John Hugh CLARK

Service Number: NZ414740
RNZAF Trade: Radio Direction Finder Mechanic(G)(1)
Date of Enlistment: 22nd of August 1941
Rank Achieved: Leading Aircraftman
Flying Hours: Nil
Operational Sorties: Nil

Date of Birth: 19th of August 1920, in Cambridge
Personal Details:
John was the son of Mr. J.D. Clark and Fanny Clark, and younger brother of Grant Clark. Around two years after he was born, the family moved back to Dunedin, from where they'd previously come.

Before the war John worked in the Social Security Department in Wellington. He married a WAAF Corporal Radar Operator, Isobel Millar Nicol Clark (nee Lochrie, born 14 June 1922, died 4 Sept 2005, service number 473573). Together they had a son, Ian Clark.

Service Details: John joined the RNZAF on the 22nd of August 1941, and he did his Intital Training Wing course at RNZAF Station Harewood, in Christchurch. He was then posted to RNZAF Station Wigram where he trained at the Electrical & Wireless School as a radar mechanic, on Course 18/1 R.D.F. School.

R.D.F. stood for Radio Direction Finding, and was the original name for radar. He qualified in the maintenance of ground radars, and received notice that he was posted to Britain.

On the voyage across the Pacific the troopship he was onboard was damaged in a storm, losing its rudder, and had to limp into Panama. However he carried on to Britain a few weeks later, and on arrival he was posted to Walton-on-the-Naze, and the mouth of the River Thames.

He would go on to serve in radar units at Beachy Head, and Rosehearty on the east coast of Scotland, and the islands of Barra and Tiree off the west coast of Scotland.

Died: 2nd of September 1981, at Darfield
Buried at: Trinity Church, Darfield

Connection with Cambridge: John was born in Cambridge

Thanks To: John's son Ian Clark, and David Duxbury, for information on this page

Above: John's training course at Wigram. Back Row, left to right: John Berry, Wilf Gibbons, Geirge Adkins, Jack Condon, Dave Brown, George Waters.
Middle Row: Stan Johnstone, John Goodare, Jack Laskey, Dave Firth, Bill Brown, Ham Duthie, Clive Cook.
Front Row: G.R. 'Paull' Baillie, Eddie Birt, Corporal Jack Grahame, John Clark, Graham Goodger, Laurie Boyd,
Absent" John Finnie, Ray Arnold, Tom Joines

Left to right: John Clark, Norman Pratt, Ted Collins (in the 'aircraft'), Clive Cook, George Clark.

John Clark making a broadcast home from Britain at the BBC for Christmas 1942


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