WONZ 202 – Nevill Clarke

Guest: Nevill Clarke
F/Lt William Paul Nevill Clarke, AFC, (cvsa). (5 Nov 1921 – 22 Aug 2019)

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 6th of February 2019

Released: 6th of August 2019

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes 27 seconds

In this episode Dave Homewood and Bevan Dewes visited 97-year-old veteran RNZAF pilot Nevill Clarke at his retirement village home in Northcote.

Nevill was one of the pilots of perhaps the least remembered part of the wartime air force, RAF Ferry Command. He was tasked with flying newly built aeroplanes that were rolling out of American factories across the Atlantic to Britain. In his time he ferried Lockheed Hudsons, Lockheed Venturas, Douglas C-47 Dakotas, Consolidated Liberators, Martin Baltimores, Martin Marauders, and probably others. He flew both the northern and southern routes.

He also spend a number of months piloting the Consolidated RY-3 (the transport version of the Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer) on the San Francisco to Sydney route. And he flew the Avro York for a period too on transport routes.

After a short postwar secondment to BOAC, Nevill left the RNZAF, came home to New Zealand, and joined TEAL on the 7th of May 1947. He flew as co-pilot and later captain with the airline, encompassing such aircraft types on the Short Empire, the Short Sandringham, the Short Solent, the Douglas DC-6, the Lockheed Electra, the Douglas DC-8 and lastly the Douglas DC-10.

Above: Nevill Clarke whilst in the RNZAF during WWII (Photo via his neice Deborah Clarke)

Above: Nevill Clarke in his TEAL uniform (Photo via his neice Deborah Clarke)

Above: Nevill Clarke celebrating a birthday (Photo via his neice Deborah Clarke)

Above: Nevill Clarke, former RNZAF pilot who served with RAF Ferry Command, and flew with BOAC, TEAL and Air New Zealand, taken on the day of the interview (photo Dave Homewood)

A painting on Nevill’s wall of the Consolidated RY-3 he flew regularly across the Pacific

Above: Nevill with his painting (photo Dave Homewood)

Note: The music is Wild Flower by Joakim Karud

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