|Birth: ||1938, England|
|Death: ||Sep. 4, 1944|
A big Thank You to Armantia, for the immediate transfer of Maureen's page - it is greatly appreciated!
UPDATE, 19, FEBRUARY 2014 - I have just received information verifying that Maureen was one of the victims of this incident who did not die immediately, but rather passed away from her injuries approximately two weeks later. Thank You to Geoffrey for this information!
Maureen Clarke was killed in the Freckleton Disaster, which occurred when a sudden storm came up and an airplane being tested was either struck by lightning, or crippled in storm winds/rain. It crashed into Holy Trinity School, killing 38 children and two teachers; civilians and soldiers in a nearby snack bar and the 3 U.S. crewmen on the plane were also killed.
Storms came up suddenly on the day of the crash, and two B-24s already in air were recalled, with weather warnings; however, by the time the order to return to ground had been issued, winds had reached 60 mph, flash flooding was being reported in Blackpool and other areas, and water spouts were appearing in the Ribble Estuary.
1st Lieutenant John Bloemendal, the pilot of the second aircraft - the "Classy Chassis II" - reported that he was aborting landing at the last moment, and would circle round again. Within minutes, the aircraft struck Freckleton, east of the airfield.
It was determined that the aircraft's wings were nearly vertical when it hit a treetop and them impacted with the corner of a building; one of the wings was immediately sheared away and continued along the ground, and through hedges. The 25 ton bomber's fuselage demolished three homes and the Sad Sack Snack Bar before crossing the road and bursting into flames. The fuselage then struck the infants' wing of Freckleton Holy Trinity School, its' fuel igniting a sea of flames.
The official decision regarding the crash was listed as unknown, but it was questioned whether the American pilot may have been unprepared for the sudden weather changes in English rain - a 'shower' can go quickly to thunderstorms, and worse.
Maureen's surviving parent is specifically noted to be her father, Charles Henry Clarke of Hall Cross, Kirkham Road. UPDATE: An anonymous member of the site has just informed me that Maureen's mother was Isabella Clarke, and that the parents were married in 1921. Thank You!
Note: Killed in the Freckleton Disaster.
Holy Trinity Churchyard
Maintained by: Rhonda C. Poynter & Frie...
Originally Created by: Armantia
Record added: Mar 20, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 49974029