Sergeant Frank R Law
Sergeant Francis Reginald LAW - 934284 - 10/12/1911 - 22/2/1942
Francis - often known as Frank, was born in Chadwell Heath, Romford, Essex on the 10th December 1911, he was the oldest of 3, Richard his brother - born 1913 and Nancy his sister - born 1922.
Richard served with the Dockyard Police at Dover, Nancy drove trucks and ambulances with the ATS, both survived the war.
Frank was married in 1937 and went to live in Rock, near Kidderminster
His widow Dorothy nee Chasney later remarried but remained in Kidderminster and stayed in contact with Franks sister Nancy. Frank & Dorothy did not have children. Frank is remembered as Frank R Law on the memorial at Rock, near Kidderminster.
His sister Nancy remembers that Frank always wanted to fly, other than
that Nancy rarely spoke of Francis so little is remembered about his
life before the RAFVR.
Francis trained as a Wireless Op/Air Gunner and was posted from 14 OTU RAF Cottesmore to 50 Squadron at RAF Swinderby on 13th October 1941,
he joined a crew with Sgt (Pilot) Ivor Mapp and flew his first Op on
20th October 1941.
In total he flew 14 Ops - Mainly with Ivor Mapp. Sgt Fenner, Sgt Hill, Sgt Law.
- 20/21 October 1941. Hampden AE401: Bombing – Bremen
- 23/24 October 1941. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Keil.
- 26/27 October 1941. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Hamburg.
- 26/27 October 1941. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Schipol aerodrome.
- 29/30 October 1941. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Hamburg.
- 3/4 November 1941. Hampden AE423: Gardening – Nasturtium.
- 6/7 November 1941. Hampden AT109: Gardening – Onions.
- 30/1 December 1941. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Hamburg.
- 10/11 January 1942. Hampden AE423: Bombing - Wilhelmshaven.
Sgts Mapp, Weber, Law, Lane.
- 14/15 January 1942. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Hamburg.
- 22/23 January 1942. Hampden AE423: Bombing – Munster.
- 6 February 1942. Hampden AT177: Gardening – Nectarine.
- 12 February 1942. Hampden AT152: Bombing – Battleships.
- 21/22 February 1942. Hampden AE394: Bombing – Rhine valley.
Sgts Mapp, Thompson, Law and Ballard.
From the ORB. “This aircraft found good weather conditions and attacked a railway junction believed to be west of Koblenz. Bombs were dropped from 10,000 ft.and one
burst was seen. Shortly after leaving the target area, the navigator became unconscious apparently through lack of oxygen but the pilot was able to set course for home by a series of fixes obtained.
Later, the navigator recovered and was able to continue with his duties. Whilst coming in from the sea one of the engines cut and added further difficulty to the situation. Severe icing conditions
were encountered and, whilst over land the engines cut due to lack of petrol and the piot ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft.The aircraft crashed near York, unfortunately three of the crew were
Philip Sydney Ballard baled out but his parachute failed to open, he
did not survive. Ivor Mapp baled out and survived (he survived the
Hector Francis Thompson and Francis Reginald Law were trapped, unknown
to the pilot, and perished when the Hampden crashed in York.
This operation was the first time this crew had flown together, it was
Philips 12th Op and Hectors 1st Op.
Philip and Hector were 22, Frank was 30.
Francis & Hector are buried together in the parish church of St
Germaine, Thurlby Lincolnshire just a few miles from RAF Swinderby,
Philip is buried at Chartham, Kent
The inscription chosen by the family for Franks grave is "He Gave His
Life For Freedom"
Lest We Forget