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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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No. 420 Squadron Crest
05.03.1945 No. 420 Squadron RCAF Halifax III NA184 PT-W F/O Earl William Clark

Operation: Chemnitz, Germany

Date: March 5 1945 (Monday)

Unit: No. 420 Squadron RCAF - Motto: Pugnamus finitum; "We fight to the finish"

Type: Handley Page Halifax III

Serial: NA184

Code: PT-W

Base: RAF Tholthorpe, North Riding of Yorkshire

Location: Crashed near RAF Dishforth, North Riding of Yorkshire

Pilot: F/O. Earl William Clark J89818 RCAF Age 27 - Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Burton Kirby 1606854 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (2)

Nav: P/O. B.V. Freed J40803 RCAF - Injured (3)

Air/Bmr: F/O. William Hugh Oakes J40103 RCAF Age 25 - Killed (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/Sgt. Robert J. Arnold R252886 RCAF - Injured (5)

Air/Gnr: WO1. Harold Morris O’Conner R98689 RCAF - Injured (6)

Air/Gnr: P/O. Jerome Aquinius Epoch J94406 Age 20 - Killed (7)


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REASON FOR LOSS:

Severe airframe icing. For further details click JB122 ADDENDUM: AIRFRAME ICING - Loss 1




BURIAL DETAILS, MEMORIALS AND EPITAPHS




(1) F/O Earl William Clark was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 19,

His epitaph reads:

The path of duty

Was the way to glory

Son of Richard and Clara Clark; husband of Eunice Clark, of Verdun, Province of Quebec, Canada




(2) Sgt James Burton Kirby was buried at Windsor Cemetery, Berkshire - Sec. A.N. Grave 15A

His epitaph reads

In proud and loving memory

Of our darling Jimmy

So sadly missed by

Mother and Barbara

Son of James and Winifred Kirby, of Windsor

(4) F/O William Hugh Oakes was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 20.

His epitaph reads

The love

That makes undaunted

The final sacrifice

Son of William H. and Helen B. Oakes, of Swan Lake, Manitoba, Canada.


(7) P/O Jerome Aquinius Epoch was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 18.

His epitaph reads

May he rest in peace

Son of George Alphonsus and Jane Teresa Epoch, of

Kenilworth, Ontario, Canada.





References:

Aircrew Remembered Archive Report: JB122 Addendum- Airframe Icing. Journey’s End, Kevin Wilson - Chapter Fourteen, A COLD AND SILENT KILLER pp. 266-292. Library and Archives Canada/ancestry.ca. Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

Photo Credits:

LAC/ancestry.ca: Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947. A1. F/O Earl Clark- File 25053 Image 189. B1. P/O Jerome Epoch- File 27471 Image 157.

Co-Authors:

John Naylor

Maureen Hicks

Pete Pearson

Reg Price DFC, 625 Squadron vet

Submission by John Proctor, Jack Albrecht and Nic Lewis.

JA 08-09-2019

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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