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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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58 Squadron Crest
11/12.07.1940 No. 58 Squadron Whitley V N1424 GE-P Sgt. F. Young

Operation: Leverkusen

Date: 11/12th July 1940 (Thursday/Friday)

Unit: No. 58 Squadron

Type: Whitley V

Serial: N1424

Code: GE-P

Base: RAF Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire

Location: Antwerp-Deurne, Belgium

Pilot: Sgt. Frederick Young 517288 RAF Age 26. Killed (1)

Pilot 2: Sgt. Denis Beach Hopes 741881 RAFVR Age 25. Killed (2)

Air/Bmr: Sgt. Leonard Isherwood 550470 RAF Age 20. Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Benjamin Michael Bennett 649294 RAF Age 20. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Norman Emmerson 642716 RAF Age 20. Killed

We are indebted to Janice Betson who supplied the great photographs for this page - one of the important factors of relatives sending in these type of group photographs are that they may lead onto other pages of remembrance - such was the case with these - please see the links to other pages.


Taking off from RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire at 21:35 hrs to bomb Leverkusen in Germany - together with 7 other crews from the Squadron.

56 other aircraft from other squadrons were also bombing various target over Holland and Germany - 3 aircraft failed to return with the loss of 15 crew members.

It is understood that Whitley N1424 was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed in the early hours on a factory at around 03:00 hrs - the factory was unoccupied at the time. All the crew were killed.

Amazingly after the end of the war the owner of the factory wrote to the family of Sgt. Young:

“Their plane was touched by the air defence. Their plane continued to fly for a few minutes and then came down on the back of a house and our factory premises. They were killed at once. It was just 3 o' clock in the morning. I have seen the poor bodies.
Other people were not allowed to see them, but as I had to go in our premises with the pompers, they could not oblige me to close my eyes.
Afterwards I have had some trouble with the Germans because I went to their graves with flowers.
The boys have a nice grave with a big wooden Cross. A nicer one than the Germans give to their own soldiers."

(1) Sgt. Young took part in the operation to try and sink the German Battleship the ’Scharnhorst’ on the 01/02nd July 1940 - 5 Whitleys from 58 Squadron took part together with Hampdens from 83 Squadron (including F/O. Guy Gibson). 83 Squadron lost Hampden I - P1171 OL-P Flown by P/O. Douglas Redmayne 41206 RAF from Canada - killed with all 3 other crew. 58 Squadron lost Whitley V N1461 GE-M Flown by P/O. Cecil John Trvelyan Jones 70805 RAF - killed with 3 of his crew, 1 taken PoW.

Above Whitley P4951 crew: Fl/Lt Frank Aikens, Sgt Nicholas Palmer Simmons, Sgt Ronald Gibson, Sgt. Frederick Young, Sgt. G.H. Cawte or Dawte. (courtesy Janice Betson)

The Whitley P4951 that Sgt. Young was flying as 2nd pilot was hit by flak, badly damaged the crew managed to return to Linton-on-Ouse at 04:15 hrs. It is understood that they did hit the ‘Scharnhorst’ and that the crew were commended for their actions. The German battleship underwent repairs and continued in action until sunk on the 26th December 1943. Of the crew of 1,968 officers and enlisted men, only 36 men survived. For further details see this link.

Of the 5 crew that took part in Whitley P4951 only Sgt. Frederick Young did not survive the war, the Wireless operator Sgt. Ronald Gibson 48816 RAFVR was shot down and taken PoW over Prüm in Germany.

(2) Sgt. Hopes and Sgt. Isherwood escaped injury when Whitley N1427 was hit by flak, the pilot Sq/Ldr. Bartlett managed to nurse the aircraft back to Linton-on-Ouse.

Notes on other photographs: Tiger Moth K2598 (shown with Sgt. Young above right) was involved in a collision with another Tiger Moth N5466 during take off. For further details see this link.

The Handley Page 54 Harrow II K7015 with 271 Squadron was lost on the 20th April 1941. For further details see this link.

Burial details:

Sgt. Frederick Young. Schoonselhof Cemetery. Grave 11.A.6. Born on the 28th February 1914 in Highbury, north London, one of the four children of Frederick Henry and Alice Maud Frances Young, of Littlehampton, Sussex, England.

He enlisted in the RAF on Wednesday the 11th April 1934 as a clerk. Fred was keen on boxing and won the RAF Wakefield Heavyweight Trophy in either 1934 or 1935. (see above photo)

He had always wanted to be a pilot, and on Friday the 25th March 1938 he was recommended for pilot training. Joined 58 Squadron on Tuesday the 14th May 1940.

Above: Coronation Menu 12th May 1937: Breakfast - Coffee or Tea, Bread, Butter and Marmalade, Bacon and Egg, Beans and Tomatoes. Luncheon - Tomato Soup, Roast Pork and Apple Sauce, Sage and Onion Stuffing, Tinned Peas and Roast Potatoes, Tinned Fruit Salad and Custard. Tea: Cold Boiled Ham, Fresh Tomatoes, Bread/Butter/Jam Cake. The note under the caricatures reads: “We know they dish it out ……. But can they take it?”

Fred Young was also a little bit of an artist and drew many caricatures during his service. Added some to a poem written by A.S. Howard, an RAF friend.

Sgt. Denis Beach Hopes. Schoonselhof Cemetery. Grave 11.A.4. Son of Albert Henry and Bertha Newby Hopes, of Bristol, England. Husband of Irene Hopes.

Sgt. Leonard Isherwood. Schoonselhof Cemetery. Grave 11.A.3. Son of Daniel and Alice Maud Isherwood, of Stockton Heath, Cheshire, England.

Sgt. Benjamin Michael Bennett. Schoonselhof Cemetery. Grave 11.A.7. Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Bennett, of Knowle, Bristol, England.

Sgt. Norman Emmerson. Schoonselhof Cemetery. Grave 11.A.5. on of Anthony and Lily Emmerson, of Waterhouses, County Durham, England.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Janice Betson for the wonderful photographs and further information provided to us in August 2017. Also to Yorkshire Aircraft for their research.

KTY - 03.08.2017

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: 04 August 2017, 19:43

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