The History of 625 Squadron Losses
05.03.1945 No. 420 Squadron RCAF Halifax III NA184 PT-W F/O Earl William Clark

Operation: Chemnitz, Germany

Date: March 5 1945 (Monday)

Unit: No. 420 Squadron RCAF - Motto: Pugnamus finitum; "We fight to the finish"

Type: Handley Page Halifax III

Serial: NA184

Code: PT-W

Base: RAF Tholthorpe, North Riding of Yorkshire

Location: Crashed near RAF Dishforth, North Riding of Yorkshire

Pilot: F/O. Earl William Clark J89818 RCAF Age 27 - Killed (1)

Fl/Eng: Sgt. James Burton Kirby 1606854 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (2)

Nav: P/O. B.V. Freed J40803 RCAF - Injured (3)

Air/Bmr: F/O. William Hugh Oakes J40103 RCAF Age 25 - Killed (4)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: F/Sgt. Robert J. Arnold R252886 RCAF - Injured (5)

Air/Gnr: WO1. Harold Morris O’Conner R98689 RCAF - Injured (6)

Air/Gnr: P/O. Jerome Aquinius Epoch J94406 Age 20 - Killed (7)


Severe airframe icing. For further details click JB122 ADDENDUM: AIRFRAME ICING - Loss 1


(1) F/O Earl William Clark was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 19,

His epitaph reads:

The path of duty

Was the way to glory

Son of Richard and Clara Clark; husband of Eunice Clark, of Verdun, Province of Quebec, Canada

(2) Sgt James Burton Kirby was buried at Windsor Cemetery, Berkshire - Sec. A.N. Grave 15A

His epitaph reads

In proud and loving memory

Of our darling Jimmy

So sadly missed by

Mother and Barbara

Son of James and Winifred Kirby, of Windsor

(4) F/O William Hugh Oakes was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 20.

His epitaph reads

The love

That makes undaunted

The final sacrifice

Son of William H. and Helen B. Oakes, of Swan Lake, Manitoba, Canada.

(7) P/O Jerome Aquinius Epoch was buried at Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery - Sec. H. Row P. Grave 18.

His epitaph reads

May he rest in peace

Son of George Alphonsus and Jane Teresa Epoch, of

Kenilworth, Ontario, Canada.


Aircrew Remembered Archive Report: JB122 Addendum- Airframe Icing. Journey’s End, Kevin Wilson - Chapter Fourteen, A COLD AND SILENT KILLER pp. 266-292. Library and Archives Canada/ Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

Photo Credits:

LAC/ Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947. A1. F/O Earl Clark- File 25053 Image 189. B1. P/O Jerome Epoch- File 27471 Image 157.


John Naylor

Maureen Hicks

Pete Pearson

Reg Price DFC, 625 Squadron vet

Submission by John Proctor, Jack Albrecht and Nic Lewis.

JA 08-09-2019

© 2004-2024 John Albrecht