The Youngest Hero

When John Hannah was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1940 he was just 18 years of age – making him the youngest member of aircrew to ever receive the medal

John Hannah was born in Paisley, Scotland on November 27, 1921 and following education in Glasgow he joined the RAF in 1939 at the outbreak of war and trained as a wireless operator.

At the completion of his studies he was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to 83 Sqn in 1940 as a wireless operator/ gunner on Handley Page Hampden bombers.

On September 15, 1940 – while the Battle of Britain was raging over much of southern England – Hannah was part of P/O C A Conner’s crew aboard Hampden P1355 – coded OL-W – as it flew across the Channel to launch a successful attack on German shipping near Antwerp, Belgium.

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