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Thread: Sgt Leonard Maiden (643941) 576 Sqn

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    Default Sgt Leonard Maiden (643941) 576 Sqn

    A friend would be grateful for any information about Sergeant Leonard Maiden of 576 Sqn, who was KIA on 18 August 1944. Information about his career and last flight are sought; CWGC details are known, and the family visit his last resting place.

    TIA

    Brian

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    Hi Brian

    The following is taken from 'Bomber Command Losses' Vol.5 - W R. Chorley

    18 August 1944

    576 Squadron
    Lancaster III LM439 UL-E2
    Op. Wermars Cappel

    F/L. R. Bibby pow
    Sgt. L. Maiden +
    F/O. J A. Armstrong RCAF pow
    F/O. E A. Duerr RCAF +
    F/S. F. Allen +
    Sgt. L L. Johnston RCAF +
    Sgt. H. Backler RCAF +

    Took off 2129 hrs Elsham Wolds to attack a flying bomb facility. Of those who died Sgt Maiden rests at Marquise Communal Cemetery; two are buried in Calais Southern Cemetery; while both air gunners lie in the towns Canadian War Cemetery.

    Regards
    Peter
    Last edited by peter; 5th September 2009 at 15:59.

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    Hello,

    Leonard MAIDEN was the flight engineer of the crew of Avro Lancaster Mk III serial number LM439 and coded UL-E2, of No. 576 Squadron. They took off at 19:24 hours from Elsham Wolds to bomb the flying bomb site in Wemaers-Cappel [that's near Cassel]. It's presumed the bomber came down in the Channel, probably off Ambleteuse. Pilot Flight Lieutenant Reginald BIBBY and navigator Flying Officer James Andrew ARMSTRONG R.C.A.F. were both captured south of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Two crew members are buried in Calais Canadian War Cemetery in Leubringhem : R.C.A.F. air gunners F/S Lloyd L. JOHNSTON, R/188969. (buried 4-G-7) and F/S Herman BACKLER, (4-G-8). Two other crew members are buried in Calais southern cemetery : air bomber Flying Officer Ernest Augustus DUERR, 153572. R.A.F. (S-4) and wireless operator F/S Francis ALLEN, 1025717. R.A.F. (S-3).
    Leonard MAIDEN is buried in Marquise (2-C-9)

    I can't explain why they are buried in different cemeteries, but it's likely that the Lancaster having crashed in the Channel, the bodies were recovered on french beaches in the following days, and buried in Calais and Marquise. Then the two R.C.A.F. crewmen were moved to the Canadian cemetery in Leubringhem. I have other cases of post-war moves from Marquise to Leubringhem.

    Hope this helps.

    Joss

    Ps : I'd be interested in contact with the family, if they would like to.

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    Thank you gentlemen. Hope you don't mind but I have one query, Joss gives a take-of time of 19.24, whereas Chorley quotes 21.29. It may be that two time datums are being used - Joss using GMT, but Chorley local time; any thoughts please?

    Probably wishful thinking rather than anything else but would anyone know if Bibby completed a POW questionnaire?

    (OK I know - go to the NA!)

    Brian

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    Slip of the finger by Peter, Chorley gives 19.24

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    Hello,

    I got the first names of the two PoWs from their questionnaires ! So I can save you a trip to Kew Brian.

    Actually the slip of the finger comes from the bottom entry in Chorley. I also spotted it and took the volume from its shelf to be sure, as I copied and pasted from my roster.

    Joss

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    Joss - you're a gentleman; could you scan them (or whatever) for me please, and I'll pass them to the family. I have passed on your offer by the way, but I've not had a response yet.

    Peter,

    Thanks for the clarification - a nice easy solution.

    Brian

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    hello Brian

    I'll e-mail you the digital pictures I have taken for both. I also have pictures of each graves, and of the cemeteries themselves.

    I hope the family will accept to get in touch with me.

    Joss

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    Hello Brian,

    I've done my homeworks and found out, from the Squadron ORB, that Sgt Maiden was actually the regular flight engineer of F/O E. BENNETT (127220). No exact date of posting in, but it was in July 1944, as F/L Reginald BIBBY. In 576 Squadron ORB, only the postings of officers are recorded, but I assume the NCOs of his crew were posted on the same day. They all came from No. 11 Base.

    First mission I've seen for Sgt L. MAIDEN was on 30th July 1944, against CAHAGNES, a strongpoint in Normandy.

    Leonard MAIDEN thus flew only one mission with F/L BIBBY's crew, the one that proved lethal.

    If your friend is still interested, give him / her my contact details.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 16th October 2009 at 18:09. Reason: correct spelling of target on 30th July 1944

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    I really must apologise Joss as I haven't heard anything from the family for whom I started this thread - very disappointing, especially as you came up with information so quickly.

    However, I will pass on your latest research - for which I'm grateful - and hope it prompts a response.

    My apologies again.

    Best wishes

    Brian

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