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Hopgood, John Vere

John Vere Hopgood
Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Crew Europe Star
Air Crew
Europe Star
1939 - 1945 Star
1939 - 1945
1939 - 1945 War Medal
1939 - 1945
War Medal
Flight Lieutenant John Vere Hopgood (61281)
Died on Monday 17th May 1943, aged 21
617 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Son of Harold Burn Hopgood and Grace Hopgood, of Seaford, Sussex
Buried:Rheinberg War Cemetery
Coll. grave 17. E. 2-6.

John "Hoppy" Hopgood was born on 29th August 1922 to Harold and Grace Hopgood, who were living in Dorndon, School Road.

He was educated at Marlborough College and was due to go up to Cambridge University, Corpus Christi College when war broke out.

John joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1940, qualifying as a pilot in February 1941. In 1942 he earned his commission and was promoted to flight lieutenant. He was awarded the Distiguished Flying Cross in October 1942 after completing 47 missions, the bar was added to the award in January 1943.

Guy Gibson selected John to be his deputy for the dambusters raid on the Möhne Dam. The official record of events reports:

MOHNE DAM. 1 Mine,
Was seen to be hit by flak in the run- up and to have engine on fire. He overshot with his mine, which struck the parapet, and then flew on for a few minutes before crashing in flames. It is believed that he may have climbed sufficiently for some members of his crew to escape by parachute.

John Hopgood was buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery.



They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon