William Archibald (Pissy Bill) YOUNG


YOUNG, William Archibald

Service Number: 417145
Enlisted: 6 December 1941, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 44 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Broken Hill, New South Wales, 25 February 1923
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in Action (flying battle), Beauvais, France, 5 July 1944, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Marissel French National Cemetery, Beauvais, France
Collective Grave 284
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World War 2 Service

6 Dec 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman, SN 417145, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Dec 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, SN 417145
5 Jul 1944: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 417145, No. 44 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45

My Dad's Skipper

Bill Young was my Dad's skipper.

They trained and fought together from late Summer 1943 until they were shot down over France on the night of the 4th/5th July 1944, a young man from a mining town in Australia and one from a mining town in Yorkshire. One died aged just 21, the other lived, saved by a prompt order from his skipper to bale out and his parachute, to be hidden by the French Resistance and return home in September 1944.

Bill's great mate through training was Aussie cricket legend Keith Ross Miller, who named his first born after "Pissy Bill". Miller's most famous quote in a lifetime of famous quotes was, came when he was asked about the pressure of test cricket. His famous dismissive reply: “Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse.” Perhaps words that arose from his mate being shot down?

From what I have heard, Bill Young's crew had their share of scrapes both on the ground and in the air and lived those 11 months together in a spirit of "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die" in common with much of the rest of RAF Bomber Command. Rear Gunner Bob Routledge missed the fateful last mission after being hospitalised having slept the night in a Lincolnshre ditch after a night out, a very typical story of the time.

When he died, Bill was engaged to be married. His fiancée was listed in his records as Miss J Bedford from Sandal, near Wakefield, Yorkshire. I understand from Jennie Routledge that Miss Bedford may have been a WREN. i hope he knew some happiness from that.

I never met him, but feel I know him well and, like Bob Miller, I owe being here to Bill Young. Never forget!

Mike Wainwight


My Dads buddy

I owe my life to Bill Young. While on route to Canada for flying instructions Bill Young and my father Keith Miller stopped off in Boston, Massachusetts. It is here while have a drink at a bar that Bill questioned a man what he was drinking? It was a Martini.The man was Carl Wagner my grandfather. Taking a shine to the two Aussies Carl invited the two men home to meet his family.This is where my father meet my mother. After the war was over my father returned to Boston and married my mother Peg Wagner. Bill never made it back to Boston where he was to be the best man. He was shot down over France While returning from a bombing mission. To Bills credit two crew survived. Flight Officer William Archibald Young is buried at Marissel French National Cemetery, Beauvais, Picardie, France.

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Killed when his 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron RAF Lancaster ME699 was shot down at Laversines