Book of Remembrance - Volume  I


Flying Officer Maurice Preston Laycock

Royal Canadian Air Force



Son of G. P. and S. Esma Laycock, of Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, Canada, age 21, died on 28-Oct-1944 on a bombing mission to destroy a rail line that was heavily defended. F/O Laycock had been based at Melsbroek, Holland and was on his second tour with 77 operational sorties.

The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): We had the great misfortune of losing J.22035 F/O M.P. Laycock who hails from Fairey Glen, Saskatchewan. It was on the first show this morning and the Squadron was bombing a railroad two miles west of Deventer, Holland, map reference z.8806. Maurice was another original of 123 squadron in Canada and has completed 77 Operational Sorties totalling 73:45 hours. It was a very tough break for us and the whole Squadron felt this terrific blow. He had planned on entering the Ministry when the war terminates, but fate dealt a deadly blow.

Photo courtesy of Mr Ken Laycock, photo via Wilco Gorter.


The following entry is from 439's War Operations Record Book (Form 540): This was the first show in four or five days and found all the boys keen but a little rusty. F/L Jimmy Hogg led the Squadron into the air with 500 lb bombs (.025 tail) slung on their racks with intent to prang the rails running west from Deventer, Holland, at a point about four miles from the town. It was a beautiful morning and the target stood out clearly in spite of a slight haze. The boys approached from the west so as to avoid the town, flying parallel to the track; they rolled to the left and dived from east to west. The leader had barely commenced his dive when the flak came up, first a trickle of 20mm then a dense curtain of 40mm and soon the 88's added to the barrage to create one of the fiercest flak situations the pilots have yet encountered. It was inevitable that someone would get hit, unfortunately it was J.22835 F/O M.P. Laycock whom fate had decreed: he burst into flames and spun into the ground, presumed killed. The others pressed home the attack however and at least one pair of bombs found their mark with all the others coming very close. The Squadron reformed and returned with an escort of heavy flak as far as the Rhine, but with no further mishap.



Following entry is from The Canadian Virtual War Memorial website  courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

J/22035 F/O MP Laycock is buried at VOORST (TERWOLDE) GENERAL CEMETERY, Netherlands Grave Reference: Plot 8A. Row 1. Grave 8.


Photo courtesy of  Wilco Gorter. Copyright 2005. Used with permission



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