Date: 14/07/1940
Squadron Code: TR-P
Serial Number: Blenheim IV R3665
Flight/Mission Details:

Base; Thorney Island.
Take off time: Unknown.
Op; Night Strike

P/O Clark and his crew crashed (all lost) on return –from a night strike against barges moored in the Bruges canal. Crashed into the sea of Shoreham (2 miles south of Saltdean, Sussex) at 0220 hours. They were all recovered from the sea. The ORB notes that they were believed to have been shot down by fighters, not stating whether they were enemy or RAF fighters.


Pilot Officer Henry Clark was the pilot of a Bristol Blenheim from 59 Squadron (RAF Coastal Command) that took off from Thorney Island on the late evening of 13th July 1940 at 10:50 pm for an operation to Bruges to bomb invasion barges moored in the canals. The other crew members were Sergeant David Morton (Observer) and Sergeant Frank Clayton (Wireless-operator/Air-gunner).

About 3 & 1⁄2 hours later a coast-watching Sea Scout reported an aircraft down in the sea 2 miles off Saltdean near Brighton. A motor lifeboat was launched at just after 3 am and about an hour later found the wreckage of an RAF machine and 3 bodies. These were the crew of the Blenheim. It is thought the Blenheim had been shot down by an enemy night-fighter. Sgt. Clayton was just 20 years old.

Pilot Officer Henry Alan Clark, service number 72590 who died 14/07/40 and was an RAF volunteer reserve of 59sqn. He is buried in the beautiful churchyard of St Peter's at Boughton monchelsea in Kent and the best time to visit his grave is when the wisteria is in bloom by the rear vestry door- stunning. St Peter's church has a wonderful millenium window which features amongst many other things related to the millenia a fighter plane!

(Battle of Britain Historical Society forum)



Crew Details:

All lost:

Source: The Other Few - Larry Donnelly

During WWII, the RAF used three-letter codes to identify their aircraft from a distance. Two large letters were painted before the roundel, which signified the squadron to which the aircraft belonged, and another letter was painted after the roundel which indicated the individual aircraft. Aditionally, there was the individual serial number for each aircraft, which was painted in a much smaller size, usually somewhere at the rear of the aircraft: (more)

Codes used by RAF 59 Squadron:

PJ Sep 1938 - Sep 1939
TR Sep 1939 - Oct 1942
1 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
WE Jul 1944 - Oct 1945
BY Oct 1945 - Jun 1946, Dec 1947 - Oct 1950