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About the book:
Flight Lieutenant Frank Clark died in a fiery collision between two Spitfires in the war-torn skies over Normandy one week after D-Day. He left behind a family including a one-year-old son, Barry, and a thirteen-year-old brother, David. Many years later, these two — a nephew and his uncle — came together in a remarkable coincidence only to find they had an intense interest in trying to piece together the life and times of Frank Clark.
A nearly impossible task confronted them. There was no stash of photographs, no neat pile of letters written to the folks at home, no log book, no diary. Then serendipity stepped in. Through an internet connection, a dozen photographs of Frank came to light. They showed him at airbases in southern England smiling, carousing, meeting with comrades. Barry and Dave, now 61 and 73, joined the throngs celebrating the 60th Anniversary of D-Day in England and France. They attended ceremonies at the cemetery where Frank was buried and returned home with a clearer picture of the times of Frank Clark, but no clearer picture of who he was. As if by magic, a cache of 50 letters written by Frank to his best friend came to light. These letters revealed a colourful, flesh and blood person whose youth, vitality and good humour spring out from the pages. The son Barry suddenly learned who he was and the brother, David, learned who they all were. This book is that story.
About the author:
Dave Clark was only young when his older brother died. Years later, when he retired, he realized how little he knew about the circumstances of the tragic death and set about gathering research material from books, fellow amateur historians and original microfilms. He went to the UK and France many times, built a web site, participated actively in internet bulletin boards devoted to World War II aviation and corresponded with veteran pilots. Four years later he had enough material to chronicle every major aerial encounter of fighters over Normandy and describe day-to-day activities of those who were there — but he still didn’t know much more about his brother. With this material, he wrote Angels Eight – Normandy Air War Diary. This last year, a serendipitous phone call brought into his possession 50 letters written by his brother before his death. Suddenly, for David and his nephew Barry, a dim memory became a flesh and blood person. This new book is Joe's Letters.
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Last updated 15 March 2006 in sunny Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.