The Trust is sad to report the passing of Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, thought to be one of the only two remaining veterans of the Battle of Britain.
Flt Lt Clark, who celebrated his 101st birthday earlier this month, had been living in a care home in North Yorkshire, where he enjoyed regular visits from family and friends.
Terry Clark was born in Croydon on 11 April 1919 and joined No 615 Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force at Kenley in March 1938 as an aircrafthand before training to become an air gunner, flying Hawker Hectors on Army Co-operation duties.
Clark joined No 219 Squadron at Catterick on 12 July 1940, two days into the Battle of Britain, and later trained on radar as a Radio Observer, flying in Beaufighters.
In July 1941 Clark was awarded the DFM after a number of notable successes intercepting and destroying enemy aircraft. On one sortie with Wing Cdr T G Pike the pair destroyed a Junkers Ju88 and a Heinkel He111. In later sorties with his regular pilot, Flying Officer D O Hobbis, they accounted for one unidentified enemy aircraft and two more He 111s.
Clark, whose role as a gunner and radio observer is the reason the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust refers always to ‘aircrew’ rather than ‘pilots’, was commissioned in May 1942.
In March 1944, Clark was given leave from training as a controller to visit a former colleague, Flying Officer D Robinson. Learning that Robinson’s navigator was unfit to fly, Clark took his place on a beach-head patrol which saw the pair destroy a Ju188. He left the RAF in November 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.
While there is no definitive list of the Few, the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust believes that Flt Lt Clark’s passing means that Group Captain John Hemingway, who lives in Ireland, is likely to be the last of the Few still with us.
A short tribute was paid to Flt Lt Clark as part of Friday’s (8 May) Facebook Live VE Day commemoration. Terry Clark leaves a son Roger, daughter-in-law Lesley, granddaughter Kate and two grandsons, Joseph and Robin.