Lancaster NG388 was being utilised for a Bullseye Night Training Exercise on 3rd January 1946
Its seven-man crew comprised:
- KW Clarine (Pilot)
- Corsar (Navigator)
- Peters (Wireless Operator)
The Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “Four aircraft were detailed for a bullseye night training exercise over Germany. Two collided in the air after an hours flying. NG388 was badly damaged in the nose, exposing the crew, captained by KW Clarine to severe frostbite. The plight of two members Corsar (Navigator) and Peters (Wireless Operator) was serious and both were later admitted to RAF Hospital, Ely. None of the crew of SW315, captained by J Robinson were injured. Both aircraft landed safely at Woodbridge.
KW Clarine Citation
KW Clarine was awarded the Air Force Cross for his action. The citation reads:
On the night of the 3rd January, 1946, Flight Lieutenant Clarine was captain of an aircraft which was taking part in an operational exercise over the North Sea. When about 165 miles from the English coast another aircraft collided with his. The fin of the other aircraft broke off the nose of this officer’s aircraft and caused him to lose control. After losing 5,000 feet in height, he regained control of the aircraft. All the important instruments were unserviceable, the blast of air through the aircraft had blown away one of his gloves and goggles and all the navigational charts were torn to shreds; nevertheless Flight Lieutenant Clarine set course for the English coast. After two hours flying in the most hazardous and painful conditions, this officer, whose limbs were numb and useless and whose eyes were swollen and streaming, landed his aircraft safely at Woodbridge, having navigated to this airfield without the aid of his navigator or wireless operator. Flight Lieutenant Clarine by his skill and heroic determination in the face of the most cruel odds, saved the lives of his crew and a valuable aircraft.