George Appleton of Newcastle on Tyne enlisted in the Royal Air Force in January 1938 aged 18. His first mission was on December 21st, 1939 when he was detailed to locate the battleship Deutschland in a Handley Page Hampden.
On April 14th, 1940 when returning from an operation in very bad weather on one engine his Hampden crashed into cliffs on their return with of the four man crew only one fatality.
Completing his tour of ops by late 1940 he was posted at Castle Kennedy, and Air Gunnery School, where in July 1941 the Hampden he was flying in stalled shortly after take off and crashed killing the entire crew. Appleton was 21.
Sergeant Appleton’s portrait was drawn by the official war artist Sir William Rothenstein and appeared in a volume of his R.A.F. portraits.
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