Tempsford Special Duties - Losses of Aircraft

RAF Tempsford operational losses, World War Two, 1939-1945

The RAF station at Tempsford, Bedfordshire, is just a few miles from my home at Potton. Little remains at the site except for a museum, which is well worth a visit. Go to the site Tempsford Museum for opening times and details. Also visit the RAF Tempsford site for loads of information and stories.

The airfield occupied fields between what is now the A1, the Great North Road, and the ridge at Tetworth Hill. It's coordinates are 5209'31N and 00015'49W if you want to find it on the maps, although little can be discerned of the airfield itself.

The airfield was the source of many Special Duties Operations, primarily by 138 and 161 squadrons. Famously, the Special Operations Executive agent Violette Szabo was transferred to occupied Europe from Tempsford for the first of her two missions, before being transferred from RAF Harrington for her final and tragic mission.

During the war, many squadrons operated out of the station:
No. 109 Squadron RAF (1942) - Vickers Wellington I
No. 138 Squadron RAF (1942-1944) - Handley Page Halifax II and V
No. 149 Squadron RAF (1943-1944) - Short Stirling III and IV
No. 161 Squadron RAF (1942-1945) - Whitley V, Westland Lysander III, Hudson I, Havoc I and III
No. 426 Squadron RCAF (1945) - Consolidated Liberator VIII
No. 617 Squadron RAF detachment (1945) - Avro Lancaster I & III

There is a superb web-site dedicated to Tempsford which details its history. Click the link to go to it: www.harringtonmuseum.org.uk/tempsford-airfield/.

There were a number of accidents involving the Aircraft operating out of Tempsford that I have included as separate pages in this web site. A great many were also sadly lost whilst on operations. Rather than make each of these losses a separate web page, I have listed each on this page with the reference page number in the Aircraft lost on Allied Force's Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour. The link will take you to a PDF of the records, then scroll down to the relevant page number. In many cases there is a significant amount of interesting data, usually at least the squadron, Aircraft type and designation, crew list, and details of the operation and the loss where known, which it often is. Unfortunately, the links to the site in the table below, even those labelled as "page #", only take you to page 1 of the PDF, you have to scroll down to the page you want. Alternatively, you could save the PDF to your hard drive, then open it in Adobe Acrobat and use the built-in PDF page finder.

The National Archives at Kew have accident reports for two aircraft that crashed at or near RAF Tempsford. I have included these aircraft even though they do not appear in the Tempsford squadrons Operation Book, so may have been based elsewhere and crashed attempting to land at Tempsford.

Plane TypeDesignationSquadronReference
Whitley Mk V4166, NF-B138 Sqdn RAFPage 32.
Whitley Mk V9158, NF-V138 Sqdn RAFPage 35.
Halifax Mk IIV9976138 Sqdn RAFPage 36. See also the RAF Tempsford page.
Lysander Mk IIIaV9595, MA-V (D)161 Sqdn RAFPage 40.
Whitley Mk VZ9224, MA-P161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Whitley 1 and Page 41.
Whitley Mk VZ9282, NF-M138 Sqdn RAFPage 43.
Whitley Mk VZ9230, NF-N138 Sqdn RAFPage 44.
Whitley MK VZ9232, NF-L138 Sqdn RAFPage 45.
WhitleyZ9218, P161 Sqdn RAF Page 45.
Whitley Mk VZ6814, MA-L161 Sqdn RAFPage 47.
Whitley Mk VZ6940, MA-S161 Sqdn RAF Page 48.
Whitley Mk VZ9131, MA-Q161 Sqdn RAF Page 49.
Whitley Mk VZ9275, NF-G138 Sqdn RAFPage 50.
Halifax Mk IIW7776, NF-B138 Sqdn RAFPage 51.
Whitley Mk VZ6653, MA-O161 Sqdn RAF Page 52.
Whitley Mk VP5029, NF-E, 138 Sqdn RAFPage 53.
Whitley Mk VBD228, MA-S161 Sqdn RAF Page 54.
Halifax Mk IIW7774, NF-T, 138 Sqdn RAFPage 54.
Halifax Mk IIW7773, NF-S138 Sqdn RAFPage 55. See this memorial.
Whitley Mk VZ9159, NF-D138 Sqdn RAFPage 56.
Whitley Mk VZ9160, MA-U138 Sqdn RAF, (FoF) Page 59.
Whitley Mk VZ6629, MA-N161 Sqdn RAF Page 61.
Halifax Mk IIW7775, NF-R138 Sqdn RAFPage 66.
Halifax  161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 2 and Page 67.
Halifax Mk VDG285, MA-X161 Sqdn RAF Page 68.
Halifax Mk IIW1012, NF-Z138 Sqdn RAFPage 71.
Halifax Mk IIBB281, NF-O138 Sqdn RAFPage 74.
Halifax MK VDG245, MA-W161 Sqdn RAF Page 75.
Halifax Mk IIDT620, NF-T138 Sqdn RAFPage 76.
Halifax Mk VDG283, MA-Y161Sqdn RAFPage 77.
Halifax Mk VDG244, MA-Y161 Sqdn RAF Page 78.
Halifax Mk IIHR665, NF-L138 Sqdn RAFPage 80.
Halifax Mk IIBB340, NF-D138 Sqdn RAFPage 81.
Halifax Mk VDG409, MA-W161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 3 and Page 82.
Halifax Mk IIBB363, NF-T138 Sqdn RAFPage 83.
Halifax Mk IIDT725, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFPage 85.
Halifax Mk IIDT627, NF - P138 Sqdn RAFPage 88.
Halifax Mk IIBB313, NF-M,138 Sqdn RAFPage 89.
Halifax Mk IIBB328, NF-U138 Sqdn RAFPage 90.
Lysander Mk IIIR9106, MA-K161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Lysander and Page 91.
Halifax Mk IIBB329, NF-Z138 Sqdn RAFPage 92.
Halifax Mk VDG406, MA-V161 Sqdn RAF Page 96.
Halifax Mk IIW1229, NF-A138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 4 and Page 97.
Halifax Mk IIDT727, NF-K138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 5 and Page 97.
Halifax Mk IIDG405, MA-Y161 Sqdn RAF Page 98.
Halifax Mk IIBB379, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFPage 100.
Halifax Mk IIJD155, NF-M, JD 115?138 Sqdn RAFPage 103.
Hudson T9465MA-T161 Sqdn RAF Page 105.
Halifax Mk VDK119, MA-U161 Sqdn RAF Page 106.
Halifax Mk IIBB334, NF-X138 Sqdn RAFPage 110.
Halifax Mk IIJD312, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFPage 112.
Halifax Mk IIJD179, NF-Z138 Sqdn RAFPage 113.
Halifax Mk VDG253, NF-F138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 6 and Page 114.
Halifax Mk IIHR666, NF-E138 Sqdn RAFPage 118.
Halifax Mk IIJD269, NF-Q138 Sqdn RAFPage 119.
Halifax Mk IIJD154, NF-V138 Sqdn RAFPage 120.
Halifax Mk IIJN910, NF-K138 Sqdn RAFPage 121.
Halifax Mk IIJD156, NF-W138 Sqdn RAFPage 122.
Halifax Mk IIBB309, NF-T138 Sqdn RAF, "C" FlightPage 123.
Halifax Mk VDG252, NF-B138 Sqdn RAFPage 124.
Halifax Mk IIBB317, NF-N138 Sqdn RAFPage 125.
Liberator IIIBZ858, NF-F138 Sqdn RAF. "C" FlightPage 126.
Halifax Mk IILW281, NF-W138 Sqdn RAFPage 127.
Halifax Mk VEB239, MA-Y161 Sqdn RAF Page 129.
Halifax Mk IIDT726, NF-H138 Sqdn RAFPage 131.
Halifax Mk VDK232, MA-T161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 7 and Page 133.
Halifax Mk IIJN921, NF-B138 Sqdn RAFPage 134.
Halifax Mk VEB129, MA-W161 Sqdn RAF Page 135.
Lancaster Mk IIIED825, AJ-E617 Sqdn RAF, (flew from Tempsford on temporary attachment for SD ops) Page 141. This aircraft earlier took part in the Dambuster's Raid as "T for Tommy".
Halifax Mk IIBB378, NF-D138 Sqdn RAFPage 142.
Stirling Mk 1R9289, BU-O214 Sqdn RAFTempsford Stirling 1 and Page 142.
Lancaster Mk IIIED886, AJ-O617 Sqdn RAF. (flew from Tempsford on temporary attachment)Page 143.
Halifax Mk VLL119, NF-L138 Sqdn RAFPage 147. This was the first of 6 Aircraft lost on the night of 16th/17th December, 1943.
Halifax Mk VLL120, MA-W, DG286 (BO)161 Sqdn RAF Page 148.
Halifax Mk VDK206, MA-V161 Sqdn RAF Page 149.
Halifax Mk IILW280, NF-K138 Sqdn RAFPage 150.
Halifax Mk VLL115, NF-A138 Sqdn RAFPage 151.
Halifax Mk VLK899, MA-T161 Sqdn RAF Page 152.
Halifax Mk IIBB364, NF-R138 Sqdn RAFHenlow Halifax and Page 153.
Halifax Mk VLK743, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 1 and Page 157.
Halifax Mk VLL182, MA-V, LL181? (ANPoB)161 Sqdn RAF Page 159.
Halifax Mk VDG272, MA-U161 Sqdn RAF Page 160.
Halifax Mk IILW275, NF-O138 Sqdn RAFPage 167.
Halifax Mk VLL114, NF-P138 Sqdn RAFPage 168.
Lysander V9822MA-E161 Sqdn RAF Page 171.
Lysander Mk IIIAV9605, MA-B161 Sqdn RAF Page 177.
Halifax Mk VLL279, NF-R138 Sqdn RAFPage 182.
Stirling Mk IIIEE944, HA-H218 Sqdn RAFTempsford Stirling 2 and Page 186.
Hudson Mk IIIAFK767161 Sqdn RAF Arlesey Hudson and Page 190.
Halifax Mk VLL287, NF-S138 Sqdn RAFPage 191.
Halifax Mk VLL252, NF-K138 Sqdn RAFPage 192.
Halifax Mk VLK738, MA-T161 Sqdn RAF Page 199.
HalifaxDG409161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 8 and Page 203.
HudsonT9439, MA-R161 Sqdn RAF Page 204.
Halifax Mk VLL356, NF-U138 Sqdn RAFPage 209.
Lysander Mk IIIAV9664, MA-161 Sqdn RAF Page 212.
Halifax Mk VLL280, NF-O138 Sqdn RAFPage 217.
Halifax Mk VLL192, NF-A138 Sqdn RAFPage 218.
Halifax Mk VLL183, MA-W, (on loan from 161 Sqdn)138 Sqdn RAFPage 222.
Halifax Mk VLK736138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 9 and Page 225.
Halifax Mk VDG286138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 12 and Page 229.
Halifax Mk VLL300, MA-Z161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 10 and Page 234.
HalifaxLL419, NF-V, LL276138 Sqdn RAFPage 236.
Halifax Mk VLL276, NF-F138 Sqdn RAFPage 237.
Hudson Mk IIIV9155, MA-Q161 Sqdn RAF Page 238.
Halifax Mk VLL289, NF-P138 Sqdn RAFPage 239.
Halifax Mk VLL284, NF-E, NF-V (FoF)138 Sqdn RAFTempsford Halifax 11 and Page 240.
Halifax Mk VLL307, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFPage 241.
Halifax Mk VLL416, NF-O138 Sqdn RAFPage 257.
Halifax Mk VLL306, NF-R138 Sqdn RAFPage 258.
Halifax Mk VLL466, NF-T138 Sqdn RAFPage 259.
Hudson Mk IIIAFK790, MA-R161 Sqdn RAF Page 277. See also this web page about the last mission of this Aircraft, and see this memorial.
Lysander Mk IIIAV9490, MA-H161 Sqdn RAF Page 280.
Halifax Mk VLL251, NF-N138 Sqdn RAFPage 282.
Halifax Mk VLL364, NF-B138 Sqdn RAFPage 289.
Halifax Mk VLL387, NF-P138 Sqdn RAFPage 290.
Hudson Mk IN7263161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Hudson1 and Page 294.
Lysander Mk IIIAV9748, JR-D161 Sqdn RAF Page 303.
Halifax Mk VLL248, MA-U161 Sqdn RAF Page 305.
Halifax Mk VLL358, MA-Y161 Sqdn RAF, (138 Sqdn RAF, ANPOB)Page 308. See this memorial.
Halifax Mk VLL308, NF-Q138 Sqdn RAFPage 309.
Halifax Mk VLL388, MA-W161 Sqdn RAF Page 339.
Stirling Mk IVLK131, NF-T138 Sqdn RAFPage 343.
Stirling Mk IVLJ503, NF-P138 Sqdn RAFPage 344.
Stirling Mk IVLK200, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFPage 348.
Stirling Mk IVLK208, MA-X161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Stirling 3 and Page 407.
Stirling Mk IVLJ932, NF-N138 Sqdn RAFPage 418.
Lysander Mk IIIAV9749, MA-M161 Sqdn RAF Page 419.
Stirling Mk IVLK238, MA-X161 Sqdn RAF Page 423.
Stirling Mk IVLK207, MA-W161 Sqdn RAFPotton Stirling 1 and Page 437.
Stirling Mk IVLJ993, NF-M138 Sqdn RAFPage 448.
Stirling Mk IVLK198, NF-H138 Sqdn RAFPage 449.
Hudson Mk IIIT9463, MA-L161 Sqdn RAF Page 456.
Stirling Mk IVLK151, NF-E138 Sqdn RAFPage 457.
Stirling Mk IVLK143, NF-B, 138 Sqdn RAFPage 458.
StirlingLK283, NF-J138 Sqdn RAFPage 463.
HudsonAM931, MA-H161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Hudson 2 and Page 467.
Stirling Mk IVLK279, NF-L138 Sqdn RAFPage 479.
Stirling Mk IVLK236, MA-Y161 Sqdn RAFPotton Stirling 2 and Page 481.
Hudson Mk IIIT9405, MA-K161 Sqdn RAF Page 482.
Stirling Mk IVLK149, NF-D138 Sqdn RAFPage 487.
Stirling Mk IVLK272, NF-P138 Sqdn RAFPage 489.
Hudson IIIAFK797, MA-M161 Sqdn RAFTempsford Hudson 3 and Page 491.
Stirling Mk IVLJ999, NF-Q138 Sqdn RAFPage 494.
Stirling Mk IVLK312, MA-W161 Sqdn RAF Page 495.
HudsonT9445, MA-O161 Sqdn RAF Page 504. See this memorial.
HudsonFK803, MA-N161 Sqdn RAF Page 506. See this memorial.
Stirling IVLK209, MA-T161 Sqdn RAF Page 507.
Stirling Mk IVLK119, MA-Y161 Sqdn RAF Page 515.
Stirling IVLK144138 Sqdn RAFPage 517.
HudsonMA-P161 Sqdn RAF Page 522.
Halifax  298 Sqdn RAFPage 538.
HarvardKF231 ?? SqdnNational Archives Register
WellingtonR1450 ?? SqdnNational Archives Register