Air Commodore Charles Clarke, bomb aimer who became a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III – obituary

Charles Clarke
Charles Clarke Credit: Oliver Dixon/Imagewise

Air Commodore Charles Clarke, who has died aged 95, was a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III, and as recently as March this year he made a pilgrimage back to the scene of the “Great Escape” to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the event and to remember the 50 airmen murdered by the Gestapo.

Clarke, aged just 20, was the bomb aimer of a Lancaster of 619 Squadron shot down by a German night fighter over the Black Forest on the night of February 25 1944. He was returning from an attack on Schweinfurt, his 17th bombing mission. Three of his crew, including his Canadian pilot, did not survive.

Clarke arrived at Stalag Luft III a month before the mass break-out when 76 men escaped through a tunnel...

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