RAF Halifax Bomber LW280 code NF-K of 138 Special Operations
Executive Squadron crashed on weapons drop to French resistance
on the 17th December 1943
We only have the bottom section of one propeller and this is a brief history of what happened to the aircraft.
The plane of 138 Squadron based at RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire. A Squadron that was assigned to "Special Operations Executive" or SOE as it was known which carried out the delivery of agents, and the retrieval of agents to and from France as well as supply drops to the Resistance or Marquis freedom fighters in occupied Europe. The Halifax took off from RAF Tempsford bound for France at 20.05 hrs on what transpired to have been an abortive supply dropping mission to France, code name 'Operation Marc 1' it was returning with its cargo of arms and munitions, when it hit bad weather over East Anglia. Now running short of fuel Halifax's pilot, Flight Sergeant T.M. Thomas, gave the order for his crew to bale out. At approximately 05.45 hrs at Hale Fleet a mile south of Penny Hole Flats, and not far from Halliard Way, Tollesbury, Essex. The pilot Flight Sergeant T.M. Thomas was picked up safe also Sergeants J.A. Vick and J.K.K. Vincent were also found safe in the water but sadly Sergeants T.B. Hawkes, 21 year old Flight Engineer, J.Lynch, 20 year old Navigator, R. Marshall, 31 year old Bomb Aimer, and J.J. Hannah, 20 year old Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, were all killed on the night of the 16/17th December 1943, a night that would live in the annuals of Bomber Command history forever, RAF Bomber Command was to lose 67 aircraft in total 57 Lancasters on Berlin raid, 3 Short Stirlings at Gardening and 7 Handley Page Halifax's from 138 X1D S0E Operation shot down Luftwaffe night fighters or flak and some to the weather, rain, wind and fog bound airfields.