Rank & Name: F/Lt J. Logsdail
Close Window
Date of Death: N/A


F/Lt Logsdail was posted into the squadron at RAF Ballykelly on the 23rd of October 1943 from No.1 OTU, RAF Thornaby, along with his crew and co-pilot, F/O Derek Alcock.

They flew there first op' a month later on the 23rd of November, an A/A escort to convoy's SL139 and MKS30 in Liberator V. FL973 "C". The convoy's were successfully met and escorted for 5 1/2 hours and his crew on this day were: F/O Derek Alcock (co-pilot), P/O R. Hewis (nav), F/S T.C. Goode (engineer?) and F/Sgt's R.J Nunan and R.G Marlow and Sgt's D. Mortimer, C. Boardman and H. Williams (all WAG). Time Up: 0854 - Time Down: 2322.

Their second op' was undertaken on the 10th of December in Liberator V. FL980 "T", an Anti-Submarine patrol which was successfully carried out with the pilots reports stating that "Nothing at all was observed". The crew on this day was the same, minus F/S Goode. They had been despatched to RAF Tiree for this sortie. Time Up: 2008 - Time Down: 0839 (11th - Ballykelly).

Their next op', another Anti-Submarine patrol on the 17th, again in Liberator "T" was abandoned after 5 hours as the heating generators were unserviceable. No crew changes. Time up: 1135 - Time Down: 2044.

On the 24th, at 0335 they took off in Liberator V. FL972, "E" on an A/S Escort to convoy's OS62 and KMS36. They were successfully met at 1100 but an order to return to base immediately was received upon arrival and that they did, landing at 1728. For this sortie, Sgt Mortimer has been replaced by F/O J.T. Warbrick.

Their next op' was undertaken on the 27th of January 1944, in Liberator V. FL977 "H", an Anti-Submarine patrol in area "D". 8 hours into the sortie, the rudder controls locked causing a rapid and serious loss of altitude. The ORB states that the "Captain ordered ditching positions and jettisoning of equipment" however Sgt Clifford Boardman, has a slightly different account of the events. As told to his son, Andrew Boardman, Clifford recalled that it was F/O Derek Alcock that ordered the jettisoning of equipment, in an effort to avoid ditching after their captain had decided to do so. Alcock's decision was eagerly accepted by others and everything that was not bolted down, was soon sailing out open windows and the DC's from the bomb bay.

It worked and the aircraft, although still in serious trouble, eventually gained altitude and they made it back to base a couple of hours later. His actions on this day won the admiration of Clifford and no doubt the rest of the crew. Ditching an aircraft is serious business and the chances of survival are low. Even if aircrew survive the landing, they still have to make it into their rafts, possibly injured and most definitely wet. Then comes the often most enduring task, survival of the elements and awaiting rescue.

Although F/O Alcock's decision proved effective, F/Lt Logsdail's decision to ditch, should not be frowned upon. With the rudder controls locked, the aircraft was out of control and in serious trouble. Ordering the crew to ditching positions was a reasonable response given the situation. There are many reasons why a Liberator crew has two pilots and this scenario showcases one of them, "team work". Logsdail gave co-pilot had another idea, it was implemented and luckily it came through. It could very easily have had no effect at all and the aircraft still have been ditched. But today, Lady Luck was with them.




Further Information

If you have any information about F/Lt Logsdail, please contact me, thank you.

Rest In Peace