Date: 26/07/1940
Squadron Code: TR-T
Serial Number: Blenheim IV T1801
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Thorney Island.
Time Up: 0315 hrs.TIme Down: -
Op: Bombing - Cherbourg.

Missing: Both P/O. Turnbull and Sgt. Rowe are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial while Sgt. Wallace rests in Criel-sur-Mer Communal Cemetery, France. It appears that Sgt. Wallace was a stand in crew member for Sgt. Henry Strickland, who had been injured on return from the previous mission. Although the ORB shows Wallace's name crossed out and replaced with 'Simpson"... It was in fact Wallace that had flown...

Update March 2012: I have received some advice stating that there must have been some form of identification to certify that it was Sgt Wallace in France and not Simpson... and that ORB's are often incorrect... There was possibly some confusion when filling in the ORB for the two losses... Sgt Simpson had infact been lost with all crew the previous day with F/O Haswell & crew. Both P/O Turnbull & crew and F/O Haswell & crew had been sent to search for the survivors of S.S. Meknes, attacked and sunk by the German navy on the night of the 24th Of July, 1940.

The ORB shows that P/O Turnbull, Sgt Rowe and Sgt Strickland flew their first sortie on the 23rd of July. As was the custom for new crews on the squadron, their first sortie was a night patrol - Time Up: 2155 - Time Down: 0235 - Nothing unusual seen... Three days later, on only their thrid mission, Turnbull and Rowe were killed...


UPDATE - FEB 2012:

According to the son of Sgt Strickland (Roger) - his father had been injured in a flying accident and the next day his crew went out with a replacement and failed to return...

"the aircraft was returning from a raid when the dorsal turret glass 'exploded' (dad was gunner/navigator)causing some nasty facial injuries, which landed him in hospital, and the crew went off the next day with a replacement and didn't return, an event that stayed with him all his life. They never discovered the reason for the glass exploding, it was thought it could have been a seagull."

Although Henry states that they were returning from a raid, the ORB shows that this mission was infact the search for the S.S. Meknes survivors. Of the three aircraft sent out, the only crew to report positive findings in the ORB was that of Turnbull & crew, who guided a destroyer to their location....




Crew Details:

All lost:


(2nd from left) Sgt Wallace at rest in France


Source: C/C Losses - McNeill - The Other Few

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