05.12.1940 N0. 46 Squadron Hurricane I V7617 P/O. Cecil R. Young
Date: 05th December 1940 (Thursday)
Unit: No. 46 Squadron
Type: Hurricane I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF North Weald
Location: Homestall Lane (Nash Farm), Boughton, Faversham, Kent
Pilot: P/O. Cecil Reginald Young 42372 RAF Age 20. Killed
Whilst undertaking family research, Drew Davidson discovered that his second cousin was a fighter pilot who participated in the famous "Battle of Britain", therefore one of Churchill’s “Few”
Not having his first name he could not pinpoint the right person, he suspected that it was P/O. Cecil "Charlie" Reginald Young (shown left) but could not confirm this as no documents, even Charlie's death certificate, recorded his parent's names.
The Davidson and Young families lost contact with each other when, at the fall of Singapore in 1942, Margaret Young had fled to the safety of Western Australia, where her younger son, Robert, was studying.
Her husband Robert Guy Young, who at the age of 52, rejoined the RAF in 1942 and was attached to to RAF HQ, Singapore, was not so lucky and spend 3 ½ years as a Japanese Prisoner of War.
Right: Robert Guy Young in Uniform
Through the Battle of Britain site Forum Drew made contact with Charlie Young, Charlie's great nephew, who, with the rest of the Young family, is still living in Western Australia, and he confirmed that he had the right person. Working together they have gathered the information shown within this website.
Great anticipation was soon dashed - P/O. Cecil "Charlie" Reginald Young 42372, did not have much written about him, some snippets and what there was, in some instances, was inaccurate including the crash site. Even the CWGC site did not list his parents making it hard for anyone undertaking research on his RAF career. It is our pleasure in informing you and to thank the CWGC, who have now updated their records by adding Charlie's parents name and his age and will add his age on his headstone the next time it is replaced.
As a young man of twenty who, in mid 1940 announced his engagement to Beryl M. Pockett the senior WAAF officer at Tangmere he must have been looking forward to returning to his home in Malaya with his new bride after the war. It was understood that he had been enquiring into a transfer to the Far East to be nearer to his family. Given that his father spent over three and a half years as a Japanese PoW, he may have had to face another more vicious enemy. After almost a year of combat duties he had given the ultimate sacrifice, his life, for his country.
Relatives requested that we post the story of P/O. Young as they feared the website that they run may not be continued and wanted to preserve this part of history. His story (and others) are covered over some 7 web pages covering his brief life.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Spending only six days at Turnhouse on Oct 16 Charlie was transferred to 46 Squadron, based at Stapleford Tawney for flying duties.
From the 46 Squadron Operations Record Book - Stapleford Oct 18: Four new Pilots were to-day posted to the Squadron for flying duties; they were P/O. C.R. Young, P/O. F. Surma, P/O. Hedley and P/O. P.G. Leggett.
46 Squadron B Flight before take off (collection of P/O. Karel Mrazak - courtesy of RAF Museum REF.L88)
B Flight comprised : Fl/Lt N.W. Burnett, P/O. W.B. Pattullo, P/O. C.R. Young, Sgt. R.F. Sellers and Sgt. R. E. de Cannart d'Hamale. (Sgt. Sellers was the only one in the group photo to survive the war - see notes at foot of page)
On Oct 27 from the 46 Squadron ORB recorded: P/O. Young, of "B" flight, stated he saw two He 113's at 10:30 hours flying due east, camouflaged pale blue on top with what appears to be white crosses on the wings. He fired at long range without effect.
The HE113 was in fact a mythical aircraft of the German propaganda, the aircraft seen were possible reconnaissance aircraft, Italian or just mis-identified.
This is the last record we have of Charlie's Battle of Britain combats.
Although the Battle of Britain official stop date was October 31st 1940 it was by no means the end of the conflict.
On Nov 1 whilst on patrol the following incident occurred as detailed in the intelligent report: The Squadron was vectored from Maidstone to the coast. P/O. Young (Green 2) searching in the rear of the squadron at 20,000 feet when over Deal-Dover area sighted five aircraft flying in a S.E. direction and sent this information on the R/T to Red Leader.
Left: P/O. Young with P/O. Lefevre transported to dispersal (courtesy RAF Museum Ref L88)
A minute later he sighted three others flying in the same direction in a wide loose "vic" formation. The information he also conveyed to Red Leader, but neither of these reports were clearly received or understood by Red Leader. P/O. Young broke away and chased a three-engined aircraft flying at 12,000 feet 20 miles to sea off Deal, succeeding in disabling the port engine. However, the aircraft was able to continue its journey on the remaining two engines. No return fire was experienced from the aircraft attacked but cross fire from other two aircraft in this formation was very inaccurate.
These enemy aircraft were obviously Italian and after studying the features described by P/O. Young they would appear to have been Savioa Marchettis. Roundels were seen on the fuselage and wings. (shown right)
Charlie's own combat report is similar, he was flying Hurricane V6916 the attack being at 16:25 hours.
“As blue three of the search section I spotted five aircraft going SE about 8,000ft below. I called up the leader and reported but they were too far off. One minute later I noticed three more going South-East, reported to the leader but got no reply so broke away in chase. I caught up with enemy aircraft about 20 miles out to sea flying in very wide vic formation. I attacked the port machine sighting on the port engine which was put out of action. But this enemy aircraft managed to proceed with the other two. I received cross fire from the other two aircraft which was very inaccurate. No return fire from the machine attacked.”
From Italian records we know that twenty-six Fiat G.50s of 20 Gruppo, Regia Aeronautica flew a sweep over Canterbury that afternoon, meeting violent anti-aircraft fire near Folkestone, while thirty-nine Fiat CR.42s of 18 Gruppo swept over Ramsgate, Canterbury and Dover. These aircraft would have been the fighter escorts however, no combats were recorded.
46 Squadron Intelligent Report. Charlie's own Combat Report of same incident.
As per the Operation Record Book on 8th November 1940, 11.30 hours the 46 Squadron moved to the North Weald sector Charlie again flew V7594. This is where Charlie remained until his death.
46 Squadron at North Weald - picture by P/O Karel Mrazak (courtesy of RAF Museum REF. L88) Above L-R: P/O. C.F. Ambrose DFC. P/O. E.S. Vincir (intelligence), P/O. C.R. Young, P/O. P.G. Leggett, P/O. P.R. McGregor and P/O. P.W. Lefevre. (see notes at foot of page)
From November 9th it would appear that Charlie went on leave as there are no records of him flying again until November 19th.
The following incident was recorded for the 19th November 1940: A patrol was carried out by the Squadron but the weather closed in and pilots were obliged to land away from the base. Four landed at Rochford, three at Eastchurch, and one at Martlesham Heath. P/O. Young landed in a field near Maldon and Sgt. Parrott force landed at Wye, Ashford, both through lack of petrol. There were no casualties.
Up until the end of November due to poor weather, there was limited flying most days. Charlie is seen on patrol November 24th, 28th, and 29th without incident. The first few days of December fog and poor visibility prevented much flying. On December 5th 1940 at 09:50 the squadron led by Fl/Lt. Rabagliati took of to patrol the Maidstone Line with 249 Squadron in the lead, later they went 10 miles out to sea over Dungeness.
There is no record of any action that day, it is believed that they were returning from patrol when at about 11:25 hrs. Charlie was jumped and seen to go into an uncontrollable dive and crashed.
The Air Historical Branch gives this circumstantial report from the Officer Commanding 46 Squadron dated 11th December 1940 stating: “46 Squadron was on operational patrol over Maidstone Line on 5.12.40 when P/O Young's machine was seen to go into a dive, apparently out of control. The pilot was found to have been shot in the head, although the aircraft was seen to go into a dive, no enemy aircraft were discovered.” Their records show that the wreckage was recovered by the RAF at the time.
It is thought 'probable' that he was shot down by Oblt. Kurt Ebersberger (as shown above) - who was eventually shot down and killed on the 24th October 1943 whilst serving in North Africa.
1> Growing up, pre-RAF and training
2> His period with 601 Squadron
3> 615 squadron and France
4> 607 Squadron
5> Pilot Officer Charles Young and Miss Beryl Pockett
6> Summary and Acknowledgments
P/O. Cecil Reginald Young. Minster cemetery (Thanet) Grave 459. Born on the 20th January 1920 to British parents Robert Guy Young and Margaret Ann Davidson, in the European Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaya.
Success Summary. These are the records for Charlie for the year of 1940 (Total 9):
30 Jun - 615 Sqd - Bf 109 - Unconfirmed - Merville - 11.45 - 1
14 Aug - 615 - Do 17 - Damaged (shared) - Dungeness - 18.30 - 1
16 Aug - 615 - He 111 - Destroyed - Brighton - 17.10 - 1
16 Aug - 615 - He 111 - Damaged - Brighton - 17.10 - 1
18 Aug - 615 - Do 215 - Destroyed - Kenley - 13.45 - 1
18 Aug - 615 - Bf 109 - Destroyed (probably) - Kenley - 13.45 - 1
20 Aug - 615 - Do 215 - Destroyed (shared) - Herne Bay - 15.00 - 1
01 Oct - 607Sqd - Bf 110 - Damaged - W. Needles - 10.45 - 1
01 Nov - 46 - Z 1007 - Damaged - Dover - 16.30 - 1
1> Fl/Lt. Norman Whitmore Burnett 70101 RAFVR Missing on the 11th June 1941 whilst with 46 Squadron. Commemorated on the Malta Memorial. His brother, 20 year old Walter Henry Burnett 171640 RAFVR, also a pilot, was lost on the 31st March 1944 serving with 166 Squadron - buried at Rheinberg War Cemetery. The family was from Haywards Heath in Sussex, England.
2> 21 year old P/O. William Blair Pattullo 43379 RAF was killed on the 26th October 1940 whilst with 46 Squadron. From Eaglescliffe, Co. Durham, England.
3> 21 year old, Sgt. Roger Emile de Cannart D’Hamale 1299998 RAFVR was killed on the 01st November 1940. A Belgian serving with 46 Squadron.
4> 25 year old F/O. Franciszek Surma 76713 PAF Missing on the 08th November 1941 serving with 308 (P) Squadron. Commemorated on the Northolt Memorial.
5> P/O. Charles Howe Hedley 84940 RAFVR Missing on the 10th February 1941 whilst with 46 Squadron. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
6> 25 year old Sq/Ldr. Peter William Lefevre DFC 40719 RAF Missing on the 06th February 1944 whilst serving with 266 Squadron. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, from Whitstable, Kent, England.