Rank & Name: Sgt Albert James Mason
Date of Death: 20/08/1943


Sgt Albert James Mason was the flight engineer when he and his crew were posted MIA when they failed to return from an A/S convoy patrol, on the 20th of August, 1943. view details

Update march 2012:

I have recently been in touch again with the Tony Mason, the son of Sgt Albert Mason. He has kindly sent in the photos and some further information. My thanks and appreciation to Tony for his contributions to the site. Here Albert proudly wears his flight engineer wing which he was awarded on the 14th of June 1943. He was posted to 59 Squadron a few days later, arriving on the 19th.



Further Information

Service Begins: At 20 years of age, Albert enlisted on the 6th of March 1941 at No.2 Recruitment office, Cardington, effective immediately. He was mustered as ACH/FM E or A (Aircrafthand - Fitter Mechanic - Engine or Armourer). On the 4th of July he reported to 3W/S of TT (No. 3 [Wing] School of Technical Training) at Stanley Park, where he was confirmed as a Fitter Mechanic II - Engine. Apart from a period of time spent at the RAF Station Hospital (The Midland Hotel), Morecambe between 12/05/41 and 31/05/41 (discharged) for unknown reasons at this time, he remained at No.3 until he was posted to No.10 OTU, arriving on the 21/11/41. Whilst undergoing further training at No.10, an operational training unit for crews and airmen destined for service with Bomber Command, he was promoted to AC2 (Aircraftman 2nd Class). Albert and Rose took the opportunity to unite in marriage and were wed on the 8th of March 1942. On the 29th of September 1942 he volunteered and was recommended for training as a Flight Engineer, effective immediately.

Baby Tony with his mother (Rose) and Albert - This was the last picture they had taken together.


Flight Engineer - Training: Albert's next port of call was No.7 School of Technical Training (RAF STATION - GLOUCESTSHIRE) - arriving there on the 21/10/1942, as a U/T F2E (Under Training - Fitter grade II - Engine). This was a very special day for Albert, as it was the day that his son, Tony was born into this world. One can only hope that between leaving No.10 OTU and arriving at Gloucestershire, there was time spent with Rose and Baby Tony. On the 31st of Dec. Albert was promoted to LAC (Leading Aircraftman) and on the 26th of Feb, Albert was re-mustered to a Grade 1, Fitter and took two weeks leave before arriving at his next posting. Albert reported to 12 (P) AFU. on the 10th of March which was an Advanced Flying Unit for trainee pilots, I guess this was a period of "work experience" for Albert. A few weeks later on the 14th of April, he arrived to No.4 S of T.T (RAF STATION - ST. ATHAN). This is where the real training began and on this day, he is officially noted as U/T - Flt - Engr (Under Training - Flight Engineer). On the 14 of June, he was confirmed in his muster as Flight Engineer and promoted to the rank of Sergeant. With his training complete, Albert was ready for his first operational posting.

(left to right) Albert Mason, Charles Haddock, Unknown - Enjoy some down time together.


59 Squadron - Operational: On the 19th of June 1943, Albert arrived to No. 59 Squadron at RAF Aldergrove. At the time, 59 were employed flying escort and anti-submarine patrols over the North Atlantic. He quickly made friends on the Squadron, one of which was Charles Haddock, pictured above with Albert and another airmen, enjoying some down time together. Sadly, Albert and Charles were lost together on the 20th of August, 1943 when their Liberator failed to return to base, nearing the end of their 16 hr patrol... The ORB records show that this was Albert's first operational sortie after being on the Squadron for a little over two months. It appears that he had been invited to or even volunteered to accompany this crew (and his friends) on this fateful day because they had a new and young Sgt. (Pilot) flying with them as co-pilot to their captain. As a flight engineer, Albert's task would've have been to take the pressure off the young co-pilot, by helping out with the technical side of things. This was common practice when young pilots were taken up for some operational experience. Normally, the duties of flight engineer were undertaken by one of the wireless/air gunners but to take the strain off the multi tasking gunner, an extra flight engineer was taken aboard. No doubt, this mission was seen as valuable operational experience for Albert too. Nearing the end of their mission at 2029 hrs, the aircraft was last heard of but unfortunately failed to return to base...

Friends: Although sadly lost, one can't help but smile at the thought of Albert, setting out in the early hours of the morning, with nervous excitement and energy flowing through him, on what was his first operational flight. In the darkness... perhaps he was feeling prepared but at the same time, not knowing what to really expect?

We shall never know what it was that Albert experienced on this fateful day but one can only hope that the comradery, companionship and loyalty that only those who serve together can truly understand, was something that he became part of, if only for a short while... Above all else, it's comforting to know that this crew, a crew of friends, were there together in the unknown circumstance that unfolded, and that together, these young men folded their wings...




Rest In Peace