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Fletcher, Leonard Watson (Flight Sergeant)

Killed in Action 1942-03-31

Birth Date: 1916-01-26 (age 26)

Born: Vancouver, British Columbia

Son of Thomas brodie and Elizabeth (ne Scott) of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Husband of Mrs. Jean Wood Fletcher and father of Barbara Jean Fletcher of Vancouver, British Columbia. Brother of Thomas S

Home: Vancouver, British Columbia

76 Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Flight Sergeant
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Wireless Air Gunner
Service Numbers
76 Squadron (Resolute). Halifax aircraft R 9453 ran out of fuel and crashed sixteen miles south of Sumburgh. P/O N.F. Bowsher, FS W.J. Cadger, one RAAF, and three RAF members of the crew were also killed. An extensive search was undertaken but nothing was found. addendum 2: See page 233. This crew were part of a force of thirty-four sent to bomb the Tirpitz in Aasen Fjord, Norway. For any aircraft encountering difficulties, there were three destroyers staged along their route to act as guard ships. The diversionary field west Sumburgh. The instructions given to the airfield were that the Drem Lighting on runways A and B should be lit, the "T" landmark beacon should be located 1.5 miles north-west of the airfield and that the obstruction light on Ward Hill should be lit, but not the one on Fitful Head. There should also be a continuous listening watch on the "Darkie" frequency of 6440 Kilocycles. In the event, the target was obscured by cloud, forcing the frustrated crews to turn back and head for home, not before four of their number had been shot down. On the return journey, the aircraft ran into cloud arid icing. Halifax R9453 and R9438 became short of fuel and diverted to Sumburgh, only to find low cloud and fog preventing a landing. S/L. Burdett in R9453 headed south, hoping reach either Orkney, Wick or one of the destroyers. After a few minutes, the fuel tanks ran dry and the aircraft crashed during an attempted ditching. The crew of R9453, FS. WI Cadger, P/O. N.F. Bowsher, S/L. A.P. Burdett (RAF), Sgt.s S. Davis (RAF), D.C. Martin (RAF) and L.W. Hanson (RAAF) were all killed. Detail and photo provided by David E. Thompson, Stockton-on-Tees, England.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Flight Sergeant Leonard Watson Fletcher has no known grave.

Crew on Halifax B.Mk.II R9453

Handley Page Halifax

(RAF Photo, 1942)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)A Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax Mk. II Series I (Serial No. W7676), coded TL-P, of No. 35 Squadron, RAF, based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire in the UK, being piloted by Flight Lieutenant Reginald Lane, (later Lieutenant-General, RCAF), over the English countryside. Flt Lt Lane and his crew flew twelve operations in W7676, which failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 28/29 August 1942, when it was being flown by Flt Sgt D. John and crew.

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

The Halifax has its origins in the twin-engine HP56 proposal of the late 1930s, produced in response to the British Air Ministry's Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use." The HP56 was ordered as a backup to the Avro 679, both aircraft being designed to use the underperforming Rolls-Royce Vulture engine. The Handley Page design was altered at the Ministry to a four-engine arrangement powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine; the rival Avro 679 was produced as the twin-engine Avro Manchester which, while regarded as unsuccessful mainly due to the Vulture engine, was a direct predecessor of the famed Avro Lancaster. Both the Lancaster and the Halifax would emerge as capable four-engined strategic bombers, thousands of which would be built and operated by the RAF and several other services during the War.

On 25 October 1939, the Halifax performed its maiden flight, and it entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940. It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night. Arthur Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command, described the Halifax as inferior to the rival Lancaster (in part due to its smaller payload) though this opinion was not shared by many of the crews that flew it, particularly for the MkIII variant. Nevertheless, production of the Halifax continued until April 1945. During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost. The Halifax was also flown in large numbers by other Allied and Commonwealth nations, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Free French Air Force and Polish forces. Wikipedia

YouTube Halifax Heavy Bomber WWII

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Halifax Bomber

Museum National Air Force Museum of Canada

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (5), RCAF 6 Group (1596), RCAF 400 Squadron (1443), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1562), Canadian Museum(2)
last update: 2023-12-08 20:34:11

Halifax B.Mk.II R9453

Presumed crashed into sea 16 miles south of Sumberg, shetlands ex ops Tirpitz, 31.3.42
Unit 76

76 Sqn- Squadron (RAF) Resolute

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