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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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420 Squadron Crest
13/14.10.1942 No. 420 Squadron Wellington III BJ783 KW-F Sgt. Clinton

Operation: Kiel

Date: 13/14th October 1942 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 420 Squadron

Type: Wellington III

Serial: BJ783

Code: KW-F

Base: RAF Driffield, Yorkshire

Location: Rectory Farm, Beeford

Pilot: Sgt. Richard Seymour Clinton J/16202 RCAF Age 29. - injured (1)

Pilot: Sgt Joseph Albert Delorme R/101687 RCAF - injured (2)

Obs: Sgt Alfred George Rowe J/16574 RCAF Age 23. - escaped injury (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Joe Richard Latremouille R/91339 RCAF Age 19. - injured (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Donavan Copeland R/78486 RCAF Age 22. - escaped injury (5)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Jock S. Cuthbert RAFVR Age 22. - escaped injury (6)


Taking off at 18:30 hrs. from RAF Driffield in Yorkshire the crew left on an operational flight to bomb Kiel but lost power in one engine on the return leg of the flight.

The aircraft crashed making a forced landing near Rectory Farm, Beeford at 00:55 hrs.

(1) P/O. Richard Seymour Clinton - A pilot in 425 Squadron his DFC Award was effective from 1st July 1943 as per London Gazette dated 13th July 1943. An American and born in Whitney Point, New York where he also lived. Enlisted at Ottawa on the 19th May 1941. Trained at No 1 ITS where he graduated from on 3rd July 1941, No 9 EFTS, graduated on the 20th August 1941 and No 5 SFTS where he graduated from on 17th November 1941. Commissioned in 1942. Received his DFC from King George on the 19th of October 1943.

Citation reads-

“This officer has been engaged in many successful sorties over enemy territory against a large variety of targets including Kiel, Hamburg, Essen and Cologne. He has completed these missions with consistent skill and courage, setting an inspiring example of skilful pilotage, cool judgement and determination which has been an inspiration to his crew”

Richard Clinton survived the war and worked for American Expat Airlines flying aircraft across the Atlantic and from Newfoundland to New York as part of the United States Air Transport Command.

He was killed in a flying accident in 1948 (No details regarding this - are you able to assist?)

(2) Sgt. Joseph Albert Delorme of St. Adolphe, Manitoba, Canada - during an operation to Hamburg whilst with 425 Squadron on Wellington III BJ764. The aircraft was attacked by the Luftwaffe ace, Oblt. Ludwig Becker near Raard west of Dokkum in the Netherlands. Two of the crew baled out of the aircraft, one of

whom was Sgt. Joseph Delorme. He became a PoW having the number of 881 and held at Stalag Luft Heydekrug for the remainder of the war (along with the Wireless operator, Sgt J.R.A. Pambrum R/119711 RCAF). Sadly, although the pilot of the Wellington (26 year old, Fl/Sgt. Raymond Rogers Foltz R/79246 RCAF from New York City, USA) managed to fly the aircraft back home, he and the remaining 3 other crew members were killed when they crashed at Beetley, north west of Norwich in Norfolk whilst attempting to land the damaged aircraft at Swanton Morley.

(3) Sgt Alfred George Rowe of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, (4) Sgt. Joe Richard Latremouille of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, (5) Sgt. Thomas Donavan Copeland of Dundalk, Ontario, Canada - during an operation to Essen whilst with 434 Squadron on Lancaster X KB834 WL-Y they were hit by flak whilst over the target. The pilot, 25 year old, Fl/Lt. Raymond John Fern J/15681 RCAF was killed along with 5 other crew were killed. The only survivor, F/O. Joseph Alfred Henri Bernard “Ben” Marceau was treated by the Germans for his serious injuries - eventually liberated and taken to Archibald McIndoe’s special unit, the RCAF Wing at Queen Victoria Cottage Hospital, East Grinstead, Sussex for further treatment to his burns and injuries before returning to his wife in Canada. Sadly he passed away on the 10th of December 2008 in Montreal, PQ, Canada.

(6) Sgt. S. Cuthbert - sadly, no further information available - are you able to assist?

Burial details:

None, all crew escaped. Details of burials described on other pages and databases within our website.

Researched for Aircrew Remembered May 2017 by Linda Ibrom. With thanks to Pat Zelikowitz (her mother had been married to Sgt Alfred George Rowe). Esme Fern, widow of Fl/Lt. Fern, Cynthia Morrow (née Fern) and his family for the personal information and photographs. Vernon Harcourt Simms (father of Linda Ibrom, researcher) for the photographs of Fl/Lt. Rowe and his wife and the dedication to Fl/Lt. Rowe in the front of one of his published books. Fred Carter and the family of Fl/Lt. Latremouille. To the late Ben Marceau for his friendship. Finally thanks to Matt Lacroix, Richard Kovel and Alan Soderstrom. For further details our thanks to the following sources shown below.

LI - 31.05.2017

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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', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. 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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