Date: 20/08/1943
Squadron Code: F/59
Serial Number: Liberator GR.V BZ765
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: Aldergrove
Time Up: 0545 hrs - Time Down: -
Op: Convoy patrol to MKS 21

On 20 August 1943 Liberator GR.V BZ765 F/59 failed to return from a convoy patrol. F/O. Bill Taylor's Liberator had last been heard of about one and a half hours from base at 2029 hrs about 150 miles west of Ireland. The weather that day was good and no reason for their loss was found. The following day two aircraft were sent out to search for the Liberator but with no success... At 2029 hrs, the crew had been on operations for 14 hrs 44 mins.

MK was the code given to a convoy leaving Gibralta for Great Britain after 26/10/1942. The addittion of 'S' to it, showed that it was a 'slow' convoy.


New Crew: This crew had two new addittions on this flight. It appears that they had just come off two weeks leave, this being their first operation since returning. F/O K.R.N Emmett (is noted) to have replaced F/O R.C. Penning as 2nd pilot, as Penning had filled a vacancy with F/O T.D. Wright and crew (instead of going on leave with the rest of his crew)... On the 24th, F/O Penning appears to have become a regular with the Wright crew. However, F/O Emmett is wrongly noted in the ORB as having flown on this day and infact, I believe that Sgt. Erskine (also not a regular with this crew) had taken Penning's place as a Sgt-2nd Pilot. Little is known of Erskine at this stage... Emmett is not listed as a casualty in the August ORB summary alongside the other two officers noted as lost and is later noted in the ORB is September. Having looked through the ORB, it appears common that Sgt pilot's were taken out on operations with crews as 2nd pilot - to gain operational experience...

Another new addittion is Sgt A.J Mason, who had only recently earnt his Flight Engineer's badge on 14/06/1943 and was posted to 59 Sqn a few days later on the 19th. He is known to have been best of mates with Sgt Haddock, so it's quite possible that he was allowed to fly with this crew as an "additional" set of eyes, whilst also gaining some valuable operational experience with his friends. Sadly this would prove to be Sgt. Mason's first and last operation...



Crew Details:

All lost: Emmet in incorrectly noted in the ORB as crew for this mission.

Memorial Page Links
F/O Emmett (2nd Pilot)


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