Personnel Index - Detail
From the panel at Runnymede
S/L Drakes (LHS) pictured with his brother-in-law, P/O Kennet (Penny) Beauchamp.
Image courtesy of Di Abelwhite (IBCC in Lincoln) via Colin Cripps.
(S/L Drakes married P/O Beauchamp's sister and the two were good friends - information courtesy of Paul Beauchamp).
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 they were shot down off Heligoland by a Marine Flak Unit - 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)
S/L Drakes was flying his 48th operation when he was lost.
An image of P/O Beaney (second pilot) at the controls of the "Golden Hind".
S/L Drakes is not shown in this picture.
Additional images of the aircraft and its groundcrew can be viewed by clicking this link.
Photograph courtesy of Richard Johnson.