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Consolidated Liberators, Innishowen Penninsula, June, 1944

As related on the page for B-24 42-50721, the 19th of June 1944 was a dark day indeed with the crash of three Liberators in County Donegal, and the death of 18 young Allied airmen.  Two died in the American crash, but the remainder died in the accidents described below, within hours of each other, having taken off from the RAF base at Ballykelly.

The Operations Record Book (ORB) for 59 Squadron records the two flights as follows for the days operations:

Form 540: Detail of Work Carried Out:
Date: June 19th
Aircraft Type and Number: LIB. V. "L" FL. 989

Time Up: 0819B/19
Duty: CLA Search
Details of Sortie or Flight: No messages were received from this A/C after it took off.  At 1620 Eire authorities informed base that it had crashed at Glengad head, Eire in bad vis. conditions.  All of the crew were killed.

Just over three hours later, the crew of P/O I B Jenkins in Liberator BZ743 took off on a further CLA Search.  CLA stood for a Creeping Line Ahead search, an anti-submarine patrol pattern that used an advancing rectangular search pattern in a designated patch of ocean.

Two hours later the ORB records:
Date: June 19th
Aircraft Type and Number: LIB. V. "A" FL. 990

Time Up: 1343B/19
Duty: CLA Search
Details of Sortie or Flight: Shortly after becoming airborne, (at approx 1400) "A" crashed at Stgroove Head near Inishowen, Eire in fioggy waether conditions.  All eight member of the crew were killed.

The months Summary of Events ends with the following statement:
The Squadron had a bad run of luck in the middle of the month when it lost 3 crews within a few days of each other.  On the 19th. W/O N.R.Langton and crew in A/C "L" (FL.989) took off on an operational sortie at 0819 hrs and crashed within 20 minutes at Glengad Head, Eire in very bad visibility.  On the same day F/L R.P.Wade and crew in A/C. "A" (FL990) crashed at Stroove Head, Near Inishowen a few minutes after taking off at 1343 hrs.  On the 24th P/O.I.B.Jenkins and crew in A/C. "H" (FL.977) crashed into Binevenagh bear the airfield when returning from a sortie.  There were unfortunately no survivors from any of these crashes.

Thus the day ended with two out of three of the Squadrons patrols crashed in Donegal, and P/O I B Jenkens himself would be dead when Liberator FL977 crashed on Binevenagh Mountain in Derry, killing another eight men of 59 Squadron on 24th June.

The crash sites of FL989 and FL990 were attended to in turn first by local people, Gardai and later again military personnel from the Irish Army at Fort Lenan.  The two crash scenes were ones of complete devastation.  FL990 had crashed in a very heavy fog.  Unexploded munitions from both scenes were disarmed by Captain Gradie from Fort Lenan.  The remains of the 16 men were collected at the sites, and brought to Carndonagh where they were provided with coffins prior to being brought to Bridgend border post where they were handed over by a guard of honour to RAF personnel.

On the 23rd of June 1944, Comdt. J Power of the G2 Branch, Western Command produced the following report for Chief of the Irish Army G2, Intelligence section.

have the honour to submit the following report:-

A Liberator Bomber crashed at Knockdubh, Glengad, Co. Donegal at 07.40 hours on 19/6/44 and all of a crew of eight were killed.

There were Depth Charges aboard and apparently one of them exploded when the plane crashed as strewn wreckage was scattered over a wide area.  Seven Depth Charges were destroyed by Capt. Craigie, Ordnance Officer on 20/6/44.

All victims of, the crash appeared to have been killed outright and some of the bodies were badly mutilated.  Six bodies were removed from the wreckage on 19/6/44 and on the morning of 20/6/44 the remaining two were recovered. Hereunder is a list of members , of the crew:—
The bodies were taken into the L.D.F. HaII, Cardonagh.  They were handed over at Bridgend together with the eight bodies recovered from the crash at Shrove Hill.

Comdt. D.J. Farrell, O/C, C.D.A., Fort Dunree was the Senior Officer i/c and he handed over whatever personal effects that were recovered, to the Officer i/c R.A.F.
This aircraft was operating on a flight from Ballykelly Aerodrome.

Both sites were left with wreckage, which disappeared over the years apart from heavy items such as engines.  Landing gear legs were also present at the scenes.  A trip to the Greencastle and Glengad area in 2007, and kind help of a friend's sister in bringing me to the crash site, revealed the remains of an engine at the FL989 site.

FL989 Site

FL989 Site

FL989 Site

FL989 Site

One of these legs was installed as a memorial across the road from the former Drunken Duck restaurant in Carrowtrasna townland, not far from Stroove Beach.  While the establishment is no longer open in 2023, its sign and the landing gear leg with memorial plaque are still located at the car park across the road.  The photos shown below were taken during April 2007.

FL989 Fl990 memorial

FL989 Fl990 memorial

It can be seen in the early telegrams sent within the RAF and initially to the families of Apitz and Cooper in Australia, that it was being reported that the second aircraft, FL990, had been seen to have exploded in mid air.  This information is said to have come from Eire to RAF Northern Ireland.  Other initial information indicated that the aircraft was lost 'off coast near Moville' was being sent to the families with details of their funerals.  As late as July 26, Sgt Apitz's parents were still being told the aircraft had exploded off the coast of Moville.  However, on the 20 June 1944, S/Ldr Arden of 59 Squdron had written to the families as follows:
On the afternoon of the 19th, June, at approximately five minutes to two, Kenneth and his crew took off from this aerodrome to carry out an Anti-U-boat patrol in connection with the 2nd. front.  Shortly afterwards his aircraft was reported to have crashed on a lonely mountain side and all the crew had been killed instantly, so avoiding all suffering.

We lost one of our best crews when this aircraft crashed.  Two of the eight members of your sons crew were Australians.

The circumstances of the loss of FL990 under F/Lt Wade were the subject of a court of enquiry recorded on a Form 765 on which the Station Commander from Ballykelly stated on 21st June 1944:  There is no foundation for the earlier report that this aircraft blew up in mid-air.  Fire occurred on the ground after the crash.

The conclusions of the court of Inquiry carried out into FL990 are found in Sgt Apitz's casualty file:
(a) Liberator FL. 990 took off from Ballykelly for an operational sortie which entailed setting course for Inishtrahull.  About five minutes after take of the aircraft crashed into high ground at Inishowen Head bursting into flames and burning out.  All the crew were killed.  The ground where the aircraft crashed was at the time covered by cloud (900 ft.) although the cloud base over the aerodrome was at about 1500' and the aircraft was seen to climb up to about this height after take off.

(b) The cause of the accident remains obscure in view of the lack of evidence from eye witnesses and the lack of technical evidence owing to the extensive damage to the aircraft.  Enquiries have been greatly hampered by the fact that the crash occurred in Neutral Territory and it is fruitless to guess at the cause of the accident with no evidence to confirm it.

Inishtrahull is an Island located off the north of the Inishowen Peninsula and it has a light house which was used as a navigation point by coastal command crews.

The crew of W/O N. R. Langton is noted as being posted in to the Squadron with effect from 18 March 1944 from 111 Operational Training Unit.  The ORB does not list the whole crew. The first operational mission recorded for the crew was on 6th May 1944.  Another mission is recorded on 13th of June and the final one on June 19th.

W/O Norman Robert Langton, 921402, the pilot of Liberator FL989, was born in 1919 in Wandsworth to Joseph Robert and Emily Ethel Langton, who post war lived in Putney.  Norman's brother, Jack David Langton, lost his life only eight days before Norman when he died during the Battle of Imphal in India.

F/O Percy Edward Dickinson, 152474, Liberator FL989's 2nd pilot, was born in Aug 1911 in Barton, Lancashire to Percy Walton Dickinson and Elsie Dickinson from Disley Cheshire.   The CWGC records his having the post nominal letters FCIS, indicating his having been a fellow of the Institute of Secretaries.  His remains were sent to Manchester Crematorium and it is on the memorial panel there that he is remembered.  The Manchester Evening News on 21 June carried the simple note:  DICKINSON.—In June. 1944, killed on operations, PERCY EDWARD, Flying Officer, R.A.F., only son Mr. and Mrs. P. W. DICKINSON, Hayton, Hilton Road, Disley. Percy's father had made contact with the Irish registrar by September 1944 and had had changes made to the registered details, including correction his age and marital status.

          CruickshankF/O John Cruickshank, 152578, was the aircraft's navigator.  Born in 1922, in Cullen, , He was son of Robert Cruickshank and of Rachel Cruickshank (nee Matheson), of Deskford, Scotland.  His remains were buried in the cemetery in Deskford.

The Aberdeen Press and Journal on 29 June 1944 published the following obituary:

Killed on Active Service Flying - Officer john CRUICKSHANK, who has lost his life on active service. He was the younger son of Mr and Mrs Robert Cruickshank, Little Mosside, Deskford, Cullen. Educated at Deskford School and Fordyce Academy, he went to Aberdeen University, graduating B.Sc (Agri.) in 1941.  He immediately volunteered for the R.A.F., and did most of his training in Canada, where he gained his commission.

Vaughan Albert
          McLellanW/O Vaughan Albert McLellan, R/73406, a wireless operator/air gunner (WOp/AG) of the RCAF was born in 1921 in Amherst, Nova Scotia.  He was the son of Vaughan Bertram and Eleanor Woods McLellan, of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.  Having enlisted in December 1940, straight from High School, he progressed slowly through training, being finally assigned as an Air Gunner after unsuccessful pilot training.  Part of his training brought him to 111 Operational Training unit in the Bahamas where he is recorded as having valiantly helped to save a comrade from a ditched aircraft.  Details of this are provided below. 

Vaughan's brother William was lost on 10 August 1943 with RAF 511 Squadron when Albemarle P1433 disappeared over the Atlantic on a flight from Gibraltar to RAF Lyneham in the UK.  William's remains were never recovered.  He was a 401 Squadron Spitfire pilot who had been posted to deliver aircraft in the Mediterranean.

His service record shows an attachment to 1 APC, Armament Practice Camp, whcih was based at RAF Aldergrove near Belfast. A detached posting followed in the middle of May 1944 to RNAS Maydown.

          Elzear Rodolphe BaillargeonF/Sgt Pierre Elzear Rodolphe Baillargeon, R/96940, also a WOp/AG of the RCAF, was born in Nov 1921 to Charles J. and Audette Baillargeon, of Quebec City, Canada.  His remains were interred in Limavady Catholic church cemetery.  His death was registered as an unknown, his details never made it into the Irish death register.

Sgt Stanley James Trusson 1321794, son of Stanley Victor and Dorothy Queenie Trusson, of Purley was born in Croyden.  The 1939 Register finds him living in 22 Glenn Avenue with his father and step mother and working as an (AERO) Fitters Mate.  He was also posted to 111 OTU in the Bahamas, where he was involved in an aircraft ditching with W/O McLellan in October 1943. 

He was serving in the crew of FL989 as Wireless Operator mechanic and Air Gunner.  His remains were returned to his family for burial in Bandon Hill in Surrey.  His identity was not known to the Irish authorities at the time of the crash and death registrations, but his mother made contact by August 1945 to seek for corrections be made, to include adding his name. 

Thomas Henry
          EdwardsSgt. Thomas Henry Edwards 631216, the flight engineer, has neither age nor next of kin listed in his CWGC entry.  His remains however were sent to Liverpool (Anfield) cemetery.  The transcribed cemetery register indicates he was buried there immediately after the crash on 26 June 1944 and that he was 23 years of age.  The Liverpool Echo newspaper reported on June 24th that he had been killed and was no longer considered missing.
Sgt. T. Edwards. Previously reported missing, it is now learned that Flight-Sergeant Thomas Henry Edwards, aged 23. has been killed as the result of air operations. He joined the R.A.F. at 17.’was an old boy at Venice Street Council School, Liverpool, and lived with his parents at 38 Scorton Street. Anfield.

A day earlier they has published a family notice:
EDWARDS—June —, killed in action, aged XX years, Flight-Sergt. THOMAS EDWARDS (R.A.F.), dearly-loved only son Elizabeth and Thomas, and dear brother of Lily and Alice. (Oh, God, how mysterious are Thy ways, to take my son in the best of his days.) Funeral service at Stanley Park Church, on Monday next, 3-30 pm.

His grave is marked with a personal family headstone with the inscription:
In Treasured Remembrance of my beloved & only son Flight Sergeant Thomas Henry Edwards V.R. R.A.F. KILLED IN ACTION 19TH JUNE 1944 AGED 23 YEARS ALWAYS KIND THOUGHTFUL AND TRUE

F/Sgt Cyril Lambert Kershaw 1100819, also a WOp/AG but this time English, also, has no age or next of kin on his CWGC entry.  his remains, were sent to Liverpool (Anfield) cemetery as well as T H Edwards.  The cemetery records indicate a burial in Merseyside in July 1946.  Research into his family tree reveals his parents were William Henry and Frances Ann Kershaw and that he was born in May 1922.  He is found in January 1943 stationed with 246 Squadron flying with a Captain F/Lt W Teare on Sunderland aircraft.  That unit disbanded at the end of April 1943.

The Liverpool Echo also carried family notices from Cyrils parents, including on the June 23rd:
KERSHAW—June —, killed on active service, aged 22 years. Fit -Sergeant CYRIL LAMBERT KERSHAW (R.A.F.), dearly-beloved only son Frances and the late William Kershaw, of 7 Carlsbrooke Road, Walton, and darling brother of Frances, Lily, and Ted. and loving uncle of June, Jean, and Derek (Always gentle, , true, and kind, a beautiful memory left behind.) Service in St. Lawrence’s Church, Kirkdale. to-morrow (Saturday)

The deaths of the eight members of FL898's crew were registered dead on the twentieth of June by Commandant Donald J Farrell of Fort Dunree.

Add some intro - corrected McLellans name in last two instances
On 5th October, 1943, 1107496 warrant Officer (now pilot Officer) R. M. Hastie was captain of Mitchell aircraft F.R.384. Owing to loss of oil the feathering mechanism of the propellor on one engine failed, and the consequent behaviour of the engine made it impossible to maintain height on the remaining engine.

Warrant Officer Hastie carried out his emergency procedure accurately and thoroughly in spite of the difficulty of controlling the aircraft, and his crew were at their correct crash stations before the ditching was made.  He showed good airmanship and a thorough understanding of the capabilities of his aircraft throughout and made a good touch down on the water.

The air gunner, R. 185473 Sgt Allen, T. W. , was in the rear compartment of the aircraft.   R.73L06 F/Sgt. V. A.  McLellan and 1321794 Sgt. S. J. Trusson, two Wireless Operators had already escaped but, on discovering that Sgt. Allen was still in the aircraft, they crawled back through the bomb bay tunnel and with great difficulty dragged him out.  The task of pulling an unconscious man through this small tunnel required strength and determination. The rear end of the aircraft was below water so the hatches could not be used.

F/Sgt .McLellan and Sgt. Trusson stood in grave danger of being trapped and drowned had the aircraft sunk before they got Sgt. Allen through the tunnel.
Their prompt and gallant action prevented a very successful ditching from becoming a tragedy.
The conduct and devotion to duty of W/O Hastie, F/ Sgt McLellan and Sgt. Trusson was highly commendable throughout.

The second crew under F/Lt Wade were a more experienced crew, having been posted into 59 Squadron in October 1943 from 1 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit.  They were declared operational in November 1943, and flew their first missions then.  They had at first two other crew members, F/O R A Banks and Sgt G L P Kamellard, but the crew fluctuated and varied on each mission with a small core of those who were on the crew that day in 1944.  And E Roberts and R L McCleary joined the crew for a time late in 1943. John Anderson replaced Banks as co-pilot in January 1944 and Parsons fly's at least once with them in February. W/O R N Pike, who is noted in John Quinn's books as having not been present on the 19th June due to being sick.  He is present only on five missions in March, April and May however, and there after, all missions are flown with eight crew members.  The Squadron ORB does not record non operational flights taken between missions, and positioning flights required when the crew needed to return to Ballykelly having landed elsewhere due to fuel or weather

The following photo was published in John Quinn's Down in a Free State and was credited to Rod Pike.  By a stroke of good fortune, Rod daughter had submitted some other photos of his to 59 Squadron website and it was possible to contact her and she was able to provide this much better scan.

Rod Pike is identified as being on the extreme front, right, sitting and F/O Parsons is standing in the center.  Comparing to photos received from relatives and the Australian archives, and reviewing the crew roster during Sgt Pikes time with them, the names are thought to be:

Standing, Left to Right:  Steer - Unknown - Parsons - Apitz - Cooper (not certain)

Sitting, left to right: Haines - Wade - Anderson - Pike.
Wade Crew FL990

F/Lt Rowland Paine Wade, 88398 was born to John Francis and Maud Mary in Marston Green, near Birmingham in 1913.  Electoral registers from 1935 show him living at 91 Sunny Gardens with his mother and siblings.  He sailed out to Capetown in November 1936.  He returned to the UK in December 1939 aboard the Arundel Castle from South Africa.  His occupation at the time was  Accountant and the Institute of Chartered Accountants record his name on their Roll of Honour.  He gave 91 Sunny Gardens, Hendon as his intended address.  One year later 1940, his name appears in the London Gazette having received his commission as a Pilot Officer.  He was married in 1942 to Zelie Nieves Cockburn Daybell (nee Hannah).  Zelie's first husband had died in a car accident in 1939, and she and Rowland it would appear set about raising her daughter Anna.  In 1943, London Gazette notices find Anna's surname being changed to Wade. 

Following his death, Zelie married again in early 1945. 

His brother Richard Bonham Wade served aboard the Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Thisbe for a time in 1944 and 1945 and continued his service postwar, passing away in 1978.

F/Sgt John ANDERSON 1550924, the 2nd Pilot in the crew, was born in 1921 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, to Violet H H and Henry Anderson.  

His remains were returned to his family and were buried in Dunfermline Cemetery.

John HainesF/Sgt John HAINES 931471 was the son of Edward and Jane Haines, of Deptford, London, having been born in 1920 along with a twin brother, George.  The 1939 register finds him living with a brother and his mother and working as a Press Photographer.

John's nephew was able to visit the crash location and John's grave in later years and it was from his nephew's son that the photo was obtained.

James Steer James UttingF/Sgt James STEER (UTTING) 564898, was born in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire in 1915.  He was the son of James and Elizabeth Steer.  James was born on the 24 April 1915, sadly his father would be killed in action less than a month later on 9th May 1915 in the disastrous Battle of Aubers, serving with the 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.  His remains were never found but his name was entered on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium along with 71 other names of men of his battalion.  Elizabeth remarried in 1919 to Charles Utting and so young James served in the RAF as James Utting, however, his name is recorded on post war records as James Steer.

Sgt John COOK 1384560, the Wireless Operator Mechanic and Air Gunner on FL990, was the son of John and Margery/Marjorie Cook, from London Colney, near St Albans, Hertfordshire.  He was one of the youngest members of the two crews, born in 1924.  The family appear to be found living at Coombes Road, London Colney in the 1939 register, with John having a brother named Frank, four years younger than him. 

His father, being born only in 1902, himself served during the war and was taken prisoner by the Japanese in Singapore in 1942.  He had been a driver with the RAOC of 18th Division.

John is buried in London Colney.

James Alfred
          ParsonsF/O James Alfred PARSONS 128381 was born in January 1920 in Bradford to Marwood and Ruth Parsons.   He was residing with his parents in September 1939 and working as a Wool Sample Room Assistant.  He married Katherine Irene Ackrel in the summer of 1943 in Bradford.  The Shipley Times and Express of 14 April 1943 published a wedding notice:  The marriage took place at St. Augustine’s Church. Bradford, of Flying-Officer James Alfred Parsons. R.A.F., V.R., son Mr. and Mrs. M. Parsons, of Falmouth Avenue, Bradford, and Miss Katherine Irene Ackrel, daughter of Mr. and the late Mrs. A. Ackrel, of Airedale Crescent. The bride, who is serving in the W.A.A.F., was Carnival Queen of Eccleshill in 1938. Mrs. M. G. Stears was matron of honour, and Flying-Offlcer John McClean was best man.   His death was printed in the Bradford Observer on June 23rd followed by thank you notices from Katherine and James parents in the newspaper printed on the 28th.  His funeral had taken place on the 26th from St. Augustines Church.  He may have had a daughter he never met who was born later in 1944.

F/Sgt Parsons was pulled alive from the wreckage of FL990 by a local, Dan Kearney but died not long after of his severe injuries.

          JOHN NIELSENF/Sgt Kenneth John Nielson APITZ 422370 + RAAF

Kenneth was the son of Anders Nielsen and Thelma Apitz, and step son of Evelyn Ruth Apitz, of Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia and was born in 1924 in Waverly, NSW.

The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate on the 19 July 1944 published the following:

The parents of Flight Sergeant Kenneth Nielson (Bill) Apitz, of Parramatta, whose death in air operations has been announced, received a letter from him on the day he was laid to rest in Ballykelly Parish Church, Northern Ireland. In this letter he announced his engagement to a
charming Canadian girl.
Another letter, containing her picture, arrived on Monday, the day on which his name appeared in the casualty lists.
F/Sgt. Apitz was the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. N. .Apitz, of Lamont St., Parramatta.  Aged 20, he was educated at Dubbo High School. He went overseas 15 months ago. Before enlisting: he was 'employed by the Western Australian Insurance Co., Sydney. -
The official account of his death stated that he was a member of the crew of a Liberator which crashed near Movelle, Northern Ireland, while
on operational patrol on June 19.  The internment took place with full military honors on June 23.
By a pathetic coincidence his name appeared in the same casualty list as that containing the name of his squadron padre, Acting-Squadron Leader Chaplain G. G. Wood, of Beverly Hills, who was killed when a robot bomb demolished the Guards' Chapel, London, last week.
"'All the boys of the squadron thought the world of Padre Wood," said Mrs. Apitz this week.

The Manning Rivers Times of NSW, 22 July 1944
Mr. H.C. Potts, chemist, Taree, has received the sad news that his nephew, Flight-Sgt. Kenneth Apitz, of Parramatta, has been killed in air operations overseas. This young airman went abroad about two years ago and completed his training in Canada. For six months he was stationed in the Bahama Islands, on anti-submarine patrol. He was then transferred to an R.A.F. Liberator squadron about a year ago, with operational base in Northern Ireland.

Kenneth's service files contain the following mugshots taken upon arrival in the UK.

ken apitz

Norman Athol
          COOPERF/Sgt Norman Athol COOPER 421978, was the son of Alfred Ernest and Rhoda May Cooper, of Tingha, New South Wales, Australia.  Born in July 1918, Norman listed his occupation as a Carpenter when he enrolled into the RAAF in September 1941.  He attended Tingha public School from 1930 to 1932, and left school at the age of 14.  He then worked as a miner for three years, followed by five years as a Carpenter.

He underwent his initial and trade training in Australia with a posting to Canada followed by 111 OTU in the Bahamas in early 1943.  August 1943 would find him sailing to the UK and posting to 1 (C) OTU.

In a letter date 1-3-48, Norman's father wrote to the Australian authorities:  Owing to the sorrow and suffering caused by the photograph of our sons grave which you have from time to time sent us, I would kindly request you to not send anymore to me but address to my daughter.

Norman is named on his fathers grave on a marker which reads:  IN MEMORY OF NORMAN KILLED IN ACTION 19TH JNE. 1942

A 1954 edition of his local newspaper, the Inverell Times carried this touching family notice:
COOPER; In memory of our dear son and brother, 421978, F./Sgt. Norman Cooper, killed in aircraft accident, Northern Ireland, June 19, 1944.
To-day we are thinking of someone
With a love that is fond and true.
Someone we sadly miss
Dear Norman that someone is you.
Inserted by his Mum and Dad, brother, sisters, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews.

The following photos of Norman appeared in his service file.

N A Cooper

A 2023 appeal to the readers of his local Inverell Times news paper revealed his neice who kindly provide the portrait photo of Norman above as well as the mounted arrangement of his medals and photo which she proudly maintains.
N A Cooper

Throughout the 1940's and 1950's, the family continued to remember Norman during the month of June in the newspaper, typically with a poem.

In the days after the crash, as the men's remains were accounted for and arrangements made for burials.  Ten of the men, Langton, Dickinson, Cruickshank, Trusson, Edwards, Kershaw, Anderson, Steer, Parsons and Cook sent to next of kin across the UK for burial.

Five men, McLellan, Wade, Cooper, Apitz and Haines, were buried in Tamlaght Finlagan Church of Ireland churchyard while those of F/Sgt Baillargeon, were buried in the Catholic cemetery at Limavady St Marys.

The following paragraph is found on a number of the men's Findagrave memorials, newspaper article about his are being searched for.  On Sunday, 19 June 1994 a commemoration service was held at Greencastle, close to where one of the aeroplanes came down. Crosses were erected in memory of those who lost their lives. The service was attended by around 200 people including the mayor of Londonderry, Jim Guy and East Londonderry M.P. William Ross. A number of wreaths were laid on the graves of the airmen following Sunday's service, including one sent by the Air Chief Marshal of the Australian Air Force.

The two aircraft, FL989 and FL990 were both Consolidated Liberator mark V aircraft.  They were supplied as lend lease aircraft from the USA to Great Britain.  They were built as USAAF configuration B-24D-45-CO, indicating their having been built by Consolidated at the companies San Diego, California plant.  They were delivered to the UK and Scottish Aviation for final induction into RAF service in April 1943.  They were delivered to 59 Squadron at Thorney island on 30 April and 7 May 1943.

Compiled by Dennis Burke, 2023.