Personnel Index - Detail

Name
CHEETHAM
First Names
William Harris
Rank
P/O
Service
RAF
Service Number
46090
Crew Position
Air Observer
Age
29
Date of Death
02/11/1941
Cemetery

 

Photographed by Malcolm Brooke

From the panel at Runnymede

The Runnymede image was created by artist Paul Reid using photographs taken by Jo Cockburn and Malcolm Brooke





Click this link for a larger version of this famous picture



The nose art of AE224.....the Golden Hind......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)

Additional images of the aircraft and its groundcrew can be viewed by clicking this link.