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Full Name: Clifford Stanley Emeny
Rank Last Held: Flight Lieutenant
Forename(s): Clifford Stanley
Surname: Emeny
War: World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.: 40204
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 11 January 1920
Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation before Enlistment: Steward, Blue Star Line
Next of Kin: Mr J. Emeny (father), Te Kiri, Taranaki, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Date: 15 January 1940
Age on Enlistment: 20
Body on Embarkation: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Embarkation Date: 23 March 1940
Place of Embarkation: New Zealand
Vessel: Akaroa
Destination: United Kingdom
Other Units:
  • Attached RCAF
  • Attached RAF
  • 255 (RAF) Squadron
  • 409 (RCAF) Squadron
  • 27 (RAF) Squadron
Military Training:
  • Ground Training School, Weraroa (15 January 1940)
  • Air Observers School, Ohakea (February 1940)
  • Pilot training (January 1942)- No 13 Initial Training Wing, Torquay.
  • No 22 EFTS, Cambridge
  • Empire Training Scheme, Canada (May 1942)- No. 37 SFTS & NO. 39 SFTS.
  • Advanced Flying Unit (UK)
  • No. 60 OTU
  • Night Intruder Course (Mosquitos)
Campaigns: Battle of Britain
Military Awards: 1939-45 Star (Battle of Britain clasp)
POW Action prior to Capture:
  • Flew with 264 (RAF) Squadron as an Air Gunner in the Battle of Britain.
  • On 9 November 1944 Emeny led six other Mosquitos in a dawn raid on the Japanese airfield at Meiktila. After destroying an enemy bomber as it was taking off his aircraft was hit by ground fire, causing it to catch alight and stopping one engine. Emeny managed to put out the fire, but was then attacked by fighters and shot down, crashing in flames into the jungle.
  • Trapped by his feet, Emeny protected himself from the fire by covering himself with the parachute and putting on his oxygen mask. After a struggle he managed to cut himself free and was pulled out of the wreckage by his navigator. They went into the jungle, both injured and burned, and rested until afternoon. They then began walking and reached a Burmese village, but were unsuccessful in persuading the villagers to take them to safety. After robbing the two airmen the natives betrayed them to the Japanese, who took severe reprisals against any Burmese giving aid to downed Allied aircrew.
POW Date of Capture: November December 1944
POW Place of Capture: Meiktila
POW Camps: Rangoon: first at University, later transferred to solitary confinement at Camp and then to main camp.
POW Liberation Date:
  • By 28 April 1945, Indian and Burmese Collaborationist troops left by Japanese let control of prison to Prisoners in return for promises of obtaining clemency for them.
  • 3 May 1945 British arrive.
Discharge Date: 1946
Last Unit Served: Royal New Zealand Air Force, 45 Squadron, RAF
Place of Death: New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Date of Death: 6 October 2000
Age at Death: 80
Year of Death: 2000
Cemetery Name: Awanui Cemetery, Awanui Street, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Grave Reference: Services Area, Row G Burials Plot 63
Biographical Notes:
  • Husband of Joan
  • Awarded Air Gunners Badge 26 July 1940.
  • Pilot Officer Nov/Dec 1941
  • Flying Officer December 1942
  • Flight Lieutenant 29 November 1943
  • Sent to Burma 18 November 1943
  • When captured was posted as Missing, presumed killed. Held in Rangoon - initially at University where he was interrogated at great length and with great cruelty, later transferred to solitary confinement at Camp and then to the main camp. He was put on trial by the Japanese for carrying out successful air attacks against them and also for insisting on humane treatment for sick and wounded prisoners. He was sentenced to be beheaded but in the confusion caused by the ever-nearing British forces, confirmation of the sentence never came through.
  • When liberated from prison, he and five others, who had taken a leading part in the take-over action were flown out, the rest of the prisoners being evacuated by hospital ship.
  • Emeny reached Calcutta on 8 May 1945, weighing 6 stone 10lbs. After a period of convalescence he returned to New Zealand in July 1945.
  • He and his wife Joan resided in New Plymouth.
Postwar Occupation: Commercial Enterprises
Additional Information:
  • Portrait in Wynn, K. (1981).
  • The Battle of Britain: 10 July - 31 October 1940
Further References:
Sources Used:
  • Cemetery Records. New Plymouth District Council. URL: http://www.newplymouthnz.com/AtoZOfCouncilServices/CemeteriesAndCrematorium/CemeterySearch.htm
  • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, Volplane Press.
  • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch: Volplane Press.
  • Thompson, H. (1956). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vols. 1-3). Wellington: Dept of Internal Affairs, War History Branch.
  • Wynn, K. (1981). A clasp for "The Few". Auckland, The Author.
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