An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Frederick Arthur DOBSON

No. 1504526 Flight Sergeant,
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve;
No. 102 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Died 20 January 1944, aged 21 years.

Commemorated on the Air Forces Runnymede Memorial,
Surrey, Panel 217.

No. 102 Squadron was part of RAF Bomber Command and was stationed for the latter half of the war at RAF Pocklington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It was equipped with Handley Page Halifax bombers for night bombing raids over Germany. On the night of 20 January 1944 Flight Sergeant Dobson was a member of the crew of Halifax code-sign DY-N which took off to take part in a raid on Berlin. But it crashed in the course of the raid, coming down in Wensickendorf on the northern outskirts of the city. Flight Sergeant Dobson and five other crew members were killed. They were buried by the Germans, but their graves could not subsequently be located. (Only the pilot, who was another flight sergeant, survived and was taken prisoner).

The Runnymede Memorial records the names of over 20,000 British and Commonwealth airmen who lost their lives in the Second World War and have no known grave.

Frederick Arthur Dobson was the son of Frederick Ernest Dobson and Alice Dobson of Redcar. He won a North Riding County Council Scholarship to attend Coatham School, as a day boy, in September 1933. He was then aged eleven and joined Storr’s House, in Form IIA. In his final school year, 1936-37, in Form VB, he passed his School Certificate examination. The school magazine of June 1944 noted that he was “reported missing”. He was first recorded on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1944.