Date: 04/02/1941
Squadron Code: TR-D
Serial Number: Blenheim IV L8791
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Thorney Island
Take off time ?
Op: ?

Update 2012: I have recently been contacted by Ian Edgar, the son of Sgt C.H Edgar who confirms Alec McCurdy's note that P/O Custerson and Sgt Harker died after their aircraft crashed on take off. Sgt Edgar was the survivor on this night.. He submitted the following:

"My father Sgt.C.H.Edgar was the W.Op/A.G. that survived the crash that killed Custerson & Harker in Blenheim L8791 TR-D on 04-02-1941. I also have photos of the three of them if you would like a copy. Further pics of Blenheim crew for TR-Y shot down by Priller in a 109 & ditched in the channel (Briggs,Kennedy & Edgar) all survived becoming PoWs..."

Alec McCurdy - a fellow pilot on "A" Flight with Don Custerson believes that a fatal error, may have been behind the crash that killed Custerson and Harker: According to McCurdy the engine control "pitch knobs" had been set to the wrong position for take off, thus rendering the engines uncapable of producing enough power for lift-off.

Crew Details:

One survivor:


Source: C/C Losses - McNeill

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