Halifax LK640 - 431 Squadron  

Handley Page Halifax Mk. V LK640 "Queenie"


 Pictured being serviced possibly between August and November 1943.

 LK640 was part of a batch of 96 aircraft numbered from LK626 to LK746 built by the Fairey Co. between August and December 1943, so LK640 would have been quite a new aircraft when lost, going straight to 431 squadron from the manufacturer. It was assigned the squadron code SE-Q.

 She first flew with S/L Pleasance on a Mine laying Op to Sweetpea II on October 2nd 1943, followed by an op to Hanover on October 8th 1943.

 The crew for the initial op consisted of:

Name Service Trade
S/L W. Pleasance  RCAF Pilot
Sgt W. McGill  RCAF Flight Engineer
P/O L. Rotstein  RCAF Navigator
P/O D.R. Taylor  RCAF Bomb Aimer
Sgt R.W. Emsley  RAFVR W/Op/AG
Sgt R. Tagg  RCAF Air  Gunner
F/Sgt E.A. Ihde  RCAF Air  Gunner

 The crew's names adorn their crew positions in the photograph. S/L Pleasance and his crew were posted to 419 squadron on 19/10/1943.

 LK640's next  op was piloted by F/O Carefoot RCAF on October 22nd 1943, then Dusseldorf on November 3rd 1943. On November 18,1943 F/O Carefoot piloted LK640 on an op to Mannheim, it was a diversionary attack on both Mannheim and Ludwigshafen with aircraft from 3,4,6 & 8 Groups taking part. The crew took off at 1722hrs from Tholthorpe and crashed into the sea.

Name Service Trade Hometown  Age
F/O Garnett Carefoot  RCAF Pilot Beverley, Saskatchewan 27
Sgt James Shipp  RAFVR Flight Engineer - -
Sgt Robert Cowan  RAFVR Navigator Rogerstone, Monmouthshire 22
P/O Craig McGillivray RCAF Bomb Aimer Toronto, Ontario 23
Sgt Peter Lowry  RAFVR W/Op/AG Chiswick, Middlesex 21
Sgt Emerson Case  RCAF Air  Gunner Woodstock, Ontario 21
Sgt Albert Roden  RCAF Air  Gunner Hudson, Ontario 31

 Sgt Roden  is remembered on the Runnymede memorial. Sgt Cowan had been awarded a Western Universities Teaching Certificate and an Archbishop’s Certificate in 1941



Photo courtesy of the Yorkshire Air Museum, research by Linda Ibrom.