Lest We Forget
TEMPSFORD, HALIFAX BOMBER LL356 NF U
Compiled & Copyright © John Williamson 2009
This multinational ‘Special Duties’ (SD) crew from No. 138 (SD) Squadron, flying Halifax LL356 identification “NF-U”, took off from RAF Tempsford Airfield on the night of 27th April 1944 at 2310hrs, destined with Resistance Supplies for a Drop Zone (DZ) in enemy occupied Belgium (no Agents were on board on this occasion). The crew consisted of one Welshman, two Englishmen, two Canadians and two Australians (see picture below). The aircraft and its seven young airmen failed to return.
Nothing was heard from the aircraft following its departure from Tempsford Airfield. Subsequently it failed to arrive at its DZ. There is some documented evidence that LL356 was seen by another SD Halifax pilot, that night at 0015hrs on 28th April, being attacked by flak over southern Holland.1 No mid air explosion was reported and no wireless messages or distress signals from the aircraft were ever received, seen or recorded. Two months later the body of the Australian pilot was found washed up on the North Beach of the Island of Terschelling in the wartime Netherlands. Neither the aircraft nor the bodies of any of the other six crew members were recovered.
The story of this World War 2 Operation, and of the family backgrounds and Air Force lives of each of the seven crew members have been recorded by their family descendants in a small, self-published book, “A Delayed Salute”. Any one interested can contact one of the authors on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
crew of Halifax LL356, lost on ‘Operation OSRIC 59’, 27/28
Last updated: 15 February, 2009