Rank & Name: Lt. Joseph William Greig Clark

Date of Death: N/A


CLARK, Lieutenant Joseph William Greig - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 February 1919. Home in Toronto (journalist); from 75th Battalion, CEF to RFC as observer; graded as Flying Officer, 6 April 1917. Served in No.13 Squadron (28 January to 6 April 1917), No.59 Squadron (6-18 April 1917), No.13 Squadron again (18 April to 15 August 1917); to Denham, 14 October 1917; National Archives of Canada RG.24 Accession 1995-96/670 notes that at Denham (Buckinghamshire) he was Assistant Instructor; was instructor in Bombs and Compasses, 13 October 1917 to 25 April 1918; took a Wireless Course at Denham in April 1918 before rejoining unit. To No.5 School of Military Aeronautics, 28 February 1918; returned as an observer to No.13 Squadron, 7 May to 23 December 1918; with No.59 Squadron, 23 December 1918 to 18 January 1919. Relinquished commission, 20 January 1919. The son of the editor of Toronto Daily Star (and brother of Greg Clark), he was Director of Public Relations for Canadian Armed Forces during Second World War.

On October 5 this officer carried out a very successful shoot, causing a fire and an explosion, and completely destroyed the position. During the shoot he was continuously harassed by eight Fokker biplanes, but exhibiting marked courage and skilful shooting, he drove down one in flames and dispersed the remainder.

NOTE: The following, from Air Ministry, gives more details than any standard a citation; he is described as "Flight Commander, No.13 Squadron".

On the 5th October [1918], whilst flying with Captain Bailey, carried out a pre-arranged shoot with 274th Siege Battery. He ranged this battery, and the battery went on to fire for effect, obtaining two direct hits on the target and causing a fire on the roadside in the battery position. The 274th Siege Battery put out "T" on completion of shoot, During this time he observed two hostile batteries active. On one of these he carried out a very successful ANF shoot, obtaining a direct hit on No.2 pit. During the fire for effect the whole battery position was demolished, and the observer went MQ as no more pits were visible. He had caused a fire and a series of explosions in the hostile position, which he undoubtedly destroyed. As the visibility had become extremely poor, Captain Clark decided to work from a point above the hostile battery, although there was a patrol of eight Fokker biplanes in the vicinity and there was a strong west wind blowing. The enemy aircraft attacked, but by his gallantry and skill Captain Clark shot down one, which he saw fall out of control and burst into flames on hitting the ground. The remainder of the formation were driven off and Captain Clark then completed the ANF shoot. "L" Battery AA report that they saw a Fokker biplane diving away very steeply from a fight at this time, but owing to poor visibility they did not actually see the machine burning on the ground.

The devotion to duty shown by Captain Clark on this occasion when he destroyed two hostile battery positions in spite of his being attacked by a large formation, one machine of which he also destroyed is worthy of the highest praise.

On the 28th October, these two officers were detailed to watch and report on progress made by the 57th Division in its advance towards the Canal de l'Escaut. They reconnoitred the area in front of the infantry from a height of 40 [400 ?] feet and discovered that the enemy had withdrawn to the east of the Canal. Realising that the infantry might advance more rapidly, they dropped a message on the advancing men, urging them to press on at once as they would find no opposition. They then returned to the Division and dropped a message informing them of their action. On returning to the infantry they noticed that they were all advancing hurriedly towards the Canal, on reaching which the infantry were enable to seize the crossings, but the enemy had been able to get into the trench line east of the Canal. It is certain that if Captain Bailey and Captain Clark had not shown such skill and resource the enemy would have had time to prevent our infantry from seizing the Canal crossings. Six photographs showed where the crossings were least damaged, and where material was lying which could be used for their repair. The whole reconnaissance was carried out at an average height of 500 feet, and often under very heavy machine gun fire.



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