Reginald William Frederick Munns was a Londoner who moved to Chelmsford between the wars and lived with his grandparents in Goat Hall Lane, Chelmsford. He was a talented footballer and played for Chelmsford City reserves. He joined the R.A.F. in 1941 and trained in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa and was posted to Bomber Command. He married in 1943. He was killed in September 1943 when his Halifax aircraft failed to return from a raid on Munich. It was his 27th operational mission.
Reginald William Frederick MUNNS, Pilot Officer, 77 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed when his aircraft failed to return on a raid on Munich. Aged 22
Reginald was also closely connected with Chelmsford City Football Club, being a talented centre-forward or inside forward with a great turn of speed. He played a number of reserve team games for the club before joining up.
In 1941, when aged 19, Reginald joined the Royal Air Force. His early training was in Southern Rhodesia and South Afriica. He is pictured at the controls of an Airspeed Oxford aircraft in South Africa.
In early 1943 Reginald married Joyce M. Smith in south London and the couple set up home at 26 Hawkesfield Road in Forest Hill.
On 28th March 1943 he was posted to 77 Squadron and in June 1943 he gained his commission as Pilot Officer 148178.
On 6th September 1943 Reginald was at the controls of a Halifax aircraft DT973 (markings KN-E) which took off at 7.18 p.m. from Elvington Aerodrome in Yorkshire for a bombing raid on Munich. The aircraft failed to return from the raid and was lost without trace. It was 22 year-old Reginald's 27th operational flight.
He and his crewmates have no known grave and are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey. The six other men on the aircraft were: Sergeant (flight engineer) 983888 William Cecil Smirk, Pilot Officer (navigator) 159705 William Walter Smith, Sergeant (air bomber) 1233323 Clifford Wyatt Tomlinson, Sergeant (air gunner) 1125318 Richard Reginald Wilson (age 21), Sergeant (air gunner) R/172702 Eric Fedi (age 17) Royal Canadian Air Force, and Sergeant (air gunner) Douglas Vernon Webb (age 29) who came from Stock, close to Chelmsford.
The Canadian Eric Fedi had falsified his age when he enlisted aged 15, hence his extreme youth when killed.
Reginald left an estate valued at £296 1s. 10d. with probate granted to his widow. His parents lived at 19 Riverview Park in Catford, south London.
Reginald William Frederick Munns was born in London 1921, the son of Samuel William Munns (1899-1967) and Ada Elizabeth Munns (nee Langton) (1902-1983). His parents had married in London earlier in 1921.
Reginald moved to Chelmsford between the wars and latterly lived with his grandparents Frederick Charles Langton (1883-1962) and Adela Agnes Langton (nee Hills) (1882-1962) in Goat Hall Lane, Chelmsford.
In 1937 and 1938 Reginald's grandfather, a councillor on Chelmsford Borough Council, was a principle figure behind the creation of Chelmsford City Football Club. His grandfather chose the club's colours, claret and white, as they were those worn by Northampton Town - Northampton being Frederick's home prior to the First World War.