01.05.1943 No. 143 Squadron Beaufighter XI JL943 HO-Q W/O. Victor A. Bain
Operation: Shipping Strike.
Date: 1st May 1943 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 143 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Type: Beaufighter XI.
Base: RAF North Coates, Grimsby
Location: In the Norwegian sea off Norway.
Pilot: W/O. Victor Albert Bain 741596 RAFVR PoW No: 1167 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug - L6
Obs/W/Op: Sgt. Cecil A. Room 1189747 RAFVR PoW No: 1198 Camp: Stalag Luft Heydekrug - L6
REASON FOR LOSS:
This aircraft took-off from North Coates at 19:00 hrs, one of eight aircraft led by Squadron Leader P.J.E. Ritchie, to attack a German Naval Unit for a target called "Nuremburg" a code word used to describe a target off the South West coast of Norway.
The flight was attacked by a force of FW190s, and W/O. Bains aircraft was reported as shot down at 23:15 hrs. in a blaze by FW190, W/O. Bain baled out, later rescued after some 15 hours in the aircraft dingy by the Germans and became a Prisoner of War.
Above: W/O. Bains Goldfish Club card
A second Beaufighter was also lost in this action, aircraft JM108 HO-U, flown by Fl/Sgt. Joseph Foster who was killed as was his observer Sgt. Brinley Curnock.
Fl/Sgt. Joseph George William Foster, M.i.D. 1380014. RAFVR, was aged 21. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J.P. Foster, of Berrow, Burnham-on-sea, Somerset, the husband of Margaret Foster. He is buried at Sola Churchyard, Norway. British Plot. B. 8.
A third Beaufighter JL945 HO-W flown by Fl/Sgt. Ceybird, was also badly shot up by the FW190s and forced to land at Tealing near Dundee. Sadly his Navigator Fl/Sgt. Baker was killed.
Fl/Sgt. Jack Baker 1354329. RAFVR was aged 25. Son of Joseph and Ellen Baker, of Blackburn the husband of Ruby Baker, of Blackburn. Jack is buried at Blackburn Cemetery, Sec. M. C of E. Grave 7200.
Above left: Victor (back row 1st on the left) in Stalagluft 3, 1943. Right: W/O Bain.
Beaufighter Shipping Strike photos
Left: Beaufighter Cockpit
A: Reflector site socket / dimmer switch
B: Reflector Gunsite
C: Direct vision windows
D: Wing camera gun button (Independent)
E: Gun 'Fire' button and auto camera
F: Wheel brake lever
We appreciate the great assistance of Colin Bain, son of Victor Bain, for supplying us with a great deal of information and photographs. Also thanks to Mike Seymour for additional details of crew - September 2017.