22.08.1943 No. 485 Squadron Spitfire LF.1X EN631 P/O.Clark
Operation: Ramrod 212
Date: 22nd August 1943 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 485 Squadron (11 Group)
Type: Spitfire LF.IX
Base: RAF Biggin Hill, Kent
Location: Vatteville-la-Rue, France
Pilot: P/O. Fraser Dudley Clark NZ/414590 RNZAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.
Taking off at 18:10 hrs from RAF Biggin Hill in Kent to escort USAAF B.26 Marauders that were to bomb the airfield at Beaumont-le-Roger. When over France they were attacked by 50-60 Luftwaffe fighters from JG2 who made 6 claims on this operation.
2 Spitfires from 66 Squadron who were on the same operation were lost:
Spitfire Vb W3719 LZ-K Flown by P/O. William Furniss-Roe 141860 RAFVR - shot down but evaded capture. Escaped via Spain and then shot down again flying Spitfire IX EN575 on the 25th January 1944 and again he evaded capture. Taken off operations and posted as a lecturer in escape and evasion to various operational and trying units.
Wrote his autobiography "Believed Safe - A Fighter Pilot's Double Escapade" published by William Kimber in 1987. ISBN 13: 9780718306465. William Furniss-Roe passed away on the on the 5th April 1990.
Spitfire Vb BM560 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Arthur Henry Hill AUS/401789 RAAF - shot down and killed near Bernay, France. Born on the 20th April 1922 at Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia. The son of Charles Henry and Mary Gladys Hill, of the same birth town. Buried at Bernay Communal Cemetery (Ste. Croix). Row 1. Grave 4. Epitaph reads: "A Gallant Knight Of The Skies".
4 Spitfires from 485 Squadron were also lost:
Spitfire IX EN634 Flown by F/O. M.G. Sutherland NZ/413506 RNZAF taken PoW after treatment when it is understood had to have a limb amputated. Tried to escape from the hospital in Rouen but quickly captured. Held at Stalag Luft Sagan with a PoW number 3328. Passed away on the 12th August 2001 age 87.
Spitfire IX BS543 Flown by Fl/Sgt. Leslie Samuel McQueen White MiD. NZ/413919 RNZAF though initially captured he soon escaped and evaded capture via Spain and returned to his unit. His biography "Pilot on the Run" written by Errol Brathwaite, published by Hutchinson in 1986. ISBN-13: 978-0091651503. Passed away in 1988.
Spitfire IX JL223 Flown by F/O. John Donald Rae DFC NZ/402896 RNZAF (known as 'JD') shot down and take PoW. Held at Stalag Luft Sagan with PoW number 2383. During his 'stay' he had attempted and escape but was quickly captured. Had previously served in Malta with 249 Squadron and a fighter ace with 13 claims attributed to him. He passed away on the 19th December 2008 age 88 of Kerikeri, North Island, New Zealand.
Spitfire IX EN631 Flown by 21 year old, P/O. Fraser Dudley Clark was shot down over Vatteville-la-Rue on the left bank of the Seine river and killed.
Although the fighter boys had taken huge hits, they accomplished their task, not a single B.26 Marauder was lost.
P/O. Fraser Dudley Clark. Pont-Audemer Communal Cemetery. Row C. Grave 19. Born on the 30th June 1922, the son of George and Jessie Agnes Clark (née Richards), of Wanganui, Wellington New Zealand. A total of 556 flying hours logged and on his 68th operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: