Date: 19/05/1940
Squadron Code: TR-K
Serial Number: Blenheim IV ?
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Poix
Take off time. Unknown
Op: Recon

ORB details: Duty "To advanced landing ground" (noted as Merville). Crecy - Merville - Met by A.I.L.O (Army Intelligence Liason Officer) at Merville who required information of enemy movement in section ROUBAIX - TOURNAI - ST AMAND - PERUWIEZ - ATH - LESSINES - RENAIX. Crew then fly a recco and noted "Mechanised coloumns were proceeding west through Lessines and ATH. Retirement of B.E.F. 1930hrs: Crew returned to Merville. Located advanced G.H.Q and gave them the information.

They were informed that 59 Sqn had been given orders to return to England so they decided to fly back to Crecy immediately so a/c could be refuelled to fly back to England. 2100hrs: Took off and in growing darkness, lost course but estimated over somme river. Town to the west in flames, assumed to be Abbeville. Set course north for Crecy Wood. Unable to locate. Returned and repeated operation without success. Running short on fuel, decided to land. Sighted suitable field and at 2200hrs, landed. W/T (Sgt Liddiard) operator contacted BEAUVAIS - but they kept challenging him, could not answer as no signal had been given to him.

20/05/1940: Slept beside machine till 0300hrs. Walked to the Village of ST VAAST-EN-CHAUSSÉE, six miles north-west of Amiens. Amiens had been used previous night as landmark for Abbeville. Witnessed raid by 43 enemy dive bombers on Amiens. 6 enemy machines flew over at 1000ft - machine gunned - hurried to shelter of woods for cover. AG (AC Houlihan) fell hitting his head and was unconcious for 12 mins. Returned to a/c and removed maps, papers and observers compass. Taxied machine into the shelter of the wood. Intended to go to Crecy for fuel but at Picquigmy on the Somme, traffic diverted from Abbeville. Enemy machines appeared to be bombing Abbeville and Diseppe. Walked 13 miles. Boarded French Air force lorry. Travelled through Airaines - Hornoy and Aukale. Came across the 52 Wing ground party convoy and arrived with them to Rouen at 1900hrs.

21/05/1940: Reached Cherbourg at 0730hrs. Arrived Southampton at 1700hrs. Andover 2230hrs. AC Houlihan was detained at Southampton due to injuries sustained during fall. Pilot and observer returned to Andover.

TR-K - The ORB notes the aircraft as being TR-K although L4865 TR-K had been damaged on the 11th and wasn't repaired to flying condition until the 18th. L4856 was abandoned at Poix as the Sqn pulled out of France for England. It wasn't fully repaired at the time of destruction.


Crew Details:

No casualties:

Source: AIR27/554

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