Date: 26/05/1940
Squadron Code: TR-?
Serial Number: Blenheim IV N3613
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Possibly Coulommiers
Take off time. ?
Op: recon

Reconnaissance sortie, shot down near Dussen, Netherlands.

This crew may have been part of a small detachment that remained in France after the main contingent of 59 Sqn pulled out of France on the 22nd of May 1940 from Crecy airfield. According to Los, they were posted to a small airfield near the Belgian border that he names as Coulommiers... the airfield did exist but it is not as "close" to the border as he insinuates... so infact it may have been another, also I have found no record of 59 Sqn being posted there, although there was mention of 212 Sqn RAF (being posted there during the final stages of the Battle of France) and some American bomber squadrons.


Sgt. Gordon Louis Schwind RAF, was killed aged 21 on May 26th 1940 and is buried at Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium [34] ( Jewish (British) airmen.



Update March 2012:

I've only been able to locate a Dussen in the Netherlands, which I'm prone to think this is the Dussen meant, as P/O Shaw is buried in the Netherlands... about 70km away from there... Schwind and Brogan are however buried 170 miles away in Belgium... which makes me wonder how this could be? My belief is that they were helped by the resistance to get to Belgium but were caught and killed... They rest side by side... which means however they met there fate, they were most likely together... but was the resistance operational in May of 1940?
My last question is, where does Warner get his information from as I have looked through the 59 Sqn ORB and nothing is mentioned of this crew... I know there was a small contingent of 59 Sqn aircraft and crews left behind in France after they pulled out on the 20th of May.. so I'm assuming the record of this flight, came from else where??

Update Nov. 2012:

I have been contacted by several people, Iain Shaw (P/O Shaw's cousin) and Bob Muncaster, who is researching the Schwind famiuly history. Both have given greater insight into the reason why the P/O Shaw is buried so far away from the other two members of his crew... P/O Shaw's brother - Squadron Leader John Leslie Shaw who died in 1944 - died during the D-Day operations and it is likely that P/O Shaw's grave was later relocated to be alongside his brother's.



Crew Details:

All lost:


(above) At rest - Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium


Source: Traces of World War II - Richard Los

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