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Thread: WO 208 (MI.9) request

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    Default WO 208 (MI.9) request

    I seek the MI.9 interrogation of the following RCAF pilot and would be very much in the debt of whoever might be able to provide it; what appears below represents the total of my knowledge of the man:

    McLEOD, WO2 (now P/O) James Ronald (R88359/J89683) - Distinguished Conduct Medal - No.416 Squadron - Award effective 12 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1219/45 dated 27 July 1945. Born in Springhill, Nova Scotia, 27 September 1914. Attended St. Anne's Public and High Schools and Nova Scotia Technical. Home in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. Worked on surveys for two years; salesman and sales manager (Robert Simpson Company) for eight years. Enlisted in Halifax, 30 April 1941 and posted to No.4A Manning Depot, St. Hubert. To No.1 WS, Montreal, 7 June 1941. To No.3 ITS, Victoriaville, 28 July 1941; graduated and promoted LAC, 12 September 1941; posted next day to No.17 EFTS, Stanley, Nova Scotia; graduated 7 November 1941 and posted to No.8 SFTS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 27 February 1942. To "Y" Depot, Halifax, 1 March 1942. Embarked for Britain, 20 March 1942. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 29 March 1942. To No.5 (Pilots) AFU, Turnbull, 2 June 1942. To No.53 OTU, 30 June 1942. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 27 August 1942; to No.416 Squadron, 22 September 1942. Missing in action (POW), 23 January 1943, after being hit by anti-aircraft fire. Promoted WO2 with effect from 27 February 1943; promoted WO1, 27 August 1943. Reported safe in Switzerland, 4 May 1944. Safe in UK, 5 September 1944. To Repatriation Depot, 20 September 1944. Commissioned 23 September 1944. Repatriated via Rockcliffe, 9 October 1944. To Composite Training School, Trenton, 26 November 1944. To No.1 Training Command Headquarters, Toronto, 28 December 1944. To Flight Engineer School, Aylmer, 8 January 1945. To No.4 Release Centre, Toronto, 23 February 1945. Retired 7 March 1945. Although the award was gazetted 12 June 1945, RCAF Headquarters had been advised of its approval as early as 12 April 1945. Died in Richmond, British Columbia, 28 February 1965 as per The Legionary of May 1965. The citation to this award was not released until 3 January 1957.

    "This airman was taken prisoner after his aircraft made a crash landing near Le Havre on 23 January 1943. He was imprisoned at Stalag VIIIB at Lamsdorf. Early in April 1943 he and three others exchanged identities with four soldiers to secure inclusion in a working party. On 23 October 1943 Warrant Officer MacLeod and his three companions got out of camp while the padre was in their compound. They went to a nearby airfield and boarded a Junkers 52 training aircraft. They were seen from the control tower, however, and recaptured. After fifteen days solitary confinement in Stalag VIIIB they were tried by Court Martial and sentenced to two years penal servitude with hard labour. About ten days later Warrant Officer MacLeod changed identities with a soldier in order to go on a working party to the Sudetenland but on being checked out at the gate was recognized and sent back. In February 1944 Warrant Officer MacLeod and his companions were placed under guard for twenty-four hours a day. He tried to escape on 15 March 1944 but did not succeed. With an RAF Sergeant he got away on 23 April 1944 and both ran into some woods nearby. After crawling over a field for 400 yards the two escapees left their battle dress which they had worn as a protection over their civilian clothes and gained the main road. Acting on the instructions of the Escape Committee, they went to Mulhausen where they received information regarding a route to Switzerland. Ultimately dressed as farmers and carrying pitchforks both succeeded in crossing the Franco-Swiss border in April 1944."

    Volume 1 of file 45-19-15A, "Prisoners of War - Escape of - Interrogations", National Archives of Canada, RG.24 Volume 5372 has an earlier draft which includes some added detail and also differs from above in some respects (for example, Ju.32 rather than Ju.52). It read:

    "McLeod was taken prisoner after crash landing near Le Havre on 23 January 1943 and was imprisoned at Stalag VIIIB (Lamsdorf).

    "Early in April 1943 he and three others exchanged identities with four soldiers to secure inclusion in a working party. On 23 October 1943 MacLeod and his three companions got out of camp while the Padre was in their compound. They went to a nearby aerodrome and boarded a Junkers 32 training aircraft. Owing to a technical error, they were seen from the control tower and forced to surrender themselves. After fifteen days solitary confinement in Stalag VIIIB they were tried and sentenced to two years penal servitude with hard labour.

    "About ten days later MacLeod changed identities with a soldier in order to go on a working party in Sudetenland but on being checked out at the gate was recognized and sent back.

    "At the beginning of February 1944 MacLeod and his companions were placed in the punishment compound of Stalag VIIIB under guard for twenty-four hours a day. He again tried to escape on 15 March 1944 but was unsuccessful. McLeod and a RAF Flight Sergeant escaped from the punishment compound on 23 April 1944 ; the wire was cut while the attention of the guards was distracted by Prisoners of War at the other end of the compound, and McLeod and his companion got through and ran into some woods near the camp. After crawling over a field for 400 yards they left their civilian clothes and gained the main road. Acting on the instructions of the Escape Committee, they went to Mulhausen where they stayed for two nights and received information regarding a route to Switzerland. They travelled by train to Hesingen and then walked to Feldbach. Dressed as farmers and carrying pitchforks, Neuman [sic] and his companion walked across the fields to Moos, and finally crossed the Franco-Swiss border on 28 April 1944."

    Training and Operations:

    Interviewed on 30 April 1941 by a F/L Harcourt-Vernon (?) who described him as "Good material. Should be successful. Dependable and keen. Has brother overseas as Sergeant gunner." This appears to have been Sergeant Gerald Francis McLeod or MacLeod, killed in action with No.107 Squadron, 11 October 1941.

    Course at No.3 ITS was 8 August to 13 September 1941. Courses and marks as follows: Mathematics (78/100), Armament (64/100), Signals (70/100), Hygiene and sanitation (32/40), Drill (90/100), Law and Discipline (58/60). Placed 24th in a class of 155. "Very smart, neat and snappy. Determined. Very strong face. Fine appearance. Intelligent. Calm. Keen and alert. Decisive. Leadership ability."

    Course at No.17 EFTS was 13 September to 7 November 1941. Flew Finch aircraft - 25.25 day dual, 28.10 day solo. Of this, 7.50 on instruments. Also spent 10.15 in Link. "Good steady student. Very quiet. Good appearance and discipline. Weak on navigation. Commission material." Courses and marks as follows: Airmanship (162/200), Airframes (84/100), Aero Engines (62/100), Signals, practical (55/100), Theory of Flight (68/100), Air Navigation (163/200), Armament, oral (100/200). Placed 18th in a course of 26.

    Course at No.8 SFTS was 10 November 1941 to 27 February 1942. Flew Harvard aircraft (55.15 day dual, 52.25 day solo, 5.00 night dual, 11.00 night solo). Spent 28 hours on instruments and also logged 20 hours in Link. "Steady type pilot who displays good control. Judgement needs developing. His instrument flying is not good. Needs plenty of practice on let down, onto courses and climbs onto courses. Generally inclined to be too slow when under the hood." Ground courses and marks as follows: Airmanship and Maintenance (105/200), Armament, written (78/100), Armament, practical (70/100), Navigation and meteorology (68/150, wrote supplemental and scored 125/150), Signals, written (34/50 on first exam and 38/50 on supplemental), Signals, practical (90/100). Placed 38th in a class of 43. "Displayed above average qualities with regards to deportment, etc while at this school. Anxious to learn and impatient to go overseas. Pupil's choice - fighter."

    Course at No.53 OTU was 30 June to 22 September 1942. Flew 1.55 dual (Master) and 72.20 (Master and Spitfire). Of this, one hour was instruments and 21.20 formation flying. Also logged 19.50 in Link. Fired 4.740 rounds air-to-air and 800 rounds air to ground. Graded average in all categories. "A steady type and can be relied upon to carry out what he is told to do."

    Overseas he had an accident with No.416 Squadron, 4 December 1942, Spitfire BM292. Practice squadron formation flying. Airborne at 1600 hours. After 30 minutes he felt a shock in engine following by rough running, intense vibration and large quantities of oil coming out of engine housing, streaming over the wing and fuselage. This was followed by a cloud of white smoke from exhaust ports. At about 2,500 feet the engine packed up completely. He searched for a crash-landing site but terrain was rugged and hilly with small fields surrounded by trees and hedges. At 1,500 feet he trimmed the aircraft to fly straight ahead from buildings, then baled out. Aircraft went straight in and burned; he landed in same field as aircraft. He arranged for a guard to be put on the wreckage. Coolant leak was deemed reason. S/L Lloyd Chadburn wrote, "Yellow Four used good judgement in bailing out rather than attempting a forced landing in bad country which might have written himself off as well as the aircraft."

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    Hugh,
    Cannot find him on my list, which is very extensive and lists 3 McLeods, but not your man, and only one for 416sqdn (Campbell). Shame we have not got the name of the Flt/Sgt he escaped with, as he may be on the list.
    Alan

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