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OBITUARY

William Terence Montague Clark DFM AE

11 April 1919 – 7 May 2020

One of the last survivors of the Battle of Britain, Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, has died aged 101.

Mr Clark, originally from Croydon, had been living at a North Yorkshire care home where he died on Thursday, the eve of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

His death leaves John 'Paddy' Hemingway as the last member of 'The Few' who took to the skies in summer 1940.

Mr Clark served as a radar operator during World War Two, defending the UK against Luftwaffe attacks.

The Battle of Britain led to the deaths of 544 RAF pilots and aircrew out of a group of 3,000.

Their bravery and sacrifice in withstanding the greater numbers of German pilots of the Luftwaffe and a possible invasion was recognised by then Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few,' he told MPs.

Terry Clark was a British nightfighter navigator/radar operator in the Royal Air Force from 1938 to 1945. He enlisted in the Auxiliary Air Force in 1938 joining 615 Squadron at Kenley in March 1938 as an aircrafthand, then trained to be an aircraft gunner in Hawker Hectors on Army cooperation duties.

He joined 219 Squadron at Catterick on 12 July 1940, later training on radar as a radio observer, flying in Bristol Beaufighters. On the night of 16/17 April 1941 Clark flew with the commanding officer of 219 Squadron, Wing Commander T.G. Pike, when Pike's own navigator was taken ill. They intercepted and destroyed a Junkers 88 and a Heinkel He 111 in the Guildford area.

During the night of 27/28 April 1941, flying with Flying Officer D.O. Hobbis, his regular pilot, Clark assisted in the destruction of an unidentified enemy aircraft, on each of 1/2 June and 13/14 June 1941 they shot down a Heinkel He 111.

RAF Benevolent Fund controller Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot said: 'Our condolences go to Terry's family and friends at this sad time. This news is especially poignant as we remember the bravery and sacrifice of all those who fought for us today, the 75th anniversary of VE Day.'

'Terry belonged to a generation of servicemen and women who answered their country's call without question.We owe a debt of gratitude to every one of them and their legacy must be to remember their service.'


SY 2020-05-10


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• Last Modified: 13 March 2021, 10:46 •