The aircraft, the crew, and the mission, were a total loss in the engagement. The nature of the ‘supplies’ still remains unknown, and the subject of conjecture. The crew’s remains were recovered by the German forces, and finally buried in Belgrade War Cemetery.
W/O. Fairweather, needed just 50 more hours of operational flying, to complete 300 hours, which would have been his second tour of duty. His Commanding Officer said of him: “(He), was one of the ‘Old Hands’ of the Squadron, and an extremely capable pilot, who could be relied upon to react well in any emergency.”
The ‘recovery’ of their story, after its loss for 65 years, owes itself to one ‘dog-eared’ photograph that raised interest, and had to be investigated.
W/O. Charles Thomas Fairweather. Belgrade War Cemetery, Yugoslavia, Collective grave 1.E.1-7. Son of Charles and Catherine Fairweather, of North Shields, Northumberland, England.
Fl/Sgt. Richard Jacques. Belgrade War Cemetery. Collective grave 1.E.1-7. Son of George Jacques and Margaret Turnbull of Ashington, Northumberland, England.
P/O. Allen Haigh. Belgrade War Cemetery. Collective grave 1.E.1-7. Son of Mr Ernest, and Isabella Haigh, of Birkenhead, the Wirral, Cheshire, England.
F/O. John Stanley Brown. Belgrade War Cemetery. Collective grave 1.E.1-7. From Wetaskawin, Albert, Canada. No further details, are you able to assist?
Fl/Sgt. Ronald Frederick Houghton. Belgrade War Cemetery. Collective grave 1.E.1-7. Son of Frederick and Clara Houghton, husband of Betty Houghton, of Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
Fl/Sgt. Leonard James Smith. Belgrade War Cemetery. Collective grave 1.E.1-7. Son of James and Margaret Smith, husband Of Ethel Annie Smith, of Coventry, England.
Fl/Sgt. John Easton. Belgrade War Cemetery. Collective grave 1.E.1-7. Son of John and Mary Cook Easton, of Dundee, Scotland.
Article prepared by Terry Maker, cousin of Fl/Sgt. Leonard James Smith. Terry runs the Operation Dark of the Moon Yahoo group about these specialised squadrons and more can be read on his website.