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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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616 squadron badge
20.06.1942 No. 616 Squadron Spitfire Vb AD559 Sgt. Coulston

Operation: Air test

Date: 20th June 1942 (Saturday)

Unit: No. 616 Squadron 12 Group (motto: Nulla Rosa Sine Spina - No rose without a thorn')

Type: Spitfire Vb

Serial: AD559

Code: YQ-?

Base: RAF Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.

Location: North Sea off Sheringham Norfolk.

Pilot: Sgt. Warwick Ashling Clouston NZ/402452 RNZAF Age 21. Killed


The circumstances involving the crash are a little sketchy in that following a problem with the Spitfire, Sgt. Clouston lined up and attempted to land on a beach. During its approach witnesses on top of a cliff noticed children playing in the area and the pilot pulled up and turned his aircraft out to sea where he crashed at 18:15hrs.

Following reports that he was missing his body was recovered from the sea with a funeral held a few days later at Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk.

Above Scottow Cemetery, visited by Aircrew Remembered 2012

Burial Details:

Sgt. Warwick Ashling Clouston. Scottow Cemetery, Norfolk, Grave 269. Born on the 05th June 1921 at Auckland, the only son of Douglas Clark Clouston (who worked at the Auckland Star), and Kathleen Amelia Clouston (née Warwick), sister of Phillis of Milford, Auckland, New Zealand.

Further information: Sgt. Clouston proceeded to Canada on the completion of his training in New Zealand late in July, 1941. In August, 1941, he commenced further flying training on Yale and Harvard aircraft at No. 6 Service Flying Training School, Dunnville, Ontario. On the 5th December, 1941, he was awarded his flying badge and promoted to Sergeant.

A few days later he embarked for the United Kingdom, arriving at No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournmouth, late in December. On February 2nd, 1942, he was posted to No. 17 Advanced Flying Unit, Watton, Norfolk, for further training on Miles Master aircraft. Sgt. Clouston commenced operational training on Hurricane aircraft at No. 56 Operational Training Unit, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, late in March, 1942.

He afterwards spent short periods with Operational Training Units at Tealing and Kinnell, both in Angus, Scotland.

On the completion of the course in May, he was posted to No. 616 Squadron, Kingscliffe, Northamptonshire, where he flew Spitfire aircraft. From this base for the next month he was engaged on combat training. A total of 231 flying hours logged - 155 slo. with 17 on the Spitfire.

Researched for relatives of the pilot. With thanks to the following for further information supplied Errol Martin, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses' Vol. 2, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. New Zealand Weekly News, Auckland Memorial, New Zealand. Moomingpapa on Flickr. Also to Dave Homewood at the RNZAF forum. Ian Wedge from the 616 Squadron website.

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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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