Francis Herbert Schumer

Pilot Officer, 600 Squadron
Service number 84970
Died 12 Jul 1941
Commemorated at Golders Green Crematorium
Age 22


Francis was born on 13 April 1919 in Hendon, Middlesex to Ukrainian born Jacob and Matilda nee Myers and had two older brothers. Their father Jacob qualified as a doctor in Vienna in 1894 and married Matilda in Birmingham in 1897. He died in 1925 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Francis was educated at Giggleswick School where he was in the Rugby 1st XV and was head of the School Officer Training Corps. He entered Worcester College on 7 October 1938 and was a member of the University Air Squadron, but did not return to the College for his second year as he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in June 1939 and was called up on 1 September 1939. While at the College he played a guitar, which was returned to his mother after his death. College members who died in 1941 | Worcester College (ox.ac.uk)

He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on probation on 7 September 1940, on the same day he arrived at No. 5 Operational Training Unit based at RAF Aston Down in Gloucestershire to complete his training. He was involved in accidents on 12 September 1940 and 24 February 1941. He was posted to 600 Squadron on 24 September 1940. 

On 12 July 1941 Francis was the pilot of Beaufighter R2317 with his observer Allan Ralph Smither. They were attempting an aerobatic loop at 9,000 feet. It is thought that Francis pulled out too sharply from the recovery dive and went into a spin. The aircraft crashed into the ground killing both men.