Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel and chop the onion.
Cut the bacon in half with scissors. Heat a large pot on the stove on medium high and add the bacon, cooking it until it is crisp. (Wash your hands after touching any raw bacon.) Place the cooked bacon on a paper-towel lined plate.
In the same pot with the bacon grease (there should be no more than 2 tablespoons), add the clam juice, potatoes, onions, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaf. Place the heat on high and bring the liquid to a boil. Then, lower the heat, cover the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. (While the potatoes are cooking, you can blot the bacon and cut it into small pieces. Also, drain and rinse the clams.) The potatoes are done when you can easily stick a fork in one. Using a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes, leaving others in chunks.
Whisk milk, cream and flour together until smooth (I use my blender container for easy measuring and pouring.) Add the mixture to the pot and stir. Continue stirring, cooking the soup until it's thickened and bubbly. Stir in the clams. When the pot returns to boiling, reduce the heat and let the chowder cook 2 more minutes. Season with red pepper flakes to taste.
Serve clam chowder in bowls with bacon sprinkled on top and extra red pepper flakes at the table.
Draining and rinsing the clams gets rid of unwanted chemicals and excess sodium. Bottled clam juice has no additives and less salt (check the label.)