Earl was born on July 27, 1921 at Colborne, Ontario. He went to Port Credit High School and
enlisted in the RCAF in October 1941.
He was posted to #1 Manning Depot in Toronto and then to guard duty at Jarvis, Ontario. His training started at #6 ITS, Toronto and finally #8 AOS, Ancienne Loretto where he was awarded his Observer Wing in 1942.
He was posted overseas to #3 PRC, Bournemouth and then to do his Operational Training in Wales.
He served on two RAF Squadrons, #620 and #514. His crew consisted of F/L Joe Bourke, Pilot (RCAF), Navigator, Sid Cutler (RAF), WAG, Ron Smith (RAF), Flight Engineer, SGT. Peter McQueeney (RAF), Mid Upper Gunner, Sid Brewer, (RAF), Rear Gunner F/Sgt. Al Williston (RCAF), Observer, F/O Earl Clare, (RCAF).
They were shot down on January 21, 1944 by night fighter on a raid on Berlin. French POW turned Clare over to the Germans.
He was a Prisoner of War in Dulag Luft, Frankfurt; Stalag luft III, Sagan - North Compound and he was involved in the march from Sagan in January 1945 and eventually arrived at Mariag und Milag Nord, Tarmstedt.
Earl was demobbed at Toronto in November, 1945.
In 1945 on his return from POW camp, Earl wrote to Albert Williston’s eldest brother. “ We were carrying out a bombing mission on Magdeburg. Our aircraft was attacked twice by a night fighter, setting us ablaze on the first attack. My earphones were put out of commission so I did not hear the order to bail out. I know that I owe my life to the fact that I was blown out of the aircraft. I know Al was preparing to jump. “Al and I had been good pals all the way and used to go out a great deal together, I can sympathize with you on the loss of your brother-my-friend. He had been a conscientious member of our crew and so full of life that it doesn’t seem fair that he had to make the sacrifice.”
Clare’s Lancaster was shot down by Major Prinz Heinrich zu Sayn Wittgenstein, at the time the Luftwaffe’s top scoring night fighter, and his radar operator/ gunner Sgt. Freidrich Ostheimer. Wittgenstein’s JU 88 also crashed and he was killed as were Williston and McQueeney in Lanc LL672. Ostheimer bailed out and survived but was later shot down near Paris where he spent five years in a POW camp until 1948. Three of his brothers were killed during the 1939-1945 hostilities.
Post Service:Earl was a Real Eastate Broker and was married to Barbara Baldwin in 1949 and they had five children - Marsha, David, Kate, Jamie and Geff.
In 1971 he married Ruth Duncan Elliot and she had a son by a previous marriage, James Duncan.
Earl passed away on May 21 in the year 2000.