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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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Fighter Command Crest
Cecil Reginald Young pre war and training

Cecil Reginald Young was born on the 20th January 1920 to British parents Robert Guy Young and Margaret Ann Davidson, in the European Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.

Towards the end of WW1 Robert a lieutenant in the newly formed Royal Air Force was based at East Fortune, just south of Edinburgh, Scotland. There he met Margaret Ann Davidson. They married in Edinburgh on the 20th January 1919. Shortly after, in June 1919, Robert was repatriated and returned to Malaya with his new bride.

Cecil grew up at his parents Karak Estate, Bentong, Pahang, with his younger brother Robert A Young. At thirteen years of age, Cecil or "Charlie" as he preferred to be called left Malaya to attend Felsted School in Essex, England.

School Years

At school, Charlie was an outstanding athlete: he is recognised in the Felsted Sporting Hall, with his name on the 1936 Cricket Team and the 1937 Hockey Team. Charlie is also recorded in "The Cricketer" Archives website for his participation in the Felsted cricket team, where the matches are detailed

He also showed his talent in Rugby, Tennis and Fives (a type of hand-tennis).

From 1934 to 1937 Charlie attended Corporal School, Officers Training Corps.

Joining the Royal Air Force

After finishing his schooling, Charlie like many other young men, saw the glamour and attraction in the art of flying. He applied for a medical check and was classified "fit as pilot" on May 4 1939.

Charlie then applied for a short term (6 year) commission in the RAF and joined Civilian Flight School Gatwick on May 30. From then on he was classed as Acting Pilot Officer, on probation. He remained at Gatwick until July 22 1939.

Charlie at flying School Gatwick: On August 8th 1939, after two months at the Flying School, Charlie was sent to No.11 Flying Training School, No.13 Course, 23 Group at Shawbury.

Charlie at Shawbury: Finally on October 25th 1939, Charlie was authorised to wear his Flying Badge. By then, Charlie had flown a range of different aircraft, the Hawker Audax, Hart, Hind and the Magister.

On completion of his training (January 27th 1940), the following paragraph was written by the examiner at No.11 FTS:

Grounded subject to below average, lazy and comparatively low intelligence. An average pilot but lacks concentration. Shows poor sense of responsibility.

Although this comment seems to downgrade Charlie, it was a typical one made by instructors who were very harsh before WW2 broke out. (In the late 1930s, flying was still considered more of a sport or fashion than a way to wage war).

Despite this, Charlie passed comfortably with a final mark of 70.1%.


Further Chapters:


Loss with 46 Squadron

1> Growing up, pre-RAF and training

2> His period with 601 Squadron

3> 615 squadron and France

4> 607 Squadron

5> Pilot Officer Charles Young and Miss Beryl Pockett

6> Summary and Acknowledgments


Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 24 January 2017, 18:54

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