Stephen Esson


Service: Royal Air Force

Unit: Squadron: 107

Rank: Sergeant Pilot Officer

Service Number 40376

Stephen George Esson was born in Aberdeen in 1919, eldest son of George Forbes Esson, a master mariner and Margaret Esson (née Stephen).  He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School from 1929 - 1934. His parents later lived at The Gables, Larchfield Avenue, Newton Mearns.  On leaving school Stephen joined the cadet ship, H.M.S. Conway, from 1935 - 1937, where he took the aviation course and became Cadet Captain. He obtained his "A" flying licence when he was eighteen, and in February I938 he was granted a regular commission in the R.A.F. He was lightweight boxing champion of the 1938 and runner-up in the inter-Services boxing championship of 1939.

He served in 107 Squadron and flew Blenheim bombers. On 23 June 1940 Blenheim R3688 of No. 107 Squadron departed at 16.50 hrs from RAF Wattisham with the mission to bomb enemy targets in Soest, Osnabrück and Hamm in Germany.  Sergeant Esson was piloting the aircraft which crashed at Willemsoord, 6km north west of Steenwijk Holland. No cause for the crash has been established. The bodies of the crew were buried in a communal grave in the local cemetery, full military honours being accorded by the Dutch authorities. Sergeant Esson is also commemorated on the Aberdeen Grammar School Memorial and the Aberdeen Scout Association Memorial.


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Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Stephen Esson