23/24.05.1940 No. 44 Squadron Hampden I L4171 Sq/Ldr. Charles E. Johnson
Operation: Railway Communications
Date: 23/24th May 1940 (Thursday/Friday)
Unit: No. 44 Squadron
Type: Hampden MkI
Base: RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire
Location: Broichweiden, Aachen, Germany
Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Charles Edward Johnson 37290 Age ? RAF Killed
Pilot/Air/Bmr: P/O. David Conquest Barker 42043 RAF Age 19. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Harold George Collins 517528 RAF Age 26. Killed
W/Op/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.
Sq/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’
P/O. 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. For further details our thanks to the sources shown below.