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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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414 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: MK416

Code: ?

Base: ALG:- Illiers l’Eveque, France (B 26 Airfield)

Location: Ghent, Belgium

Pilot: Fl/Lt. John Campbell Younge J/22819 RCAF Age 29. Killed


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.

Burial Details:

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. 

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: 09 February 2015, 16:45