Robert Allan "Bob" Clothier

RCAF   F/L   -   DFC

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This photo was taken on Bob's last trip after his second tour. Crew members are - (in front) F/O Larry Corbeil, Bomb Aimer & Sgt. Joe McCart, Flight Engineer. (in back) F/L Bob Austen, Wireless Air Gunner; Sandy De Zorzi, Navigator; Bob Clauthier, Pilot; Tom Murdoch, Gunner & Bob Fitzgerald, Rear Gunner. As seen here, 408 squadron was using Halifax B. Mk VII's in October 1944.

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CLOTHIER, F/L Robert Allan (J15680) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.408 Squadron.
Award effective 5 December 1944 as per London Gazette of that date &
AFRO 293/45 dated 16 February 1945.

This officer has completed numerous sorties in the role of pilot, involving attacks on most of the enemy's heavily defended targets. On all occasions he has pressed home his attacks with great determination and by his personal example of courage, coolness and confidence has set an example which has inspired all with whom he has flown.


Born 22 October 1921 in Prince Rupert, B.C.
Home in Vancouver.
Enlisted there 19 October 1940.
To "E”, 10 November 1940.
To No.1 ITS, Toronto, 27 January 1941
(graduated and promoted LAC, 5 March 1941).
To No.1 EFTS, Malton, 16 March '41 (grad. 4 May 1941) then
To No.4 SFTS, Sask. (grad. & promoted Sgt., 27 July 1941).
To Embarkation Depot, 28 July 1941.
To RAF overseas, 19 August 1941.
Posted to 408 Squadron.
Commissioned 9 June 1942.
Promoted Flying Officer, 9 December 1942.
Appears to have been repatriated at some point.
Posted overseas again in March 1944.
Back to 408 Squadron for tour number two.
Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 15 June 1944.
Repatriated 28 October 1944.
To No.5 OTU, Boundary Bay, 3 December 1944 (instructing).
On 23 Dec. 1944, while taking off in Mitchell FB315 for an
"Air compass swing" it appears he lost power in the port
engine causing the plane to return to the runway and then
veer slightly off to the left into a deep drainage ditch about
250 yards from the end of the runway. The bomber broke up
and burned out killing all three of the other airmen onboard
(F/O Tom Walmsley, F/O George Spencer & Cpl. Bob Dutton).
Although Clothier endured a broken back and other injuries,
somehow he survived.
Sources say he was hospitalised for two years.
To Release Centre, 26 October 1945
(unsure if he was physically able to be there though).
Retired 9 January 1946.
Bob returned to school (studied architecture) but preferred
sculpting, painting and acting.
Today he is best remembered as "Relic" from the popular
CBC TV series "The Beachcombers".
Award sent by registered mail 21 May 1956.
He took off & "touched the face of God" 10 Feb. 1999.




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Thanks to Air Force Magazine (1999 23 02) for the Photo

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