The Loss of Lancaster JA691

The official records of the loss of JA691

One side's victory is another side's defeat, and as the sun rose on the morning of the 18th August 1943 RAF Fiskerton was an unusually quiet airfield. One third of the attacking force had failed to return. What made it worse for this relatively new airfield was that the missing crews were amongst the most experienced.

However, the bureaucracy of war continued and the missing crews were "posted out" of the Squadron and replacements were brought in.


The final page of Bob Slaughter's logbook was completed for him after he went missing. It details the 14 flights (10 Night Flying Tests and four Operations) made in the month of August.
It has been annotated with the words "death presumed 18-8-43".


With great attention to detail, the loss of the Lancaster was recorded on the standard loss card. The perforations around the edge allow the cards to be used as a simple database.


The image below is of Air Ministry Form 78 which contains details of JA691.


Air Ministry Form 78 for JA691 

The next of kin would be informed and, once the crew's rooms were cleared out, personal belongings would be returned to grieving families. The loss of equipment would be reported in the official way and the war would continue the next night.