BOWYER, CLIFFORD CHARLES JOHN. Rank: Squadron Leader (Pilot)

This is the Forum of Squadrons, Crews and Aircraft of Bomber Command & Related Luftwaffe personnel and aircraft.
Post Reply
User avatar
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:55 am
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland - Australia

BOWYER, CLIFFORD CHARLES JOHN. Rank: Squadron Leader (Pilot)

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Hi Selma and welcome to the forum. I thought it best we start a post on this gentleman. I did a quick search and came up with these details from another forum.
It is a start. We'll see what other details come through.
John ... e2dE3mCWNA


Quote ............
I know this is an old thread but saw my fathers name mentioned....
BOWYER, CLIFFORD CHARLES JOHN. Rank: Squadron Leader (Pilot).
Regiment or Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Unit; 15 Sqdn. Age at Death; 21. Date of Death: 14-05-1943. Service No: 118812.

13-14 May 1943

15 Squadron.
Stirling III BK704 LS-Z.
Op. Bochum.

S/L. C C J. Bowyer +
P/O. D C. Smith. pow.
Sgt. H C. Cooper. pow.
F/O. W G M. Olivier. RCAF. pow.
Sgt. J B. Craggs. pow.
Sgt. T P. Hanrahn. pow.
Sgt. E E. Warner. RCAF. pow.
Sgt. C E. Keik. pow.

Took off 0014 hrs Mildenhall. Coned at 11,000 feet and hit by flak. Exploded and crashed 0130 hrs at Burlo 6 km NNE of Bocholt, where S/L. Bower was buried on 17 May. his grave is now in the Reichwald Forest Cemetery. At 21 he was one of the youngest Squadron Leader pilots killed on bomber operations in 1943.

Bomber Command Losses. Vol.4 W R. Chorley.

My father Sgt. Charles Edward Keik was the rear gunner in this Stirling. LS-Z, serial BK704. He was the last one to get out of the plane - S/L Cliff Bowyer told all the crew to bale out and sadly went down with the plane. All surviving crew members were POW's. My father retired from the RAF in 1973 and retired to New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. A Dutch family (Peter & Wim Rhebergen) from towns on the German border (Winterswjk & Aalten) have researched and catalogued information on many WW2 aircraft that came down nearby and published a book with a Chapter covering each incident. The amount of detail in each chapter varies for each crashed aircraft, after contacting as many surviving crew as possible. They had traced and contacted my father in NZ who gave them some additional details. In May 1984 when he came back to UK on a family visit we visited the Dutch family who took us to the crash site, the farm (1Km away) where my father was captured and the war grave of Cliff Bowyer. They told me that they had contacted several of the crew and Cliff Bowyer's two sisters in Ireland, during research for their book. I was born in September 1943, 4 months after the plane was shot down. But for the heroism of Cliff Bowyer in staying with the aircraft until all the crew had safely baled out, I may never have known my father ! Peter Keik
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's -
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

Leading Aircraftman
Leading Aircraftman
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:34 pm

Re: BOWYER, CLIFFORD CHARLES JOHN. Rank: Squadron Leader (Pi

Post by Colin-bell »

Really delighted with information so far can't wait to see what else comes up.
My actual name is Selma and I am the daughter of Daphne, Clifford' s only surviving sister.

Squadron Leader
Squadron Leader
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:53 pm
Location: Hull

Re: BOWYER, CLIFFORD CHARLES JOHN. Rank: Squadron Leader (Pi

Post by Dave_Richardson »

Hi Selma

The easiest way to find out more about your uncle is to apply for a copy of his service record. This will detail where he trained and which squadrons he flew with. Once you've got that you can then start fleshing out the detail with the information in the individual squadrons operational record books. To apply for the service record you will need to complete two forms (inevitably!) One is service (RAF) specfic. The forms can be found here: ... ce-records. Click on the link 'Apply for Service Personnel service records' on the left hand side of the page. You'll have to get his next of kin (your mum?) to apply to get the full record. Unfortunately it will cost you £30 for the service record and there will probably be a lenghty wait for the information as well! It will, however, be well worth it. Keep us in touch with how you get on.

Hope this helps


Post Reply