DINGHY YOUNG SIGNATURE
A DAMBUSTER AND TRUE HERO
Within this page we look at Dingy young and the connection with Robert Taylors print The Impossible Mission were Young is captured making his run to score a direct hit against the Dam, within our Dambuster Topic we are asking for you the members to add as much info on this as we can muster up, i would like to Add something very special to this page which is a photo from a logbook in which Young has signed from his time as S/Ldr in 104 SQDN
Squadron Leader Melvin Young acquired the nickname 'Dinghy' after ditching in the sea twice and surviving both times in an inflatable dinghy.
It also seemed appropriate because he had helped Oxford to win the Boat Race in 1938. However, on the night of 16/17 May as part of the 617 Squadron Dambusters raid Operation Chastise, his luck on water finally vanished as his Lancaster ditched in the North Sea, killing all on board.
Born in 1915 to a British father and an American mother, Young had a privileged upbringing and went to school in both Britain and America.
He went to read law at Trinity College, Oxford, graduating in 1937 and rowing for the university in 1938. He was also a member of the Oxford University Air Squadron, where he first learnt to fly (at RAF Abingdon).
His flight training school instructor remarked that he was an "above average pilot" with "above average officer qualities. A likeable personality and a very satisfactory pupil".
Young married his American wife Priscilla in the US in August 1942 and afterwards worked for a time as an instructor in Albany, Georgia.
In March 1943, he had not yet flown a Lancaster in his life, yet on his return to Britain he and his new crew were allocated to the new 617 Squadron, headed up by Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
In the following couple of months before the raid, Young did get plenty of hours under his belt, but very few at night. Nonetheless, on the night of the raid, Young got his first run at the Möhne Dam exactly right, dropping his Upkeep mine at the correct speed and height.
It bounced across the surface of the water, made contact with the dam, sank and exploded. After a further successful hit (from David Maltby’s AJ-J Lancaster), the dam crumbled and a massive torrent of water poured through to loud cheers from the watching planes.
Young turned and headed for home but at 0258 he was shot down as he crossed the Dutch coast. Later in May his body and those of his crew were washed up. They are buried in Bergen, North Holland. Young was 27 years old.