Images courtesy of Mr Robin Durrell.

Born: 1917, Essex.

Died: 9th June 1942; age: 24; Aircraft accident.

Residence: ‘Chantry House,’ 59, Orwell Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk.




Rank: Flight Sergeant/Observer; Service Number: 958563.

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 97 Squadron.


Buried 1st August 1942.

Grave Reference:


Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,


Original grave.


Relatives Notified & Address: Elder son of John Henry & Nellie Elizabeth Platten, of Felixstowe, Suffolk.


Father: John Henry Platten, born March 1865, Loughton, Essex. A Railway Auditor.

Mother: Nellie Elizabeth Platten (nee Rogers), born August 1890, Leyton, Essex.


Denis was educated at Ipswich School.


On the 11th May 1942, the engagement was announced between Denis, elder son of Mr. John & Mrs. Nellie Platten, of  Chantry House, 59, Orwell Road, Felixstowe, and Monica J. Crompton, on the occasion of her 21st birthday, elder daughter of Mr. Percy & Mrs. Lilian Crompton, of 80, Huntley Grove, Peterborough, Northamptonshire. Monica was serving with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.


Probate to John Henry Platten – father, a railway auditor.


Denis is also remembered on the Chapel war memorial at Ipswich School, and at the seafront, Felixstowe, Suffolk.


9th June 1942


Aircraft: Lancaster I; Serial number: R5495; Code: OF-N. Based at RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. The aircraft took off on Operation ‘Essen’ the city was classed as one of the major industrial areas of Germany. R5495 failed to return, nothing was heard from them, and no German night fighter claimed the loss of the aircraft.


Mervyn Frank Hughes; Pilot Officer/Pilot; age 26; R.A.F.V.R.


Harry Lawton; Flight Sergeant/Pilot 2; age 22; R.C.A.F.

Alexander Crerar; Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 24; R.A.F.V.R.

Ronald Harris; Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 20; R.A.F.V.R.


Douglas Leonard Overton D.F.M.; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.


Gordon Henry Mercer; Sergeant/Air Gunner; R.A.F.V.R.

Six members of the crew were buried at the Municipal Cemetery at Marl. They were later moved and interred at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

The body of Denis was found much later and buried on the 1st August 1942.

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