Date: 26/03/1941
Squadron Code: ?
Serial Number: Blenheim IV V6065
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Thorney Island
Take off time ?
Op: ?

P/O Sandes and crew were returning from a sortie to Brest, when they crashed in fog at Winterbourne Abbas on return, The aircraft was engulfed with and destroyed by fire with all crew killed. Also lost on this day was Blenheim IV V5648 captained by P/O McMillan on an anti-shipping sortie on the French Coast. Probably the same mission as Sandes & crew.

Larry Donnelly in his book The Other Few notes that on 14/07/1940 a Blenheim flown by "P/O Sanders" (probable spelling error) was attacked by four Bf109's forty miles south of Selsey Bill. During the attack the navigator was wounded and the aircraft badly damaged, they managed to get it back to Thorney Island and crashed on landing, all survived.

_______ Update 2012: Confirms that P/O Sandes & Crew were involved in the above mentioned.

On one encounter on 14 July 1940 he was flying a Bristol Blenheim Bomber Mk IV and was attacked by four Messerschmitt ME109s The navigator was wounded and the aircraft badly damaged. They got back to RAF Thorney Island and crash-landed. (



Crew Details:

All lost:

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