14.01.1944 No 247 Squadron Typhoon Ib JR196 ZYP F.O. Heathcote
Date: 14th January 1944
Unit: No. 247 Squadron (motto: 'Rise from the East')
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: RAF Merston
Location: Ouville-l'Abbaye, France
Pilot: F/O. Clifford Clark Heathcote Aus/401440 RAAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
98 aircraft from the squadron left RAF Merston on this operation.
During the return trip from bombing of the target at Doudeville the aircraft was probably hit by debris from the explosion over the target as no flak was encountered. He was advised over the R/T that smoke could be seen pouring from the engine, he did not reply. None of the others members of the squadron saw him bale out although visual was obscured by the glare of the sun. They did notice that he jettisoned the canopy in preparation to bale out at about 4,000 ft.
He crashed at location shown at 10:30 hrs. The body of the pilot was removed from the wreckage by the Germans and taken away.
Locals reported that the Germans guarded the wreckage for some 12 days before it could be removed.
Post war investigation by No. 2 Missing Research and Enquiry Unit (MREU) on the 22nd July 1946, established that he was buried later that day at the cemetery indicated below.
F/O. Clifford Clark Heathcote. Grandcourt War Cemetery. Grave D.5. Born on the 26th February 1920 at Essendon, the son of Robert Betts Heathcote and Ivy Faulkiner Heathcote, of 58 Crisp Street, Victoria and later of 404 Collins Street, Melbourne. Australia. Enlisted on the 05th December 1941. Grave inscription reads: "His Duty Fearlessly And Nobly Done. Ever Remembered".
Researched for relatives of the pilot with thanks to the Australian Archives for detailed information and photograph.
For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.