Sergeant Clive Edward Wigram CLIFFORD

Service No: 402565
Born: Killara NSW, 30 July 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 September 1940
Unit: No. 44 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Waddington
Died: Air Operations (No. 44 Squadron Lancaster aircraft R5493), off Lorient, France, 24 March 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Dr. William P. Clifford and Doris Adrienne Clifford, of Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1950 hours on 24 March 1942 Lancaster R5493 took off from Station Waddington to carry out a mine laying operation off Lorient, France. At 2308 hours a radio message from the aircraft was received giving its position, but the message faded. Red flares were also seen 5 miles off Lizzard Point but it was not certain if these came from R5493. The aircraft did not return to base and subsequent searches found no trace of the missing aircraft or crew. Following post war investigations and enquiries among local residents on the Island of Croix located off the French coast 8 miles south west of Lorient, it was established that R5493 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and exploded in the air, crashing in the sea off the north east coast of the island. No bodies were recovered from the crash, and it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of R5493 were:

Sergeant John Boyd (985883) (RAFVR) (Second Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Clive Edward Wigram Clifford (402565) (First Navigator)
Sergeant Edward Burgess Cluff (1164937) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Operator)
Sergeant John McNally Davidson (527607) (RAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant William Harold Flower (1381257) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Richard Alfred Marston (777687) (RAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Alistair Fraser Murdoch (778282) (RAF) (Second Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Lyster Warren-Smith (1104095) (RAFVR) (Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/97/131

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