Daniel Joseph CLIFFORD

Serial Number: NZ401753 (previously A401753) 
RNZAF Trade: Pilot (under training), then Observer
Date of Enlistment: 2nd of July 1940
Rank Achieved: Pilot Officer
Flying Hours: 215hrs (203 hours as Navigator, 12.05 hrs as pilot)
Operational Sorties: 2 Operations

Date of Birth: Born on the 5th of November 1918, at Napier, Hawkes Bay
Personal Details: Daniel was the son of Daniel Joseph Clifford (senior) and Nora Theresa Clifford (nee Wrenn). He was the husband of Jean Margaret Clifford (nee Wemyss, later Mrs Corry) of Cambridge.
Daniel and Jean had one child, named Margaret Josephine Clifford.

Daniel was educated at Sacred Heart College in Auckland where he played rugby for the First XV team. Following his schooling, Daniel worked as a clerical cadet for New Zealand Rail in Auckland

Service Details: Daniel began his Air Force service at RNZAF Station Levin, beginning his training at the Ground Training School as an Airman Pilot u/t on the 2nd of July 1940.

He began flying training at No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School, RNZAF Station New Plymouth, on the 27th of July 1940. However his pilot training was terminated when he had amassed just 12.05 hours as a pilot. The reason for this is unknown, but it was obviously not due to a medical condition that prevented flying because Daniel was remustered to the trade of Air Observer u/t on the 1st of September 1940, another crucial flying role.

On the 5th of September he was posted to No. 1 Air Observer School at RNZAF Station Ohakea, and on the 28th of October was shifted to the Ground Training School. He embarked for Canada on the 5th of December 1940, aboard the Aorangi.

He was attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force for further training on the 23rd of December 1940, and arrived at No. 4 Air Observers School at London, Ontario, to begin trade training on the 27th of December 1940.

Daniel progressed from there to No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School, at RCAF Station Fingal, on the 18th of March 1941.

On the 26th of April 1941 Daniel was awarded his Air Observer Badge and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. The next day he went on to begin a course at No. 1 Air Navigation School at Rivers, Manitoba.

Daniel was commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer a month later on the 27th of May 1941. he proceeded to No. 1 'M' Depot at Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 1st of June 1941, and embarked for the UK via Iceland on a troopship on the 18th of June 41. he was now attached to the Royal Air Force.

Upon arrival in britain on the 17th of July Daniel was sent to No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre at Bournemouth in the south of England to acclimatise and await a posting. On the 21st of July he received orders to proceed to No. 27 Operational Training Unit at Lichfield in Staffordshire to crew up and train on Vickers Wellingtons.

Following this course Daniel and his crew joined No. 142 Squadron, at RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire, also flying in Wellington bombers, on the 25th of October 1941.

Details of Death: At 17.40 hours on the 17th of January 1942, Daniel took off for a raid on Bremen, Germany in Vickers Wellington VI V9126 of No 142 Squadron, RAF, from Waltham, Lincolnshire. The aircraft was last heard from when it was 75 miles east-northeast of the base and it is assumed to have crashed into the North Sea. This was Daniel's second operation, and hel was aged just 23. All the crew were lost.
Commemorated at: All six crew are commemorated on Panel 115 of the Runnymede Memorial.

Connection with Cambridge: Daniel was formerly a resident of Cambridge, New Zealand prewar, and his wife Jean was originally from Cambridge, although she was living at 'Rothesay', Browns Bay, north of Auckland at the time of his death..

For Your Tomorrow by Errol Martyn
AIR 118/62 /b RNZAF biographies of deceased personnel 1939-45 Vol 2 Bo-Cl
Cambridge Museum records via Eris Parker
The Waikato Independent newspaper dated 11th of September 1943
Rochelle Cook (Daniel's granddaughter)


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