Gil and Bob Young… and Les Rispler

Here is Gil Gillis with someone else…

Walter Neil Dove collection


He is in this picture of a captured Me-108.

We know what a Me-108 is, but who is Bob Young?

Click here…

Flying Officer Robert Young


Bob was born on the 17th May 1918 in Peterborough, Ontario and attended the Prince of Wales School initially and later the Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School. As he admits he was a very poor student and hated all the years he attended school. He tried hard to get into the RAF before the war broke out but they were not at that time taking anyone unless they had previous flying experience.

The RAF may have done Bob a good turn as they advised him to apply for admission to the RCAF, which he did immediately. Then followed one of the most frustrating periods of his life and as Bob states “one would not realise there was a war in progress! I just sat around day after day it seemed forever waiting until the 11th May 1940 when they finally called me. I used to say that if that is a sample of their preparations, we’ll lose for sure.”

It hasn’t been possible to establish details of all Bob’s wartime service but he clearly recalls the action on the 1st May 1945 when he shot down a long-nosed FW 190 with TB 752 (Code KH-Z).

A section from 403 Squadron was patrolling the Lavenburg Bridgehead when they came across a “gaggle” of Fw 190s. In the resultant dogfight Bob destroyed one for certain and also claimed 2 probables and no less than 6 damaged. At one time during the dog fight Bob was not very pleased to see another aircraft hanging on his tail. But one can only imagine his relief when Les Rispler advised Bob that it was him. As Bob states he was “perspiring freely”.

Although Bob seemed to suffer with mechanical faults on other aircraft, the only trouble he had with a Spitfire was the day he had a full 90 gallon belly tank which he forgot about when landing and which caused the port wheel to collapse which he regards as highly inexcusable flying.

Bob does, however, appear to have had more than his fair share of malfunctions when flying other aircraft. In August 1940 he was flying a Fleet bi-plane at E.F.T. and had to make a forced landing when a valve went through a cylinder head. On the 26th November that year he was flying a Northrop Nomad when the weather closed in and he was forced to land near Brantford. When flying a Hurricane near Ternhill in Scotland Bob also had to land hurriedly when the oil pressure gauge registered zero. Again, when flying from Ternhill in another Hurricane the port tyre blew

In Canada Bob was flying a Lysander in Alberta when the cockpit suddenly filled with smoke. There followed a loud metallic “bang”. He managed to land in a field next to the runway and when the smoke cleared away he saw that there was no propeller on the aircraft. This was returned by a farmer several months later. Apparently the lock washer had come off the propeller and had fallen into the reduction gears and which had led to the shaft being severed.

After the conclusion of the war Bob worked for Trent University in Peterborough and also for several years in the Post Office. He later worked for Unemployment Insurance in Post Office Building.

Well now we know.

And now everyone knows more…

And what about Les Rispler…?