On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Benn, Michael Julius Wedgwood

    Date of birth:
    September 5th, 1921
    Date of death:
    June 23rd, 1944 (Great Britain)
    Service number:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)


    Michael Benn was the son of William Wedgwood Benn, an MP for Labor.
    Michael and his brother Tony Benn both joined the Royal Air Force during the war. William Wedgwood Benn was created 1942 Viscount Stansgate in 1942 making Michael his successor.
    Tony successfully served as a pilot officer in South Africa and Rhodesia, but Michael was tragically killed on 23rd June, 1944, when as a result of a faulty air speed indicator, his Mosquito crashed at Chichester. He is rescued by his navigator but dies the next day due to his injuries. He's buried in London.
    When Michael Benn was killed, among his papers was a letter addressed to his family: "Father, from whom I inherited those qualities which I hoped would play their part later in my life and who was always a friend I could trust and who was everything a friend could be. If he knew how true his first words had come.
    Mother, from whom I inherited the precious gift of religion. Time alone would have shown what I intended to do with that.
    To you all I say au revoir. It was my dearest wish to see us all united after the war. I wanted then to settle down to do what I could to prevent the suffering of another war from descending on the lives of our children. How I longed to see a world when people could be as free and happy as we were in our family."

    August 16th, 1941: Pilot Officer (probation)
    August 16th, 1942: Flying Officer (war sub)
    August 16th, 1943: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)

    Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Flying Officer
    No. 153 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    August 20th, 1943
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)