25.07.1944 No. 453 Squadron Spitfire IX NH494 W/O. 'Clarrie' Seeney
Date: 25th July 1944 (Tuesday)
Unit: No. 453 Squadron
Type: Spitfire IX
Serial: NH494 (1)
Code: Not known
Base: Advanced Landing Ground B.11 Longues, France
Location: Argenton - Vimoutier Road, France
Pilot: W/O. ‘Clarrie’ Clarence Alfred Seeney AUS/414519 RAAF Age 21. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
During the early hours of the 25th July the pilot was one of four aircraft Strafing German road movements on the Argenton - Vimoutier Road. The other pilots stated that they thought that he had been hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed on the Argenton - Vimoutier Road
During an interview with the Mayor Msr. Duclos he stated that the aircraft came in very low and struck the power lines bordering the Argenton - Vimoutier Road - and crashed at 06:45 hrs bursting into flames. The Germans handed the body over to the French locals for burial together with his id discs, pocket book and ring.
The squadron lost 3 aircraft during this operation:
Spitfire IX PL227 Flown by F/O. Leith who crash landed his Spitfire - captured and then escaped and returned to England on the 22nd august 1944.
Spitfire IX PL313 Flown by 23 year old, W/O. Alan William Dowding AUS/425139 RAAF baled out whilst at 800 ft - slightly injured (reported as a broken hip) captured almost immediately by German artillery soldiers to become a PoW. (shown right)
Above: 453 Squadron pilots with their mascot ‘Sprog’ L-R: W/O. ‘Clarrie’ Clarence Alfred Seeney AUS/414519 RAAF, F/O. Roger Bush AUS/15326 RAAF (2), Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Charles Kinross AUS/409147 RAAF (3), Fl/Sgt. Herbert Frank Watts AUS/413296 RAAF (4), Fl/Sgt. Roderick Lyall AUS/409160 RAAF (5), W/O. Jock Young (6), F/O. F.J. Catchpole (7), Fl/Lt. Henry Walter Ritchie Sharp AUS/261892 (8). (courtesy Australian Archives)
(1) Some publications have the aircraft serial number listed as PL227.
(2) 25 year old, F/O. Roger Bush - Engineer Officer. Born 01st September 1918 in Kent, England. Married to Maisie. Prior to service worked as a cabinet maker. Survived the war - no further details.
(3) 22 years old, Pilot - Fl/Sgt. Kenneth Charles Kinross from Essendon, Victoria, Australia. Flying Spitfire IX sadly blue on blue accident - shot down by USAAF P-47 South-West Bayeux and killed. Buried at Bayeux War Cemetery. Grave IV.E.10.
(4) 22 years old, Pilot - Fl/Sgt. Herbert Frank Watts. Born 10th September 1922 in Taree, New South Wales, Australia. A farmhand previous to service, which he left in December 1945 as a F/O. 514 flying hours logged. Injured during an attack on the Squadron airfield, Hottet-Les-Bogues, Normandy France on the 13/14th August 1944 when 20 year old, W/O. Mervyn John Watson AUS/421610 RAAF of Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia, killed (shown left), W/O. Ronald Francis Cross AUS/413366 RAAF seriously injured, W/O. Joseph Armstrong Boulton AUS/420544 RAAF seriously injured, others include: P/O. R.F. Cross 413366, Sgt. Coates 14921, LAC W. Marchant 1699424 RAF.
(5) Fl/Sgt. Roderick Lyall 12th July 1944 - Flying Spitfire IX NH274 FU-V Hit by flak, captured by the SS, escaped and evaded capture returning back to his base on the 15th August 1944. From Newton, Geelong, Australia.
(6) ‘Jock’ Young RAF Radio Officer - no further details.
(7) F/O. F.J. Catchpole RAF Intelligence Officer - no further details
.(8) 35 year old, Fl/Lt. Henry Walter Ritchie Sharp - Medical Officer - no further details.
W/O. Clarence Alfred Seeney. Coulonces Churchyard. South West Corner. Born on the 12th May at Goodna, Queensland, the son of Alfred and Madge Seeney (née Moore), of South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Australian Archives and to sources as quoted below: