Friday, 28 November 1941

Farnham, Surrey

F/Lt A. Laurent is a Free French Air Force pilot who has recently joined the squadron as a Lysander pilot, to be trained in pick-up operations. He crashes Lysander T1771, hitting trees on a hill north of Farnham, in poor daylight visibility. His passenger is LAC ‘Ox’ Harkness, a Lysander fitter. Both are killed. Their Flight Commander, Sqn Ldr John Nesbitt-Dufort, mourns the loss of Harkness: Laurent can be replaced, but ‘Ox’ Harkness was one of his best riggers, and has been with 419 Flight since its inception.

Freddie Clark wrote that T1771 was ‘the long-range prototype Lysander III developed for SD work by the A&AEE at Boscombe Down’. This is not inconsistent with Farley’s long-range Lysander R9027 used (and crashed in Scotland) on an operation in October 1941. R9027 and T1508 were equipped with the Mercury XVA engine; T1770 and T1771 were fitted with the Mercury XX.


Black Lysander, p.112
We Landed by Moonlight, p. 37
Agents by Moonlight, p.29
138 Sqn ORB, TNA AIR 27/956
Air Ministry Forms 78 (Aircraft Record Cards), RAF Museum, Hendon.