23/24.05.1940 44 Squadron Hampden I L4171 Sqn Ldr. Charles E. Johnson
Operation: Railway Communications
Date: 23rd/24th May 1940 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit No: 44 Squadron
Type: Hampden Mk I
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Location: Broichweiden, Aachen, Germany
Pilot: Sqn Ldr. Charles Edward Johnson 37290 Age? RAF Killed
Pilot/Bomb Aimer: Plt Off. David Conquest Barker 42043 RAF Age 19. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Harold George Collins 517528 RAF Age 26. Killed
WOp/Air Gnr: Cpl. William Crook 532528 RAF Age 23. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire tasked to bomb rail communication in tactical support of the British Expeditionary Force in France.
A further 72 other aircraft were sent to bomb roads and major junctions.
Hampden L4171 was hit by flak and crashed at Broichweiden near Aachen, Germany - all the crew were lost.
The crew were initially buried in Aachen Ehren Friedhof. Reinterred on the 17 April 1947.
Sqn Ldr. Charles Edward Johnson. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Rheinberg. Grave: 5.E.24. Son of Charles Frederick and Catherine Mary Johnson. Grave inscription reads: ‘In Loving Memory Of My Dear Brother. RIP’
Plt Off. David Conquest Barker. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Rheinberg. Grave: 5.E.22. Son of Alan Oscar Barker, and of Norah Stancomb Barker (née Conquest), of Selsey, Sussex, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘We Will Remember Them.’
Sgt. Harold George Collins. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Rheinberg. Grave: 5.E.23. Son of Joseph William and May Annie Collins, of Beckenham, Kent, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘There’s Some Corner Of A Foreign Land That Is Forever England.’
Cpl. William Crook. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Rheinberg. Grave: 5.E.25. Son of John Nally Crook and Alice Crook, of Wigan, Lancashire, England. Grave inscription reads: ‘The Memory Fades And Life Departs. He Will Live Forever In Our Hearts.’
Researcher - Michel Beckers. With thanks to Des Philippet for grave photographs, others from the collection of Michel Beckers and Richard Johnson (Nov 2016). Thanks to John Jones for the aircraft code update and initial burials (Jun 2022).
For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.