Date: 22/05/1940
Squadron Code: TR-?
Serial Number: Blenheim IV L9266
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Crecy (France)
Take off time. ?
Op: ?

"Shot down by RAF Spitfire and crashed near Fricourt, France. F/O Francis Bird was winner of the 440 yards and equal first in the Long Jump: Inter-Services Athletic Meeting, 1937". source


"Charles John Westley Brinn, Sergeant (Observer), 563306, Royal Air Force. Charles served in 59 Squadron, which was attached to Fighter Command. The Squadron had moved to France during October, 1939, equipped with Blenheims, and undertook reconnaissance missions in conjunction with the rapidly retreating BEF during those desperate few months in 1940, when they were being pushed back by the Germans towards Dunkirk. Charles died when his plane was shot down over France on the 22nd May, 1940 and is buried at Fricourt Communal Cemetery". source


According to the book "Keep Them Flying" (W/C Richard Los MBE) F/O Bird was flying only his second operational sortie when shot down. 59 Sqn was only shortly stationed at Crecy enroute back to the UK as the Battle of France was being lost (leaving on the 20th of May). A small detachment of 4 Blenheim's remained in France and were later posted elsewhere. So it is possible that this crew was part of that detachment as they were lost on the 22nd May.


Crew Details:

All lost:


Source: Traces of World War II -

During WWII, the RAF used three-letter codes to identify their aircraft from a distance. Two large letters were painted before the roundel, which signified the squadron to which the aircraft belonged, and another letter was painted after the roundel which indicated the individual aircraft. Aditionally, there was the individual serial number for each aircraft, which was painted in a much smaller size, usually somewhere at the rear of the aircraft: (more)

Codes used by RAF 59 Squadron:

PJ Sep 1938 - Sep 1939
TR Sep 1939 - Oct 1942
1 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
WE Jul 1944 - Oct 1945
BY Oct 1945 - Jun 1946, Dec 1947 - Oct 1950