YOUNG – Arthur Wilmot

1337510 – Sergeant – RAF 1941-1944

I discovered the story of Arthur Young while visiting RAF airfields in Yorkshire recently.  The details are sparse at this point and any contributions from readers would be very welcome.
Born in Cardiff in 1923, Arthur was quite possibly descended from the black population that settled around many of the ports of the UK during the time of the slave trade.  He might also have been a child of immigrants from the colonies, but that seems less likely as immigration at that time was far more limited than it became after the war.
He joined the RAF in 1941, aged just 18, and began signals training in Morse Code, with a posting in Blackpool.  His wireless training began in July 1942.  In March 1944 he married Florence May Silver, also of Cardiff, about whom I have no information at present.
Shortly after 10am on Sunday 30 July, 1944, Arthur Young’s Lancaster bomber crashed into Littleton Road Playing Fields in Salford.  Arthur was killed along with the rest of his seven man crew.  He was twenty one.
[Source: Mark Johnson]

Arthur Young, radio operator/air gunner, born Cardiff of Afro-Caribbean parentage. “In July 1944 he was on a raid over Normandy but because of bad visibility the mission was aborted.  His Lancaster, PB 304, returned fully laded with bombs and fuel.  PB 304 did not reach base: somewhere over Manchester it developed engine trouble and crashed into the river Irwell at Salford.  The full bomb load exploded and all the crew perished”
[Info from Butetown History and Arts Centre, courtesy Mrs. A. Dewjee]

BBC-article: The Salford Lancaster

BBC-article:  Butetown remembers World War Two

On Sunday, 30 July 1944, Lancaster PB304 cra shed on the banks of the River Irwell at Salford. This book traces the history of the 7 airmen who died & follows them t hrough training & operations they completed in the 2 weeks b efore their deaths. ‘

Video Salford Online: Salford remembers Lancaster bomber heroes

8 additions to “YOUNG – Arthur Wilmot”

  1. admin adds:

    1. Mark Johnson adds:

    Arthur Young flew with 106 Squadron, RAF.

    When his aircraft went down, all 7 crew were killed, as well as 2 civilians in the house they crashed into.

    There is a play about this tragedy ‘S for Sugar’ written by Pat & Roy Greenhalgh, as well as a book titled ‘The Salford Lancaster’ by Joe Bamford published by Pen and Sword Paperback.

    When the plane crashed it was carrying 9,000 ibs of bombs which had been intended for German positions in Normandy, France. However, the crew were ordered to abort the operation and return to base. Witnesses saw the plane descending and heard that it was in trouble from the engine noise. The explosion was heard 8 miles away.
    November 18th, 2010 at 11:51 am e

  2. lisa carroll adds:

    I am sure this is my grandmother’s brother Arthur young. My Grandmother is Isilda Young and her family originated from Tiger Bay. I have been told stories of this all my life and that Arthur;s plane crashed on D-Day the 6th of June as this was the date in 1971 that i was born.

  3. Trevor Warner adds:

    My great grand father was James louis Meyer Young who arrived in Trinidad from Barbados. There is also a possibe connection with Sam lord. I noticed the photograph of Arthur Young on my visit to the museum in Yorkshire last summer. I am trying to make ancestral connections. Any help would be much appriciated.
    Trevor warner

  4. James adds:

    My grandad was doing his paper round when this happened , he lived near aswell, he saw it fly low over the racecourse hotel he had no idea what was going on so he ducked in the garden of the house he was at ( he thought i was going to come down on top of him ) , i believe either my nan or my grandad knew someone from the house or houses that were effected , im not sure if it was the racecourse hotel but im sure he said it was , we went along to the war museum and they printed of newspaper articals about the event for us , still got them to this day.

  5. Mike Copple adds:

    I was only a small child at the time and our family lived on Great Cheetham St about 3/4 mile from the crash site, next to Albert Park. My father rushed out followed by me when the bomber crashed that Sunday morning and could see a plume of smoke from the direction of the racecourse. Father thought it may have been a V1 as some of these early cruise missiles were being air launched from the east coast by German bombers. Sadly it was the Lancaster attempting to land on the Littleton Rd playing fields. I still recall it and other brief memories of that traumatic period.

  6. patti flynn(nee young) adds:

    Lisa is right about her grandmother, I am also Arthurs sister. Isilda is my elder sister.
    Our father Wilmott Young was a seaman from St Moria Jamaica who worked on cargo ships. He met and eventually married my mother Beatrice Silver from Cardiff in the early 20s. His ship The Ocean Vanguard was torpedoed by the Germans in 1942 leaving my mother a war widow.
    I have been invited to Hendon museum for an interview in the spring to correct the records about Arthur and our family. Glad your interested Lisa. Patti

  7. Martin Wade adds:


    My name is Martin Wade and I am an officer with the RAF Reserves based in Cardiff. I am researching people from Cardiff’s black community who served in the RAF and am very interested in Sgt Young’s story. I will try and get the book mentioned here to find out more. I’d be very keen to get in touch with his relatives who have posted here. Would you be able to pass on my contact details please?

    Best regards,
    Martin Wade (Flying Officer)
    Media Flt
    No 614 (County of Glamorgan) Sqn RAuxAF
    Ty Llewellyn, Morgan St, Cardiff, CF10 4FG
    Mob: 07882 918255

  8. Andy Pawsey adds:


    I am heading up the RAF Media Team covering the RAF100 Tour in Cardiff. I have Arthur Young’s sister visiting and would like to use Arthur’s picture ( in some of my press activities. Is this OK?

    Regards . . .

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