Personnel Index - Detail
From the panel at Runnymede
P/O Beaney at the controls of Hampden AE224.
Click this link for a larger version of this famous picture
A closeup of the Golden Hind nose artwork (in honour of S/L Drakes)
1/2 November, 1941; ANTI-SHIPPING/MINELAYING:
Just before 22.00hrs, 4 of the unit's Hampdens set course from Scampton via Mablethorpe for northern Germany. In bright moonlight, 2 of these aircraft went on to successfully plant mines in Kiel Bay, whilst the remaining 2 sought shipping targets off the Frisians.
The second aircraft detailed for anti-shipping patrol was piloted by S/Ldr Drakes (AE224) - nothing was heard from this crew after take-off, and they were reported as missing. It is now thought that a night fighter shot them down into the North Sea - their bodies were never recovered. S/Ldr David Baron Drakes and crew are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.
Hampden AE224 (EA-Z)
S/L D.B. Drakes Pilot (Missing)
P/O V.D. Beaney 2nd Pilot (Missing)
P/O W.H. Cheetham A/Ob (Missing)
F/S W.A. Watson W/AG (Missing)
A mix of aircrew and groundcrew with P/O Beaney at the controls.
Additional images of the aircraft and its groundcrew can be viewed by clicking this link.
Image courtesy of Richard Johnson.