Gerald Francis Sexton
1920 - 6 July 1940
Calcott, Berkshire - Amsterdam
Gerald Francis Sexton was born in 1920, son
of Francis Henry John and Daisy Emily
Sexton, of Calcott, Berkshire.
Sgt Sexton was
an airgunner (tail gunner) with 99 Squadron,
flying out of Newmarket.
On the night
of 5/6 July 1940, eight Wellingtons of 99
Sqn were sent to bomb the marshalling yards
at Cologne. Sgt Sexton was flying in
Wellington R3170, captained by P/O R.A.G.
Due to bad
weather bombing results could not be
observed by the other attacking air planes.
Sgt Sexton's plane experienced icing in the
engine and on the wings when it descended to
bombing height on the bomb run. It had to
abort and P/O Willis decided to attack the
secondary target, a chlorine factory in
Leverkusen, just north east of Cologne.
Again icing prevented an attack.
99 Sqn RAF
then decided to bomb Schiphol airfield near
Amsterdam on the way back. On arriving over
the airfield, all but two of the bombs were
dropped, but they missed the airfield. A
second run was made, releasing the two
remaining bombs at 1000 feet on the main
hangar. While on the bomb run, the plane was
hit by anti aircraft fire, which injured the
second pilot, P/O J.W.P. Parkins and also
set the port engine on fire. Flying towards
Haarlem, the plane rapidly lost altitude.
P/O Willis crash landed the plane on the
east side of the city at 03.40. It slid
through a field, over a dike and a road and
into a row of houses, after which it burst
into flames. Both the houses and the
Wellington were destroyed. All of the crew,
with exception of Sgt Sexton, managed to
leave the aircraft in time. His remains were
found in a ditch near the tail section of
of the crew was taken prisoner after being
on the run for some time.
Sgt Sexton was
buried two days later in Amsterdam, with
full military honours. He is buried at the Nieuwe
Oosterbegraafplaats in Amsterdam Plot 69.
Row A. Grave 16.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
S/L A.G. Edgerley, Each Tenacious - A
History of No 99 Squadron, Worcester
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