19.05.1940 No. 142 Squadron Fairey Battle I K7696 QT-I P/O. 'Squizzy' Taylor
Operation: Laon, France
Date: May 19th 1940 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 142 Squadron
Type: Fairey Battle MkI
Base: Faux-Villecerf, France
Location: near Bosmont-sur-Serre, east of Marle France
Pilot: P/O. Howard Hamilton ‘Squizzy’ Taylor 36153 RAF Age 21. PoW No. 584 Camp: Stalag Luft 3 (1)
Obs: Sgt. Stanley Lang MiD 561779 RAF Age 29. PoW No. 2692 Camp: Stalag 357 (2)
Air/Gnr: LAC. Herbert Long 615961 RAF Age 20. PoW No.2665 Camp: Stalag 357 (3)
REASON FOR LOSS:
3 aircraft from 142 Squadron left to attack targets west of Laon - none were to return!
Battle I L5226 Flown by Sgt. A.J. Godsell - shot down - 2 crew PoW, 1 killed.
Battle I P5238 Flown by Sgt. George Ebert (4) - hit by ground fire, crash landed - 2 crew safe, The observer, 29 year old Sgt. Tom Jones 561183 RAF from Merton in Oxfordshire, England was injured and died later that day. LAC R.J. Utteridge (5) was safe.
Brought down by ground fire during attack on targets west of Laon and belly-landed near Bosmont-sur-Serre, east of Marle at 10:45 hrs. All the crew taken PoW.
(1) Howard Hamilton Taylor was born on 29th August 1918. Address is quoted as "6 baird Avenue, Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia". Joined the RAAF on the 21st August 1938 - transferred to the RAF on the 25th July 1938 then transferred back to the RAAF on the 23rd August 1943. Promoted to Fl/Lt. on the 23rd August 1943 - arrived back in Australia on the 22nd November 1945. Awarded the 1939-45 Star, War Medal 1939-45. Australian Service Meal 1939-45. Returned from active service badge. Left the RAAF on the 20th February 1946.
(2) Stanley Lang, 561779, born 26th February 1911, joined 30th June 1927, wartime address station house, bridgerule, near Holsworth, Devonshire. Captured in the Hirson district, France 19th May 1940. Later promoted to F/O. on the 14th November 1946 - retired in 1948.
(3) Herbert Long, 615961, born 7th January 1920, joined July 1938, wartime address 94 Woolmere road, Nottingham, captured near Hirson on 19th May 1940.
(4) Sgt. George Henry Ebert DFC. 49993 RAF was later killed on the 06th January 1944 - serving with 207 squadron - crashing at Stettin whilst piloting Lancaster I ED586 EM-F - all 8 crew were lost.
(5) LAC. R.J. Utteridge DFM was taken PoW less than a month later when he was shot down in another Fairey Battle on the 19th June.
Note: This aircraft, previously coded QT-M, had only returned to the squadron six days earlier following repair by No.1 S and RS to damage suffered in an unrecorded night-landing accident at Berry-au-Bac on the 5th or 6th March 1940.
None - crew survived.
Researcher Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - November 2016. Photographs from the Michel Beckers collection.