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Thread: 1321339 John Horace Leach 150 Squadron died 24 October 1943

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    Default 1321339 John Horace Leach 150 Squadron died 24 October 1943

    Hello, I would be most grateful for information on the circumstances surrounding the above Sergeant Navigator's death. I have found that he was drowned on either 24th or 25th October 1943 in an aircraft crash on Ponza Island off Italy and is buried in Naples War Cemetery. This info came from the Croydon Memorial Book. 150 Squadron summary of events for October 1943 has no mention of him.

    Thank you
    Andrew

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    Hello Andrew, and Welcome.

    Take a look at this site. https://www.aircrewremembered.com/brown-eric.html Not a definite answer to your query, but there is a possibility that John Horace Leach was aboard No.150 Sq Wellington X LN335. 1268970 Sgt Richard Bernard James MARCH, whose date of death is recorded at the CWGC as 25-10-1943, might also be connected with this loss.

    Others might know more.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th June 2017 at 00:55.

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    On board Wellington LN322, which was reported down in the sea on ops to Pistoia. Crew....
    Sgt G.A. Bluhm.
    Sgt J.H. Leach.
    Sgt R.B.J. March.
    Sgt E.N. Turner.
    Sgt J.P.R. Desjardins.

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    Hi Alan,

    I should have checked this first!

    Marshalling yards at Pistoia were the target for forty-six Wellingtons on the 24/25th and bursts were observed amongst trucks and on the railway junction and buildings north of the yards. Several large fires developed as the raid progressed, and the whole area was obscured by smoke. Daylight reconnaissance revealed that the railway carriage shop had sustained severe damage to the roof, while a group of sheds east of the station had been gutted. There were direct hits on the sidings, but the through lines appeared to be unscathed. The starboard engine of an aircraft of No.150 Squadron cut when over the sea midway between Corsica and the Italian coast, and the aircraft ditched sixty to seventy miles off Sicily. The ASR organization at Palermo was informed of the probable ditching position, and on 31 October news was received that the captain and two members of the crew had been picked up.

    See:
    Bombers Over Sand and Snow 205 Group RAF in World War II.
    Granfield,Alun.
    Barnsley:Pen & Sword Aviation,2011.
    p.215.

    and ...

    1392237 F/Sgt (Air Bomber) Ernest William TURNER RAFVR, was awarded a non-lmmediate Distinguished Flying Medal, in part, for his actions on this operation. There is a lengthy description of the event in Tavender's DFM book (Vol.II/K-Z/842-3). Desjardins was RCAF.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th June 2017 at 13:36.

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    Thank you very much. I had seen Bluhm's name in the ORB for October 1943 but the spelling was incorrect, it looked like Bluman so of course I did not get very far!
    I collect WW1 and WW2 Memorial Scrolls and have just acquired Leach's together with the original envelope addressed to his wife in Ipswich. Having a number of the WW2 RAF ones I suspect I will be asking more questions.

    Regards
    Andrew

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