06.09.1944 No: 414 Squadron Spitfire IX MK416 Fl/Lt. John C. Younge
Operation:Tactical Reconnaissance (Tac/R)
Date: 6th September 1944
Unit: No. 414 RCAF City of Sarnia Squadron (The Imperials)
Type: Spitfire Type IX
Base: ALG:- Illiers l’Eveque, France (B 26 Airfield)
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Campbell Younge J/22819 RCAF Age 29. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS
After the Allied landings on Normandy in June, the ground troops of the British and Canadian armies moved eastwards towards Belgium and the Netherlands. During this time 414 Squadron provided a vital reconnaissance role for the advancing armies identifying enemy positions, troop and equipment movement and other defensive tactics that could impede the Allied advance.
Early in September General Montgomery’s army had retaken the city of Antwerp but the Germans still held the canals and approaches to the harbour as well as some of the channel ports preventing Allied shipping from landing much needed supplies.
FL/Lt. John Younge took off at 08:50 hours on the morning of September 6, 1944 as part of fourteen sorties that were flown that day by the squadron over the towns of Dunkerque, Bruges and Ghent. Whilst over Ghent he observed barges in the canal carrying enemy supplies and seized upon the opportunity to strafe them. During the attack his Spitfire was hit, probably by flak as very few Luftwaffe aircraft were operational in the area at this time, crashing into the ground killing him.
Fl/Lt. John Campbell Younge. Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Adegem, Belgium. Grave Ref.XI.H.2. Son of Adair and Mae Younge, of Camrose, Alberta, Canada.
Researched by Colin Bamford. With thanks to Mr Christopher Clarke in Canada and also the daughter of George Burroughs, Brenda for the supply of information and photographs. The Commonwealth Graves Commission.