindsay,

    I know Donald Caldwell's book, as I contributed to it at the time. May be not specifically on this day's battles, although I provided him a lot of information then. I don't live in the Calais area, one hour drive from this port.

    3 km NW of Calais is over the Channel, unless this is where the dogfight occured/started, and your uncle eventually flew towards France and crashed inland. I don't know where he crashed exactly. But I know for sure that some of the casualties buried in Pihen-les-Guines were recovered from the sea.

    Some locations also don't match subsequent informations found later, from the questionnaires of the pilots who were captured by the Germans for example.

    I know another case of a Spitfire pilot who didn't like his first name either (Woodrow). He would always sign "W". So his Squadron mates thought he was named William, which became "Bill". They learned his real first name when he was killed, on official papers. His parents who named him after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson also learned later that he never like it...

    I visited the cemetery many times, and if you don't have a picture of the grave, I can send you one.

    Thanks in advance for any extra details about his flying training.

    Joss

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