01/02.07.1940 83 Squadron Hampden I P1171 OL:P Plt Off. Redmayne
Operation: Kiel, Germany
Date: 1st/2nd July 1940 (Monday/Tuesday)
Unit: 83 Squadron (motto: 'Strike to Defend')
Type: Hampden I
Base: RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Location: Schwentine Estuary, Kiel dockyard, Germany
Pilot: Plt Off. Douglas Redmayne 41206 RAF Age 20. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Cyril Lee 566470 RAF Age 19. Killed.
WOp/Air Gnr: Sgt. Owen Sandford Gander 552107 RAF Age 18. Killed
Air Gnr: Sgt. George Elliott Little 547515 RAF Age 30. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
P1171 took off from RAF Scampton to carry out a night attack on Kiel harbour and the Scharnhorst. One of the Hampdens attacking the Scharnhorst was flown by Fg Off. Guy Gibson of the Sqn, who dropped the first 2000 lb of the war. He released the bomb on the sixth shallow dive-bombing attempt but the bomb overshot the Scharnhorst and exploded in the town of Kiel.
P1171 was hit by light flak from 6./M. Flak Abt 271. The aircraft crashed on the shore of Schwentine Estuary near building No 97 at 01:37 hrs. (Nachtjagd Combat Archive (1939 - 12 July 1941) The Early Years Part 1 - Theo Boiten)
Plt Off. Douglas Redmayne. Kiel War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3.A.13-16. Born in Bradshaw, Nebraska, USA on the 5th July 1919. Son of Reginald Richard Brownlow and Elsie (née Topliffe) Redmayne.
Shortly after widower Reginald married Elsie at Barton upon Irwell, Lancs, in the 2nd Qtr of 1912, the family, eventually had five sons and three daughters, emigrated to the United States. During WW1 Reginald returned to the UK and served in the British Army and was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915. He returned to the United States and in September 1926 the family moved to Victoria, British Columbia where they continued to thrive. Following the tragic death of Reginald at Oak Bay, British Columbia on the 5th January 1933, the family returned to the UK on the "SS Montrose" the following month, first settling at Runshaw Hall, near Chorley, Lancashire, then on the Isle of Man from where Douglas enlisted in the RAF. He joined 83 Squadron of the RAF along with Guy Gibson, who later formed 617 Squadron of Dambusters fame. Also remembered on the war memorial in Castletown on the Isle of Man.
Above: Newspaper cutting from the Victoria DailyTimes, 6th January 1933 regarding the tragic death of Plt Off. Douglas Redmayne's father, Reginald Richard Brownlow Redmayne. (courtesy Dave Champion)
Sgt. Cyril Lee. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 3.A.10. Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire on the 14th April 1920, the son of George E and Gladys Winifred (née Thompson) Lee. In 1939 Cyril was working as a telegraphist for the railways. He married Doreen (née Burton) at Great Harwood, Lancashire in the December 1939 Qtr. No children.
Sgt. Owen Sandford Gander. Kiel War Cemetery. Coll. Grave 3.A.13-16. Born in1922. His father Owen Douglas Gander was an officer in the Customs service.
As such, the family (wife Anne, sons Owen, Douglas, Allan, Brian and Derek and daughter, Grace) spent much of the 1930s in both Shanghai, China and Yokohama, Japan. They returned to the UK on 23 May 1937 but on the outbreak of WW2 the family returned to Shanghai, but Owen and his father remained in England. Owen joined the RAF and his father enlisted in the British Army.
The family in Shanghai were all put in tenkos by the Japanese forces for the duration of the war. More information can be found in Evelyn Honeywell’s book. “At his imperial majesties pleasure”.
Sgt. George Elliott Little. Kiel War Cemetery. Grave 3.A.12. Grave inscription reads: “GOD BLESS YOU DADDY. MUMMY AND JENNIFER". Born in 3rd Qtr 1911 in Huddersfield. Son of David Henderson and Emily (née Crump) Little, of Huddersfield, husband of Irene (née Daniels) Little, of Huddersfield, England.
Researched by Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered December 2015. Photographs from the Michel Beckers collection. With additional extensive crew information by Dave Champion - March 2019. To Bob Baston for grave photographs. Thanks to Ian Gander for the update to his family and for the reference to his Aunt's book “At his imperial majesties pleasure”. (Jan 2022). Other updates by Aircrew Remembered (Jan 2022).