Thomas Frederick Clemenhagen

Thomas Frederick Clemenhagen

Sgt. Thomas Frederick (Torn) Clemenhagen lost his life following a bombing raid over enemy territory on October 22, 1943. The plane, a Halifax Bomber, was completely raked by cannon shells when returning from Kassel, Germany, and Sgt. Clemenhagen was so badly wounded he died later and was buried at Cambridge Regional Cemetery, England. It seemed almost unbelievable that any airplane so damaged could return to base. The tail was plastered with bullets, the starboard rudder and cables and the hydraulic tanks were put out of commission. There was no inter-communication. A hole had been torn in the bottom of the plane, one through the fuselage and the escape hatch was jammed. The fuselage lights were extinguished and the navigator's instruments had been lost during evasive action. But the engines kept going and England was reached. However, in coming in, the pilot lost control, the starboard undercarriage folded up and the aircraft did a terrific ground loop, shot across the landing field and lodged in a hedge. Enlisting in the R.C.A.F., in July, 1942, Sgt. Clemenhagen trained at Lachine and Rockcliffe and graduated from the No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont Joli, as a gunner in April, 1943, moving overseas soon afterwards. He had only four days at home before he sailed. Born in Brantford, March 31, 1914, the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Clemenhagen, Tom was educated at Alexandra School and the Collegiate Institute. He was interested in athletics, particularly softball and hockey. When employed at Scarfe and Company, Ltd., he was on the hockey team which one year was runner-up and the next champions in the Inter-Factory League. He attended Wellington Street United Church. He was married to the former Miss Hazel Brady and they have a daughter, Louise.

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