P/O John Topping - DFM  

P/O John Topping  (DFM) - RAFVR

Pliot Officer John Topping was piloting Hampden Mk.B1 P4400 coded PT-J during Operation Fuller on February 12, 1942 when his aircraft and crew were lost without a trace.

The other crewmembers were:

Sgt. Frederick Ashfield RAFVR

F/O Edward Fowler RAFVR

Sgt. Thomas Mate RAFVR

P/O Topping earned his Distinguished Flying Medal while flying Hampdens with 106 squadron, his citation reads:

"Sgt. Topping has captained an aircraft on 31 operations which have included 10 "Gardening" operations off the coast of France and Germany and 21 bombing raids on the heavily defended Naval yards of the enemy and the industrial cities in the Ruhr.His consistent skill and courage have earned him a considerable measure of success.On the night of 4th April,1941,he carried out a daring low-level attack on "Scharnhost" in Brest Harbour and was only 50 ft. above sea-level before pulling out of the dive in which his aircraft was hit by a tracer and his navigator wounded. This NCO is a pilot whose skill, courage and conscientiousness have been outstanding throughout his service in the Squadron and his reliable execution of his operations and the ground duties have undoubtedly been an example to other members of the Squadron."

P/O John Topping was 24 years old at the time of his death. He was the son of Thomas and Annie Topping and husband of Kathleen (nee Lockett). Born in Carlisle, he lived in Rochester, Kent prior to the war.

  Photo courtesy of Marshall Topping (nephew of John Topping), research by Linda Ibrom.