YOUNG, Joseph Walter. Sergeant (1170647)
12 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 6 January 1942, aged 20.
Joseph was born Q1 1922, the son of 44 year old Middleton Walter Young and 21 year old Hilda Kitcher, who were not married. The birth was registered in the Lewisham District, consistent with the address (136 Rangefield Road, Bromley, Kent) at which his father had lived before his death, aged 51, in Lewisham Hospital on 12 January 1929. Hilda was granted the administration of his will. In 1934, the 33 year old Hilda married 20 year old Joseph Young (a son from Middleton's 1899 marriage to Alice North). The marriage was registered in the Lewisham registration district and, in 1935, they were living at 17 Ermine Road, Lewisham - probably with 13 year old Joseph.
In Q3 1941 (not more than three months before his death) Joseph married Margaret Irene Wharton. The marriage was registered in the Surrey Mid Eastern District. Margaret - who the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records note was "of West Ewell, Surrey" - was probably the daughter of Wilfred and Ethel Wharton who were recorded in the 1939 Register living at 28 Northey Avenue, Ewell.
Joseph's service number was issued at RAF Cardington in April 1940. He then served in 12 Squadron, part of the RAF's Bomber Command. In 1942, the Squadron was stationed at RAF Binbrook in north Lincolnshire, flying Vickers Wellington bombers.
A Vickers Wellington II of 12 Squadron, June 1941
Image with thanks to asisbiz.com
On 6 January 1942, Joseph was one of the six-strong crew on Wellington II W5523, on a mission to bomb the German-held port facilities of Brest in NW France. The aircraft was hit by flak near the target, caught fire and fell into the sea with the loss of all on board.
As one of the 20,000+ WW2 aircrew from bases in the UK and NW Europe with no known grave, Joseph is commemorated on the Runneymede Memorial.
Roger Morgan © 2017
With thanks to Brian Bouchard for tracking down the mission information
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