Date Lost: 02/03/1942
Squadron Code: ?
Aircraft & Serial Number: Lockheed Hudson V - AM796
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: North Coates
Take off time - 0904
Op: Reefer patrol

All Australian crew. In the memoirs of F/Lt EE Allen DFC, he makes mention of an all Australian crew going missing when he was first posted to 59 Sqn, which was around this time.

This crew are remembered on the North Coates Roll of Honour.

ORB details:

RAF Form 540: 02/03/1942 - "P/O D.H. Baain (RAAF) and crew failed to return from their first operational sortie - a daylight patrol off the Danish coast from 30 miles N. of Heligoland to within 25 miles of the Norwegian coast. With P/O Bain were F/Sgt. Lauder (pilot), Sgt. Jones and Sgt. Rutherford".

RAF Form 541 - Aircraft TR-B - Duty: Reefer - Time Up: 0904 - "First operational sortie, A/C did not return to base".

Although noted as Pilot Officer in the 59 ORB, Donald Bain had been promoted to Flying Officer the same day he was posted to 59 Squadron.


Update June 2014: Have recently been contacted by Doug McElroy, the nephew of Douglas Rutherford, who kindly sent in the following information. Thank you for taking the time to make contact Doug, much appreciated.

"Crew (All Australian)
Flying Officer Donald Hunter Bain 404638
Sergeant Keith John Collinge Lauder 402510
Sergeant Douglas Robert Rutherford 404203
Sergeant Winston Trevor Jones 402999

Hudson AM796 of 59 Sqn RAF took off on a Reefer patrol over the North Sea from its base at North Coates, Lincolnshire, UK, at 0855hrs on 2 March 1942. Since then nothing further heard of either the aircraft or any member of the crew. Missing lost over the North Sea.

Various Australian War Memorial records show cause of death being an air battle over the North Sea.
Douglas Rutherford was my uncle.Trust the above is of some use.


Doug McElroy"

Crew Details:

All lost: All Australian crew.

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