Sergeant
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. Willis.

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

P/O Willis 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 the plane.

The remainder 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

 

Sources:
S/L A.G. Edgerley, Each Tenacious - A History of No 99 Squadron, Worcester 1993

Acknowledgements:
RAF Squadron crest © Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office

Directions to Nieuwe Oosterbegraafplaats


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This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.

 

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