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Thread: Sub-Lieutenant (A) Leonard Massie Cheer

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    Default Sub-Lieutenant (A) Leonard Massie Cheer

    Slightly off-topic being a Royal Navy pilot but can anyone provide details on his death on 25th September 1942 at Antsiranana, Diana, Madagascar and also some background on his service?

    I believe he was an RAF pilot pre-war and served with the ATA for a short time.

    Many thanks,

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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    Fairey Fulmar II DR636, 795A Squadron Tanga, force-landed on hilltop in darkness 45 miles south of Tannarive, Madagascar, 25th September 1942, Lt L.M. Cheer Killed

    Source; FLEET AIR ARM AIRCRAFT 1939 TO 1942 (Sturtivant & Burrow)

    Ian Macdonald

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    Jim, From the LG, plus comment:
    Air Ministry,
    26th July, 1938.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE RESERVE.
    Reserve of Air Force Officers-.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The undermentioned are granted commissions as Acting Pilot Officers on probation in class A. 9th July 1938:
    Leonard Massie CHEER.

    Air Ministry,
    25th October, 1938.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE RESERVE.
    Reserve of Air Force Officers-.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The commission of Acting Pilot Officer on probation Leonard Massie CHEER is terminated on cessation of duty. 7th Sept. 1938

    Air Ministry,
    1st November, 1938.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE RESERVE.
    Reserve of Air Force Officers-.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The commission of Acting Pilot Officer on probation Leonard Massie CHEER is terminated on cessation of duty. 7th Oct. 1938. (Substituted for notification in Gazette of 25th Oct. 1938)

    Class A was ex-Regular commissioned pilots. I can't find LG entries to support previous service; that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Admiralty,
    October, 1942.
    R.N.V.R.
    Tempy. Sub-Lts. (A) to be Tempy. Lts. (A) with seny. as stated:
    L. M. Cheer, 1st July 1942.

    795 Sqn seems to have been a training squadron.
    Regards, Terry

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    Hello,

    Friday, 25 September 1942.

    South African Marylands were again active on the 25th, aircraft Nos 1663 and 1671 making an attack on a fort three miles north of Behenjy on the Tananarive*-Antisirabe road shortly after dawn; seven 250lb bombs were dropped on the target. During the day one Fulmar of 795 Squadron was reported lost in uncertain circumstances.

    *Tananarive, was the capital of Madagascar

    See:
    Dust Clouds in the Middle East:The Air War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar, 1940-42.
    Shores,Christopher.
    London:Grub Street,1996.
    p.292

    No.795 Squadron.

    No.795 Squadron formed at Tanga on 24 June 1942 as the Eastern Fleet Fighter Pool equipped with Martlets and Fulmars. On 29 August 'A' Flight, equipped with six Fulmars, embarked in HMS "Illustrious" to participate in the Madagascar invasion. These were put ashore to Majunga on 11 September for anti-submarine patrols and tactical reconnaissance under the control of RAF No.207 Group, and carried out 45 operational sorties before returning in HMS "Albatross" in November. The squadron headquarters had in the meantime moved to Mackinnon Road, where it disbanded on 11 August 1943, its aircraft being by then obsolescent.

    See:
    The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
    Sturtivant,Ray.
    Tonbridge:Air-Britain (Historians),1984.
    p.150

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th July 2013 at 00:53. Reason: Amended Squadron number, per Brian.

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    Royal Navy casualties, killed and died, September 1942 has the following :

    " Friday, 25/9/42.
    FAA 759 Sqn, Kipanga, air crash.
    CHEER, Leonard M., Ty/Sub Lt (A) RNVR, killed. "

    http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1942-09SEP.htm

    HMS Kipanga was a Royal Navy air station in Kenya.

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    Many many thanks for the prompt replies everyone, just what I was looking for.

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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    Col.

    295 Squadron formed at Netheravon on 3 August 1942 (http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/295squadron.cfm) as a 38 Wing unit equipped with Whitleys.

    The lowest number FAA squadron was No 700 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fleet_Air_Arm_aircraft_squadrons).

    A typo in your source perhaps?

    Brian

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    Hello Brian,

    No, typos on my part. Should read No.795 Squadron FAA, in all cases. Have amended entries. During 1939-1945, FAA Squadron numbering eventually reached No.1853 Squadron.

    Thanks,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th July 2013 at 01:36.

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    Hello Jim,

    I now believe that "FAA 759 Sqn," as given on the Royal Navy casualty website is an error and have emailed the webmaster to let him know.

    Can you confirm Antsiranana as the location of Sub-Lt (A) Cheer's crash ? Antsiranana is in the far north of Madagascar and a long way from the other location in this thread, 45 miles south of Tananarive, today Antananarivo.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by angelsonefive; 19th July 2013 at 07:41. Reason: Spelling.

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    Hi Angelsonefive,

    I was quoting a source from the Internet so hoping someone on here can confirm the details, I have limited info to hand on Royal Navy pilots.

    I am also keen to confirm Cheers nationality. I can only find one Leonard Cheer on Freebmd, born Dec 1898 in Leeds making him 44 when he died, which seems a bit old. I can find no Leonard Massie Cheer on Freebmd.

    Jim
    Jim Corbett

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