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The Airmen's Stories - P/O D S Yapp


Derek Sydney Yapp was born on 15th June 1919 in Bath, Somerset and joined the RAF on a short service commission in February 1939. Yapp started his initial training at 9 E&RFTS Ansty on the 6th, moved to 6 FTS Little Rissington on 30th April and then he joined the newly-reformed 245 Squadron at Leconfield on 6th November.

Yapp went to Belgium on 16th May 1940, when 'A' Flight was attached to 615 Squadron, returning to Drem on the 21st. He was posted away to 253 Squadron at Kenley on 1st October 1940.

On 4th March 1941 he shared a Ju88, A6+LH of 1.(F)120 which was shot down off Westray in the Orkneys.


253 Squadron at Kenley 1st December 1940

L to R, sitting on wing:

Sgt. RA Innes - P/O RC Graves – Sgt.A Edgley – Sgt. CB Brown – P/O DA Pennington – P/O DS Yapp

L to R standing:

F/O AF Eckford – Capt. de Scitivaux – F/O SR Peacock-Edwards – P/O G Marsland – F/Lt. RM Duke-Woolley – S/Ldr PR Walker – F/Lt. RF Watts – F/O Wall (Adjutant) – F/O Henry (Intelligence)

L to R sitting: Sgt. AS Dredge – Sgt. PJ Moore – Sgt. EHC Kee

(P/O Corkett and P/O Greenwood not present)




Yapp remained with the squadron until 10th May 1941, being then posted to 124 Squadron which was then reforming at Castletown.

Tour-expired, he went to 54 OTU at Church Fenton on 27th October 1941 but his stay was short and he rejoined 253 Squadron, then at Hibaldstow, on 23rd December as a Flight Commander. Yapp damaged a He111 at night on 1st May 1942 whilst co-operating with a 1459 Flight Turbinlite Havoc.

He took command of 253 later in the month and led it with distinction during the Dieppe operation on 19th August for which he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 29th September 1942).

Yapp moved to 59 OTU Milfield on 15th September 1942 as a supernumerary. He was appointed CFI at 57 OTU Eshott on 7th November. In preparation for a return to operations he went on a night-fighter course at 54 OTU Charter Hall on 20th April 1943 and then joined 68 Squadron at Coltishall on 15th July, remaining with it until 1st March 1944 when he was posted to HQ 12 Group Watnall.

From 24th April until 4th July 1944 Yapp served with 4 ADF York. He then went to SHQ Church Fenton until 6th November 1944, when he was released from the RAF as a Squadron Leader.

He subsequently worked in civil aviation, firstly flying Rapides and Dakotas then moving on to Viscounts, Vanguards and Tridents with British Airways.

He died on 14th June 2012.



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