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Thread: F/L Leonard George Alfred HADLAND - No.9 Squadron - DFC

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    Default F/L Leonard George Alfred HADLAND - No.9 Squadron - DFC

    HADLAND, Leonord George Alfred, F/L (115932, RAFVR) - No.9 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 June 1944. Born 11 May 1911 in Cork, Eire; home in Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Enlisted 1940 (1207679); commissioned 7 September 1941. Flying Officer, 7 September 1942. Flight Lieutenant, 6 September 1943. Commission relinquished 3 October 1957. Died January 1998 in Northampton. Citation in Air Ministry Bulletin 14170.

    This officer has taken part in many operational sorties in several of which he has had trying experiences. He has attacked some of the most strongly defended targets in Germany and Italy. On one occasion his aircraft was so badly damaged he was forced to bring it down on the sea. Another time he flew a severely damaged aircraft safely home to base. An excellent captain of aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Hadland has constantly set a fine example of courage, determination and devotion to duty.

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    Default Re: F/L Leonard George Alfred HADLAND - No.9 Squadron - DFC

    Hugh,

    Your mention of the ditching of F/Lt L. G. A HADLAND's aircraft opens a can of worms!

    29/09/1943
    No.9 Sqn
    Lancaster III ED648.
    Op: BOCHUM

    Primary attacked 2051 hrs. 20,000 ft. Identified by 'Wanganui' flares and red and green T.T's. Bombed centre of (believed) 2 red T.I's. Bombing appeared very concentrated. Ditched 5 miles off Mablethorpe approx 23.00 hrs. owing to bad vis , with 10/10ths stratus down to 500 ft. Six of the crew were rescued but the air bomber and flight engineer are missing (see also BCL4/p.340).

    F/Lt (Captain) Leonard George Alfred HADLAND RAFVR (later DFC)
    AUS413349 F/O (2nd pilot) James Leopold Vincent COMANS RAAF (later DFC*)
    938779 Sgt (F/E) Kenneth Norman TAYLOR RAFVR +
    1335316 Sgt Stanley Walter GREENWOOD RAFVR
    (137540) P/O (AB) Kenneth Herbert BEAMES RAFVR +
    1077990 Sgt John GASKELL RAFVR
    647384 Sgt Arthur Douglas TIREL RAFVR
    1620540 Sgt Clifford DAVIS RAFVR

    This was James COMANS' first op. A wet welcome. Comans completed 7 ops with 9 Sqn before transferring to No.97 Sqn and adding 45 more.

    29/09/43 - BOCHUM - Lanc ED648
    02/10/43 - MUNICH - Lanc EE188
    03/10/43 - KASSEL - Lanc EE188
    04/10/43 - STUTTGART - Lanc DV284
    18/10/43 - HANOVER - Lanc DV284
    20/10/43 - LEIPZIG - Lanc DV334
    16/12/43 - BERLIN - Lanc DV396

    Comans' initial crew on transfer to No.97 Sqn was:

    1038418 Sgt Kenneth Sam RANDLE RAFVR
    (134687) F/O Donald BOWES RAFVR
    (151017) F/O Kenneth Howell Hill COOK RAFVR
    1141745 Sgt Reginald George WOOLFORD RAFVR
    R188526 Sgt George Herving WIDDIS RCAF*
    1301268 Sgt Daniel BOLLAND RAFVR

    * Take a look at your RCAF Awards entry on Widdis.

    Most of these 97 Sqn airmen (including George WIDDIS), were subsequently decorated for their PFF activities

    A few biographical notes on COMANS, can be read here:
    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169357642 and some details on his career here: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/AWM65 - scroll down to AWM 65 778 - download.

    Most of the information is derived from the No.9 Sqn ORBs, the No.97 Sqn ORBs, Tavender, Carter & Carter and AIR78 files.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th November 2023 at 13:20.

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