550 Squadron Crew

F/O H A T Clark RCAF and Crew

F/O Clark and crew were posted to 550 Sqdn from No. 1 L.F.S. on 5.6.44:

550 Sqdn Lancaster DV279 failed to return on 18/19 July 1944 from an operation to Scholven-Buer.

The crew were ordered to bale out by the pilot, F/O Clark, when the aircraft got into difficulties. F/O Clark, tried to land the aircraft but unfortunately it crashed near Seething, 9 miles SE of Norwich, and he was killed in the attempt. The remainder of the crew, having survived, transferred away from North Killingholme only to return later (in October 1944) with F/O Williams as pilot. See also F/Lt Williams crew page.

The following details are from the ORB:

"[The] aircraft was twice hit by Flak on its bombing run rendering its Port Outer engine unserviceable and after bombing the 
markers, the Port Inner had to be feathered when it caught fire. On the homeward track whilst over the North Sea the Starboard 
Inner Engine gave out, leaving only one engine serviceable and this was running hot. The crew decided to try to make for an 
English airfield, but when the coast had been crossed a lot of height was lost and the Captain ordered the crew to bale out. 
After holding the aircraft on an even keel to allow the crew to bale out, it is presumed that the aircraft was too low for the 
Captain to follow and in trying to land the aircraft hit overhead cables and crashed, the Pilot crashing with his aircraft and 
losing his life. His crew landed near Seething in Norfolk."

Other information about the flight and the target available here.

The entry on the 550 Squadron Roll of Honour is available here.