Date: 03/12/1945
Squadron Code: BY-X
Serial Number: Liberator GR.MkVI KH125
Flight/Mission Details:

Base; Waterbeach
Take off time: ?
Op: Troop Transport

Little is known of this flight and crew at this time. Missing from ferry flight from Castel Benito to Waterbeach (possibly on return leg of a troop transport trip).

According to Leslie Waltham, a flight engineer with 59 Squadron before May 1945 and stayed on with them after V.E. Day. A troop transport flight took about three weeks to complete.

P/O Gillard - Pilot, F/O BJ Thomas, W/O G. Smith, F/Sgt J.H. Jones,


Update November 2013:

Recently been contacted by David Richards, a relative of F/Sgt Jones, who kindly submitted the following...

"My mother-in-law told me of her older brother John H (Jack) Jones born in 1920. She believed that he had been lost on a plane over the Azores bringing back POWs in 1945 to the UK. I found the death of Flight Sgt 1044837 John H Jones in 1945 on findmypast in Volume: 8 Page: 246 Source: GRO War Death R.A.F. All Ranks (1939 to 1948). A further search found your website with the flight listed from Castel Benito to Waterbeach under Pilot Officer Gillard. I have no information regarding the flight but do have a photo of “Jack’ who married about 3 weeks before he was lost..."


59 Sqn Passenger & Crew Details:

All lost:

Memorial Page Links
P/O Gillard
F/O B.J. Thomas
W/O G. Smith


Source: Amrit

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