Preparation
  Pilot Officer Ian Clark - No. 24 Operational Training Unit  
 

Pilot Officer Ian Patterson Clark - RAFVR

 
 Pilot Officer Ian Clark RAFVR was serving as Wireless Operator on board Whitley MkV BD378  during a thousand bomber raid on Bremen on June 25/26, 1942. The aircraft, belonging to #24 Operational Training Unit, departed  Honeybourne at 2220hrs.  Their last contact was when an S.O.S signal was heard on the transmitter. Sealand responded at 0411hrs but nothing more was heard from the crew, the entire crew was lost. This was one of three Whitleyís lost from 24 OTU on this operation.

The crew consisted of:

Name

Service

Trade

Hometown

Age

F/O James Monro

RNZAF

Pilot

Wellington, New Zealand

21

F/O Gordon Lind

RAAF

Navigator

Victoria, Australia

23

F/Sgt John Storey

RAFVR

Bomb Aimer

-

-

P/O Ian Clark

RAFVR

W/Op/AG

Dundee,Angus,Scotland

26

Sgt Harold Hudson

RAFVR

Rear Gunner

-

-

 F/O Lind is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. The other four crew members rest in the Westerschelling General Cemetery on the Dutch Island of Terschelling.

 

 Pilot Officer Ian Patterson Clark RAFVR, born on 9th April 1916, was the son of John and Lily Clark of Craigmills, Strathmartine, Dundee, Angus, Scotland. He was one of 5 brothers (William killed in the 1st World War), Alexander, Allan and George and sisters Lily and Margaret. Ian was aged eight when his mother died and was brought up by his aunt, Lily. He is remembered by his family as having a great sense of fun. He was a member of the despatch room at John Leng & Co, Bank Street, Dundee.

 Ian was awaiting promotion as he had completed all of his tours of operations with his squadron and was posted to #24 OTU as an instructor but all personnel were called to take part in the thousand bomber raid on Bremen. On July 18th 1942 he was due to marry Miss May McMahon of Dundee but was sadly killed a few weeks before.

The following letter was written by Ian Clark to Allan Bush Clark, his elder brother.

 

Sun 21/6/42

Dear Allan,

Received your letter OK and glad to hear you are all keeping fine at Waterside.

Iím sorry you wonít be able to come to the wedding but it canít be helped.

Iím quite sure May and I will be happy and I am looking forward to the day very much. The arrangements are coming along fine & May has had a busy time but things are more or less fixed now.

I see you are to be busy during the summer one way or another, not only you but Helen as well.

Iím still carrying on fine here and getting used to Instructing now. Actually I do some Instructing on the Turret and Guns as I am in charge of the Gunners in our Flight. However I do a spot of flying occasionally, local stuff only.

Iím afraid my news is very scarce just now as we just carry on as usual. Iím quite used to this place now and rather like it. There are some nice villages in the district and as I have a bike I get around in the evenings. The weather is lovely just now and warm & I like to get out in the evenings.

I think that is about all again, Allan. My kindest regards to Helen and the family. Cheerio for the present.

Yours aff.

Ian

 The following  is a transcript of a letter that Allan Bush Clark received from his eldest brother Alexander Clark, informing him of Ianís death.

 

Dear Allan

I write to you this note with a heavy heart, as there is now no doubt but that we have lost Ian. I have had another telegram which I will perhaps be better to give you word for word.

It reads. Deeply regret to inform you according to telegram from international Red Cross quoting German information your brother Sgt. Clark previously reported missing is now believed killed in action (stop) report states his body was washed ashore at Terschelling on 27th June. Letter follows.

The report fits in too well with information we already had for any possibility of a mistake having been made.

I have already passed on the sad news to the others here and a heart-breaking round it has been. May was out when I called and I cannot say that I was sorry. Telling her Father and Mother was bad enough. However there are duties that one must face up to.

Lily is feeling it very badly and it is quite understandable when you think back. She was really all the mother he ever had.

Well, Allan, there is really little more I can say. I know without telling the deep sense of loss this letter will bring you, just as you will know that here we share it with you.

Our young days at the Mill forged a link of affection that only comes home to us at a time like this.

Yours aff.

Sandy

 

 
 
  Photos courtesy of David Baird and Dorothy Starling, research by Linda Ibrom.