Date: 26/03/1943
Squadron Code: "V"
Serial Number: B-17 Flying Fortress IIA - FA698
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Chivenor
Take off time: 1158hrs - Down: 2210hrs
Op: A/S Patrol.


F/L J.L. Heron and crew, detailed for A/S patrol. This aircraft crashed near base in bad visibility. The following members of the crew were killed: - P/O D.M. Dunn, Sgt Fage, F/Sgt Sandelin R.S. F/L J.L. Heron admitted S.S.Q, Chivenor, discharged 2nd April, 1943. (sourced from the ORB).

P/O Dunn had just been appointed to the commissioned rank of Pilot Officer on probation - with effect from 24.1.43.

According to Robert Stitt - in his Book "Boeing B-17 Fortress - in RAF Coastal Command Service" the enquiry into the accident found that F/L Heron had failed to carry out a "full and correct" Blind Approach Beam System (BABS) procedure and had begun his decent outside the centreline of the beam. He further notes that they flew into a hillside at Luscott Baton, in low cloud, at night and at the end of a ten hour patrol.


Please note: It is not the intention of myself or any others associated with the information provided, to apportion blame to any crew member. Our intention is to pay our respects to and remember all those involved. Thank you.

Graham Moore has kindly submitted the following PDF (downloadable here - 1.4mb). "A narrative of the last flight of Boeing B-17 Fortress, FA.698, which crashed at Luscott Barton, near Braunton on 26 March 1943, killing three air crew. Copyright © (2019)." Fantastic work by the group. Thank you Graham!
Crew Details:

Three casualties






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