At the outbreak of war in September 1939 the Advanced Air Strike Force (AASF) departed for airfields in NE France with Fairey Battles and Blenheims plus a few detachments of Hurricanes.  12 Sqdn went to Amifontaine near St Quentin and in May of 1940 the Germans began their advance through Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. On the 12th May 5 Battles were airborne by 08.30am to destroy bridges over the Albert Canal in Belgium and whilst over the target all were hit by flak and shot down. 2 crews were lost, 2 captured, and 1 crew managed to return by bicycle minus the AG who was captured. Garlands aircraft was seen to crash near the bridge after releasing its bombs, and he and Gray were awarded the VC but there was no award for LAC Reynolds which was one of the great injustices of WW11.

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