Photo: archiv Simona Youense

Photo: archiv Simona Youense


A telegram announcing the home coming of the lost son.

no sufficient proof it was his fire which forced

a British pilot to make an emergency landing. It’s

quite possible that the verdict was correct. Why?

Because Hubert Youens himself recounted the

whole event to his son. And he told this father´s

story to his son Simon. “Grandpa supposedly said

that he had landed due to the engine failure not

because he had been shot down,” claimed the

grandson of the former fighter pilot…

In the end Degelow made up for his bad luck

more than enough. Only two days later he was

credited with one Bristol F.2b from 20th Squadron

and till the end of hostilities the later Jasta 40 commander (since July 11, 1918) accumulated thirty

victories in total.

was dedicated to his father. His grandson Simon

Youens recalls: “My father was slightly irritated

that Degelow referred to my grandfather as Canadian. I recently discovered why this may have

occurred. Flight Commander Armstrong referred

to in the combat report was the Canadian Ace F.C.

Armstrong and perhaps Degelow, knowing this

fact, assumed that all the pilots of the ‘Armstrong

Boarding School’ were Canadian.”

Actually, Armstrong was only a C flight leader, but

the fact is that during that period of time ten out

of eighteen squadron pilots were Canadian nationals. Degelow’s error doesn’t come as a surprise,

the whole No.3 Squadron RNAS was considered

Canadian by Germans. Credit goes to the author,

publisher or translator to English, Peter Kilduff

that in later editions of Degelow’s memoirs this

error was corrected and Youens is simply referred to as “Tommy” which was a general term for

a British Empire soldier. The Youens family hails

from High Wycombe (London’s North-West outskirts) so they are English. Let’s mention that you

can find Youens Road in this neighborhood. However, it’s not named after Hubert Youens, an aviator, but after Frederick Youens, an infantryman…

Photo: Google Maps

Missing for three months

After his departure from Jasta 7 and interrogation that followed, Hubert Youens went through

several POW camps until he settled at Lower Saxony camp Holzminden. His family had no information about him for three months and on April 8

they received a letter from Admiralty confirming

he was alive and German POW. He returned back

home in December 1918 and died in 1942 from

a heart attack. His son was 19 years old at that

time and only in the 1980s learned about Degelow’s autobiography where one whole chapter

Youens Road in High Wycombe is named after Frederick Youens.

INFO Eduard - January 2022

Detour nr.3, last one: A hero

Hubert Youens was not the only family member

fighting in the Great War. His cousin, Frederick

Youens served with the 13th company of the Durham light infantry regiment. He held a temporary rank of Sub-Lieutenant and was short of one

month of his twenty-fifth birthday when he was

killed on July 7, 1917. On that day, wounded himself, in the chaos following the German attack, he

organized a Lewis machine gun team defense

when close to firing post with crew ready to fire

a German bomb (or grenade) landed. Quick witted and without hesitation Youens grabbed it and

threw it over the wall where it exploded harmlessly. In a while another one landed. Youens jumped after it again and tried to throw it away to

a safe distance to save his comrades. He was not

lucky this time. The bomb exploded in his hands

and shortly after Frederick succumbed to his

wounds. For his bravery he was posthumously

awarded the British highest military decoration,

Victoria Cross.

Photo: archiv Simona Youense

The notice dated April 8, 1918, informing the family that

Hubert Youens was captured and is alive.

Frederick Youens, Hubert’s cousin who perished

in Belgium trenches.