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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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143 Squadron crest
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.

Serial: JL943.

Code: HO-Q

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


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. Bain’s 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. Bain’s 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.

KTY - 28.09.2017 Further details added

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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