Peter Halliday in Spitfire

Peter Halliday in Spitfire

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Peter Halliday in Spitfire

A post-war picture of Peter Halliday in a Spitfire. Peter was a young boy living near Biggin Hill at the time of the Battle of Britain, and watched the dogfights around the airfield, as well as the German attack on 30 August 1940.

Many thanks to Headstream and Yesterday for providing these pictures, which come from their Heroes of Biggin Hill, broadcast for the first time on 12 August 2010.

DIPERSIO, Querino 0

This pilot flew Spitfire fighter aircraft for the RCAF / RAF (60% of all RCAF personnel served in RAF units at some point) in WWII, this record has come from the database of Mr. Halliday, a Canadian military historian.

This Pilot's entry: cause of death was flying accident, burial location North Africa, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( may have more information on family.

If a user conducts research on this pilot and can fill in this pilot's biography further by adding an image or links, clicking edit, or, visiting the National Archives of Canada to request a service record, they may add to this page. If a user would prefer to make this request on their behalf, please use the contact us at the bottom of this page.

The records for this pilot in various places are full of contradictions but I think this makes the most sense. Querino Di Persio (understandably Dipersio in some records and known as Merino) was born in Canada in 1918 to two Italian immigrants, Rosario and Secondina Di Persio. He completed initial training in Canada before travelling to the UK. During his training in Canada he married Mary Bryden.

The date given for the transfer to the UK is 10 October 1941 which is six days after his award of the rank of Sergeant.

In the UK he continued his training and on 14 April 1942 joined the Canadian 416 Squadron based in Scotland directly from 57 OTU. He was only with 416 briefly as on 16 May he was posted overseas. He travelled to Malta and then on to Egypt. Records on Malta service are sparse and details are therefore based on the information that is available. He left the UK on 24 May 1942 arriving in Malta on 9 June. This is consistent with him sailing to Gibraltar and then flying one of the Spitfires off HMS Eagle to land in Malta under Operation Salient.

Later in June it was decided that Egypt needed Spitfires more than Malta and so some 601 Squadron pilots and Spitfires were flown to Aboukir. Some pilots flew directly (in Spitfires including BR459) and some pilots were flown as spare bods in other aircraft. Again there is only partial records of who arrived when, other than the CO.

After the move from Malta 601 started operations on 1 July. Querino arrived in the Middle East on 3 July. His first flight in Egypt was an air test of BR459 on the 11th, with a patrol the following day. His next flight was to be his final one on the 16th. 601's Operation Record Book (ORB) has him flying BR363 which cannot be correct as that flew again on the following day. BR459 is recorded as category E OPs on the 16th which makes more sense.

The ORB confirms that a Hurricane from 33 Squadron took off crosswind and collided with Querino's Spitfire. Querino was killed instantly while the Canadian pilot of the Hurricane, Pilot Officer Erle Walter Ollen-Bittle died later. Both pilots are buried in the Alexandria (Chatby) Military And War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

As well as his widow, Mary, Querino left a daughter Marina (according to the CWGC). One brother, Patsy, also served in the RCAF and another, Henry, was wounded in action twice while serving with the Cape Breton Highlanders.

PAULEY, Reginald H

This pilot flew Spitfire fighter aircraft for the RCAF / RAF (60% of all RCAF personnel served in RAF units at some point) in WWII, this record has come from the database of Mr. Halliday, a Canadian military historian.

Based at Castletown near Wick in the Scottish Highlands were Spitfires of 124 squadron. The purpose of this squadron was to protect the approaches to Scapa Flow,anchorage for the Home Fleet, albeit by attacks from enemy aircraft or damage to ships caused by debris from floating wreckage from shipping or aircraft known as `Flotsam & Jetsom`.

On the morning of 24th September 1941 two Spitfires of 124 Sq took off from Castletown on a `Flotsam` patrol off the Orkney Islands, flying one of these Spits` X4108 was young Reg Pauley, a Sergeant with the RCAF, Reg was relatively new to the squadron and had only arrived at Castletown on 1st August, but had flown several of these patrols prior to this one.

It is presumed the mission went OK and nothing out of the ordinary was reported as the two Spitfires made their way back towards Orkney from out east, Sgt Pauley was flying as Flight Leader as they entered low cloud near Rendall, suddenly and without warning Reg Pauley`s Spitfire struck the hill and he was killed instantly, and Sgt Moore flying R6627 in a split second managed to pull up and just cleared the hill.

Sgt Reginald H.Pauley, aged just 20 and a native of New Brunswick, Canada, was buried with full military honours in Sandwick Cemetery,Orkney, alongside two other RAF pilots, Sgt Cox and P/O Bridger both of whom also lost their lives to aircraft accidents in Orkney.

Reg was the youngest son of William and Emma Pauley and had three elder siblings, Leslie, Helen and Eric.

Restoration of Spitfire

Tasked with the restoration project of a World War Two plane, Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd looked to Emsea Ltd for the fabrication of bespoke parts. The crashed Spitfire P8208 lay submerged in the mud of the Severn Estuary from 1943 until 1993 when an expedition was mounted to recover the remains.

Client: Retro Track & Air (UK) Ltd
Sector: Design & Manufacturing
Material: 5mm armoured plate
Machinery: Bystronic 6KW ByAutonom Laser

Tasked with the restoration project of a World War Two plane, Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd looked to Emsea Ltd for the fabrication of bespoke parts. The crashed Spitfire P8208 lay submerged in the mud of the Severn Estuary from 1943 until 1993 when an expedition was mounted to recover the remains.

“One of the numerous challenges we have faced was replacing the armoured plate that sits behind the pilot’s head to protect the pilot,” said Peter Watts, director at Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd. He continued: “Unfortunately detailed plans of this part do not exist so we had to approach this as an engineering puzzle and as such needed a company with specialised engineering knowledge and bespoke metal cutting capabilities.”

Emsea Ltd. engineers initially fabricated a prototype replacement from 1.5mm mild steel. “We reverse engineered the piece from the mangled original, taking the prototypes to the plane and making minor adjustments,” commented Chris Sweet, director at Emsea Ltd. “Our design through to completion facilities enable us to provide a full and bespoke service to our customers, ensuring high quality finished products and this case was no exception.” Usually preferring to complete all works in-house, Retro Track and Air (U.K) Ltd have impeccably high standards.

“It is the nature of our business, restoring planes to air worthy specification, that our work must be precise. As such, we are extremely cautious about outsourcing work but we are thrilled with the excellent service from Emsea and will continue to use them for future endeavours,” said Peter.

The project is expected to take a number of years to complete and will form part of a private collection of air worthy vintage planes.

Circus 168

In October 2011, a group of amateur aviation historians have unearthed the wreckage of a Spitfire in Northern France near the village of Hardifort. The remains of the plane, which turned out to be a Spitfire Mk. Vb, were dug up from beneath five metres of soil. Its discovery was accidental: a film crew making a World War Two documentary was excavating what they believed was the wreckage of a downed Czech aircraft when they realised that they came across a different World War II crash site.

The Spitfire appeared to have slammed nose-first into the ground. Remains of a pilot were found inside the cockpit. The officials from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), an organisation which manages war cemeteries for citizens of British Commonwealth nations who died during World War I and II, have been called to take charge of the pilot’s remains for burial.

Closer investigation revealed the identity of the airman as Sergeant William Smith, an Australian serving with No. 457 Squadron. His identification disc, service number 400942, was found at the site along with a cigarette case, a tunic button and a map.

His Spitfire, BM180, did not return from a mission on 9 May 1942.

But let’s start at the beginning.

William James Smith

Sergeant William James Smith 400942, RAAF Spitfire Pilot
[RAAF Heritage collection]

Young Bill Smith was born in Kalgoolie, WA on the 10 December 1917. He was the son of Samuel William and Freda Constance Adelaide Smith of Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia.

Following the call for Commonwealth pilots, he enlisted with the RAAF on the 11 November 1940, at the age of 22.

After the initial flight training, Bill was posted to Britain to join No. 452 Squadron RAAF. No. 452 was the first Australian fighter unit formed in Britain during World War II. It is likely that Smith was among its “founding” group of personnel which gathered at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey on 8 April 1941. The squadron became operational there on 22 May of that year, flying Supermarine Spitfires.

The unit rapidly developed a formidable reputation in operations against German forces. They were involved in many different kinds of operations one of the most unusual was escorting a bomber that dropped a reserve artificial leg for the use of the British ace Douglas Bader, who was shot down a few days previously and became a prisoner of war.

To his squadron colleagues, Smith had become known as a good and popular pilot, “whose quiet calm way of going about his duties gave confidence to his fellow pilots”.

In March 1942, No. 452 Squadron was replaced in Redhill by the second RAAF fighter unit in England, No. 457 Squadron. This coincided with William’s posting to that squadron.

With the onset of spring, Fighter Command had received authorisation to launch a full-scale offensive campaign against German air units, and No. 457 was engaged in this effort as part of the Kenley Wing. The squadron first saw action on 26 March when Peter Brothers, squadron’s CO, shot down a Bf 109 during a multi-squadron fighter sweep over France. One Spitfires was lost in this action.

By the end of its first week of operations No. 457 Squadron had shot down three German aircraft and inflicted damage on several others and it went on to conduct 32 operations over German territory by 26 April. These operations often encountered fierce opposition. The new German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters, which for the first time appeared in force during the period, proved superior to the Spitfire Mark Vs that most of the British squadrons were equipped with.

Group photo of No. 457 Squadron’s pilots at RAF Station Redhill in 1942
[Australian War Memorial]

Constant contact with enemy fighters and enemy anti-aircraft defences saw squadron losses mount.

Then came the fateful mission of 9 May 1942.

Circus 168

On that day, No. 457 had been flying a in support of a Circus 168 bombing mission to Hazebrouck rail yards in Belgium (not Bruges as has been stated elsewhere – Bruges was a target of Circus 170 conducted later in the afternoon on the same day, hence the confusion).

The close escort involved no less than four Spitfire squadrons protecting a mere six Bostons Mk. III. The rendezvous time was set to 1300 hrs and the high cover was provided by the Kenley Wing with No. 457 Squadron.

Around 13:35, minutes after turning back towards England, the British squadrons were attacked by a group of Fw 190s (some pilot reports also indicate Bf 109s) zooming in from high altitude. Pilot reports indicate that there were about 25 of the enemy fighters. In fact, it could have been more: according to the German records, several staffeln of both JG 26 and JG 2 were engaged in combat that day.

Disaster struck on No. 118 Squadron from Ibsley which was flying Target Support. They were caught unaware of the impending attack and lost six Spitfires in quick succession. Four pilots – S/L Walker with Sgts Green and Shepherd and F/Sgt Rough – were lost. Another Spitfire was severely damaged and barely made its way to Manston while a sixth ran out of fuel and crash-landed near Tangmere.

The high-cover No. 457 Squadron was the second to bore the brunt of the German attack. They were successful in turning against the attacking Focke-Wulfs and engaging them in a dogfight.

That’s where Sergeant Smith was last seen by his squadron peers, engaged in a dogfight with a group of German fighters at approximately 20,000 feet.

In this uneven combat, No. 457 lost two Spitfires. Bill Smith’s BM180 and AA851, piloted by Sgt R.A.G. Halliday. Both pilots were killed. Significantly for the superiority of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 over the Spitfire during the period, the Australians could only claim one Fw 190 damaged. In fact, none of at least six RAF Spitfire squadrons engaged in the battle during the mission could report any success. In contrast, the Germans claimed 9 Spitfires destroyed during the day. It is likely that BM180 fell to the guns of Oblt. Josef Haiböck of 1./JG 26, who reported a victory at 13.40 𔄚km north of Cassel” at 16.000 feet.

Spitfire Mk. V under fire. Photograph from a German gun camera

Sergeant William Smith died in his aircraft just less than 2 years after he joined the RAAF.

Only three weeks later, on 28 May 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill agreed to an Australian Government request to dispatch three fully equipped Spitfire squadrons to Australia. No. 452 and No. 457 Squadrons were withdrawn from No. 11 Group and began to prepare for the move back to their homeland, which began in June of that year.

Sergeant Smith is the second missing World War II Australian pilot whose body was found and identified in the last years. The find of his remains follows the discovery of another Spitfire in the Orne River in northern France in 2010 with the remains of Flight Lieutenant Henry ‘Lacy’ Smith, who was buried with full military honours in Normandy, France in 2011.

The identification of William Smith means that he will receive a burial with the dignity and respect he deserves. The ceremony is planned for April next year at the Arneke war cemetery, also in northern France.

Until then, if you travel to the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, UK, you will find Bill’s name on Panel 113.

Identification tag and charms belonging to Bill Smith, recovered in October 2011
[Australian Department of Defence, Commonwealth copyright]

Vickers Supermarine Spitfire HF Mk.VIIc, S/N MD188

Vickers Supermarine Spitfire MD188, an HF Mk.VIIc was the third-to-last MkVII Spitfire to be built, coming off the Eastleigh production line in the third week of May, 1944.

Equipped with a Merlin 64 engine it was initially delivered to No 33 Maintenance Unit and was subsequently issued to No 131 Squadron in mid-June, just too late to have seen action on D-Day itself.

Its combat career as Wing Commander Pete Brothers’ personal aircraft as part of the Culmhead Wing at RAF Colerne was brief, being sent to high altitude trials only three months later on October 9, 1944. Little else is known about its consequent use however, MD188 was struck off charge on December 9, 1948 and was likely sold for scrap soon thereafter.

Peter Monk's Spitfires

Hi Everyone I Was Wondering What Spitfires He Ownes At His Compand At Biggin Hill.

I Know Of TA805 And The Mark 1 X4650 Hopefully This Speical Spitfire Will Be Flying In 2012.

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By: Space cadet - 10th January 2012 at 08:59 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

i believe that mk912 recently returned from canada is also resident at this time

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By: Rocketeer - 10th January 2012 at 09:34 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

'owns' is a moveable feast when it comes to spitfires! He is associated with a number of spitfires whether he is the true owner, is another thing. I undrestood X6450 was more to do with the Friedkins now. Mark12 would be the best source for 'ownership' knowledge. That said, the Spitfire world is like a good James Bond novel sometimes.

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By: Propstrike - 10th January 2012 at 09:54 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

Without particularly wishing to be a ' Grammar Nazi ' I suggest these posts requesting information would be better received were they composed with a bit more attention to detail.

There is no need for every word to start upper case ( capitals ) .

Spelling is not the most important thing, but if your posts are too incoherent you are unlikely to receive a positive response.

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By: Fouga23 - 10th January 2012 at 10:03 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

He's using one of those smartphone thingies. Sometimes it acts funny :)

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By: Bruce - 10th January 2012 at 10:37 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

As I've said in another thread, give Howard500 a chance. He is young and learning! I'm as much a stickler for good spelling and grammar as most here, if not more, but Howard500 has given us some very good threads lately, so I'm prepared to cut him a bit of slack.

As far as what is or isnt at Biggin Hill, there was a recent thread, that covered MK912, RW382, TA805 and X4650. For anything else, you'll have to wait and see!

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By: Mark12 - 10th January 2012 at 10:45 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

I very rarely quote owners. only custodianship.

It can be sensitive, so a 'no comment' from me on this one. :)

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By: duxfordhawk - 10th January 2012 at 11:47 Permalink - Edited 1st January 1970 at 01:00

In so many ways it does not matter who is owning/looking after them at this time. What matters more is whether the owner/owners are kind enough to let the public see them during the time they own them.

I live pretty local to Biggin Hill and It feels exciting times with what Spitfires are currently at the airport, So lets see what the year brings.

In 1942, the Air Ministry made the decision to compile a list from records of the names of pilots who had lost their lives as a result of the fighting during the Battle of Britain [notes 1] for the purpose of building a national memorial. This became the Battle of Britain Chapel at Westminster Abbey, which was unveiled by King George VI on 10 July 1947. [4] The Roll of Honour within the Chapel contains the names of 1,497 pilots and aircrew killed or mortally wounded during the Battle. [5]

Nothing was done officially, however, to define the qualifications for the classification of a Battle of Britain airman until 9 November 1960. AMO N850, published by the Air Ministry, stated for the first time the requirements for the awarding of the Battle of Britain Star, and listed the 71 units which were deemed to have been under the control of RAF Fighter Command. [6]

In 1955 Flt Lt John Holloway, a serving RAF officer, began a personal challenge to compile a complete list of "The Few". After fourteen years of research Flt Lt Holloway had 2,946 names on the list. Of these airmen, 537 were killed during the Battle or later died of wounds received.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, founded by Geoffrey Page, raised funds for the construction of the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne near Folkestone in Kent. The Memorial, unveiled by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on 9 July 1993, shares the site with the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall on which a complete list of "The Few" is engraved. [7]

More recently, the Battle of Britain Monument on the Victoria Embankment in London was unveiled on 18 September 2005 by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The idea for the monument was conceived by the Battle of Britain Historical Society which then set about raising funds for its construction. The outside of the monument is lined with bronze plaques listing all the Allied airmen who took part in the Battle. [8]

Name Rank Nationality Sqn during Battle Awards Notes
Lacey, Edward Richard Sgt BR 219 Sqn DSO 18 August 1920 – 10 March 1980
Lacey, James Harry "Ginger" Sgt BR 501 Sqn CdeG, DFM* 1 February 1917 – 30 May 1989
Lackie, William Leckie Sgt BR 141 Sqn
Lafont, Henrie Gaston Adj Free FR 615 Sqn Surviving aircrew
Laguna, Piotr Flt Lt POL 302 Sqn VM, KW KIA 27 June 1941
Laing, Alan Sgt BR 151 Sqn
Laing, Alexander James Alan Fg Off BR 64 Sqn Resigned RAF Commission in 1948
Lake, Donald Millar Fg Off BR 219 Sqn KIA 4 September 1941
Lamb, Albert Sgt BR 25 Sqn Died 5 January 1948
Lamb, Owen Edward Plt Off NZ 151 Sqn KIA 14 April 1941
Lamb, Peter Gilbert Fg Off BR 610 Sqn AFC
Lamb, Robert Lionel Plt Off BR 600 Sqn
Lamb, Roderick Russell Sub Lt (FAA) BR 804 NAS KIA 24 August 1942
Lambert, Hugh Michael Standford "Mike" Flt Lt BR 25 Sqn KIA 15 September 1940 when Beaufighter R2067 crashed near Biggin Hill. [9]
Lambie, William Gavib Mein Plt Off BR 219 Sqn KIA 15 November 1940 [10]
Lammer, Alfred Plt Off BR 141 Sqn DFC & Bar
Landels, Leslie Ninlan Plt Off BR 32 & 615 Sqns KIA 20 January 1942
Lane, Brian John Edward "Sandy" Flt Lt BR 19 Sqn (CO) DFC Author of Spitfire!, published in 1942 under the pseudonym B.J. Ellan one of only a few contemporaneous, autobiographical accounts of the life of a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot. [11] MIA 13 December 1942 [12]
Lane, Roy Plt Off BR 43 Sqn KIA 20 June 1944 (by Japanese in Burma)
Langdon, Charles Edward Plt Off BR 43 Sqn MIA 26 February 1941
Langham-Hobart, Neville Charles Plt Off BR 73 Sqn 1912–1994 As a pilot of Hawker Hurricane P2036 he was badly injured following combat with a Bf 109 on 23 September 1940 and became a member of the Guinea Pig Club.
Langley, Gerald Archibald Plt Off BR 41 Sqn KIA 15 September 1940 when Spitfire P9324 was shot down in combat with Bf 109s. [9] [13]
Langley, Leonard Sgt BR 23 Sqn Died 26 September 1953
Lanning, Francis Charles Anthony Plt Off BR 141 Sqn DFC 1907–2002
Lansdell, John Sgt BR 607 Sqn KIA 17 September 1940 Name also incorrectly spelt as Landsell [14]
Lapka, Stanislaw Plt Off POL 302 Sqn VM, KW** Died 1978
Lapkowski, Waclaw Plt Off POL 303 Sqn VM, KW*** KIA 2 July 1941
Larbalestier, Basil Douglas Plt Off BR 600 Sqn Died 1994
Laricheliere, Joseph Emile Paul Plt Off CAN 213 Sqn DFC MIA 16 August 1940 [15] when he failed to return in his Hurricane from combat near Portland. [9]
Latta, John Blandford F Plt Off CAN 242 Sqn DFC MIA 12 January 1941 [15] aged 27
Lauder, Arnold John Sgt BR 264 Sqn
Laughlin, John Hamilton Fg Off BR 235 Sqn MBE
Laurence, George Sgt BR 141 Sqn DFM KIA 9 November 1944 [16]
Law, K S Plt Off BR 605 Sqn Refer to Kennith Schadtler-Law
Lawford, Derek Napier Sgt BR 247 Sqn
Lawler, Edgar Stanley Sgt BR 604 Sqn
Lawrence, John Thornett Sgt BR 235 Sqn OBE, AFC
Lawrence, Keith Ashley Plt Off NZ [17] 242, 603, 234 Sqns & 421 Flt DFC Surviving aircrew [18]
Lawrence, Norman Anthony Sgt BR 54 Sqn Died 22 August 1958 [19]
Laws, Adrian Francis Plt Off BR 64 Sqn DFM KIA 30 September 1940
Laws, George Godfrey Stone Sgt BR 501 & 151 Sqns KIA 28 March 1941 (Pilot)
Lawson, Richard Chester Plt Off BR 601 Sqn KIA 10 February 1941
Lawson, Walter John Plt Off BR 19 Sqn KIA 28 August 1941
Lawson-Brown, John Plt Off BR 64 Sqn KIA 12 May 1941
Lawton, Philip Charles Fenner Fg Off BR 604 Sqn DFC
Laycock, Herbert Keith Plt Off BR 79 & 87 Sqns KIA 18 August 1943
Lazoryk, Włodzimierz Flt Lt POL 607 Sqn VM, KW**
Leary, David Cooper Plt Off BR 17 Sqn KIA 18 December 1940
Leatham, Ernest George Cuthbert Plt Off BR 248 Sqn DFC
Leathart, James Anthony "The Prof" Sqn Ldr BR 54 Sqn DSO Died 1998 retired from RAF in 1962 at the rank of Air Cdre [20] [21]
Leather, William Johnson Flt Lt BR 611 Sqn
Le Cheminant, Jerrold Sgt BR 616 Sqn DFC
Leckrone, Philip Howard Plt Off AME 616 Sqn KIFA 5 January 1941 (practice flight) [22]
Lecky, John Gage Plt Off BR 610 & 41 Sqns KIA 11 October 1940 [23]
Le Conte, Edgar Francis Sgt BR FIU OBE Died 4 May 1981 [24]
Ledger, Leslie Sgt BR 236 Sqn
Le Dong, Terry Sgt BR 219 Sqn KIA 8 February 1941 (Wireless Operator)
Lee, Kenneth Norman Thomas "Hawkeye" Fg Off BR 501 Sqn DFC Died 15 January 2008 [25]
Lee, Maurice Alexander William Sgt BR 72 Sqn & 421 Flt KIA 31 December 1940 (Pilot)
Lee, Richard Hugh Antony Flt Lt BR 85 Sqn DSO, DFC MIA 18 August 1940 when he was last seen in his Hurricane P2923 chasing an enemy formation of the east coast. [9]
Lees, Alan Farquhar Young Flt Lt BR 236 Sqn DSO, DFC Died 27 October 1987
Lees, Ronald Beresford Sqn Ldr AUS 72 Sqn CB, CBE, DFC*, MID**, LoM(Cdr)(US) Later CO RAF Coltishall (9 January 1941 – 11 September 1942) Died 18 May 1991 Retired from RAF with the rank of Air Marshal
LeFevre, Peter William Plt Off BR 46 Sqn MIA 6 February 1944
Legg, Richard James Plt Off BR 601 Sqn Died 1959
Legge, Brian Pauncefoote Plt Off BR 601 Sqn DFC [26]
Leggett, Percival Graham Plt Off BR 245 Sqn Surviving aircrew
Leigh, Arthur Charles Sgt BR 64 & 72 Sqns DFM [27]
Leigh, Rupert Henry Archibald Sqn Ldr BR 66 Sqn (CO)
Le Jeune, O G Sgt BEL 235 Sqn Died 10 April 1947
Lenahan, John Desmond Plt Off BR 607 Sqn KIA 9 September 1940 when his Hurricane P3177 crashed following combat with Do 17s and Bf 109s near Mayfield. [9]
Leng, Maurice Equity Sgt BR 73 Sqn Shot down, captured & made POW 30 September 1942
Lennard, Paul Lennard Mid (FAA) BR 501 Sqn KIA 26 March 1942
Lenton, Edwin Claude Plt Off BR 56 Sqn
Le Rougetel, Stanley Fg Off BR 600 Sqn
Le Roy Du Vivier, Daniel Albert Raymond Georges Plt Off BEL 43 Sqn Died 2 September 1981
Lerway, Frederick Thomas Sgt BR 236 Sqn
Leslie, George Mennie Sgt BR 219 Sqn KIA 17 December 1940 (Wireless Operator)
Levenson, Stephen Austin Sgt BR 611 Sqn KIA 17 September 1942 (Pilot)
Lewis, Albert Gerald "Zulu" Plt Off SA 85 & 249 Sqns DFC* [28]
Lewis, Charles Sydney Sgt BR 600 Sqn Died 1954
Lewis, Raymond Grant Plt Off CAN 401 Sqn MIA 5 February 1941
Lewis, William George Sgt BR 25 Sqn KIA 14 July 1941
Leyland, Reginald Harry Sgt BR FIU KIA 23 October 1942 [29]
Lilley, Robert Sgt BR 29 Sqn DFC KIA 28 April 1944 (Wireless Operator/Navigator)
Lillie, P Sgt BR 264 Sqn
Limpenny, Eric Ronald Sgt BR 64 Sqn
Lindsay, Alec Ian Plt Off BR 72 Sqn KIA 23 October 1943
Lindsey, Patrick Chaloner Fg Off BR 601 Sqn KIA 26 July 1940 when he was shot down in the channel in Hurricane P2753. [9]
Lines, Arthur Peter Fg Off BR 17 Sqn
Lingard, John Granville Plt Off BR 25 Sqn DFC
Linney, Anthony Stuart Plt Off BR 229 Sqn OBE Died 1983
Lipscombe, Alfred John Sgt BR 600 Sqn KIA 20 September 1941 (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Lister, Robert Charles Franklin Sqn Ldr BR 41 (CO) & 92 Sqns DFC Died March 1998 [30]
Litchfield, Peter Plt Off BR 610 Sqn MIA 18 July 1940 when Spitfire P9452 was shot down in combat just north of Calais. [9]
Litson, Frederick William Ronald Sgt BR 141 Sqn DFC
Little, Arthur Guthrie Plt Off BR 235 Sqn
Little, Bernard Williamson Fg Off BR 609 Sqn OBE Died 1986
Little, James Hayward Flt Lt BR 219 Sqn (CO) DFC KIA 12 June 1943
Little, Ronald Sgt BR 238 Sqn MIA 28 September 1940 when Hurricane N2400 crashed into the sea after being shot down by Bf 109s over the Isle of Wight. [9]
Little, Thomas Burgess Fg Off CAN 401 Sqn MIA 27 August 1941 [31]
Llewellin, Arthur John Alexander Fg Off BR 29 Sqn KIA 7 February 1942
Llewellyn, Reginald Thomas Sgt BR 213 Sqn DFM
Lloyd, ? AC BR 29 Sqn Flew only 1 operational sortie
Lloyd, David Edward Sgt BR 19 & 64 Sqns KIA 17 March 1942
Lloyd, John Phillip Plt Off BR 72 & 64 Sqns
Lloyd, Philip David Sgt BR 41 Sqn KIA 15 October 1940 when his Spitfire X4178 was shot down in a surprise attack by Hptmn Fözö of 4/JG51. [9] [32]
Lochnan, Peter William Fg Off CAN 1 Sqn RCAF KIFA 21 May 1941 [33]
Lock, Erick Stanley "Sawn Off Lockie" Plt Off BR 41 Sqn DSO, DFC*, MiD MIA 3 August 1941
Lockhart, James Plt Off BR 85 & 213 Sqns KIA 5 April 1942
Lockton, Eric Edward Sgt BR 236 Sqn MIA 20 July 1940 when Blenheim L1300 was shot down into the sea off Cherbourg. [9]
Lockwood, Joseph Charles Sgt BR 54 Sqn KIA 3 March 1941 [34]
Lofts, Keith Temple Plt Off BR 615 & 249 Sqns KIFA 20 May 1951
Logan, Colin Plt Off BR 266 Sqn KIA 27 March 1941 [35]
Logie, Ormonde Arthur Plt Off BR 29 Sqn <1909–1989)
Lokuciewski, Witold "Tolo" Plt Off POL 303 Sqn VM, KW**, PR, DFC, CdeG Died 17 April 1990 in Warsaw
Long, ? Sgt BR 236 Sqn Service details unknown
Lonsdale, John Plt Off BR 3 Sqn KIA 26 November 1942
Lonsdale, Robert Henry Sgt BR 242 & 501 Sqns
Looker, David John Plt Off BR 615 Sqn
Loudon, Malcolm John Flt Lt BR 141 Sqn DFC
Lovell, Anthony Desmond Joseph Plt Off BR 41 Sqn DSO*, DFC*, DFC (US) KIA 17 August 1945 [36] [37] [38]
Lovell-Gregg, Terence Gunion Sqn Ldr NZ 87 Sqn KIA 15 August 1940 when his Hurricane P3215 crashed near Abbotsbury after being shot down by enemy fighters over Portland. [9] [39]
Loverseed, John Eric Sgt BR 501 Sqn AFC Died 1962 [40]
Lovett, Reginald Eric Flt Lt BR 73 Sqn DFC KIA 7 September 1940
Lowe, Joseph Sgt BR 236 Sqn Died 1973
Loweth, Philip Anthony Plt Off BR 249 Sqn
Lowther, Walter Sgt BR 219 Sqn
Loxton, Wilfred William "Bill" Sqn Ldr BR 25 Sqn (CO) Died 15 November 1992
Lucas, Robin Morton McTaggart Delight Plt Off BR 141 Sqn Surviving aircrew
Lucas, Sidney Edward Sgt BR 32 & 257 Sqns
Lukaszewicz, Kazimierz Fg Off POL 501 Sqn KW MIA 12 August 1940
Lumsden, Dugald Thomas Moore Plt Off BR 236 Sqn
Lumsden, J C Sgt BR 248 Sqn
Lund, John Wilfred Plt Off BR 611 & 92 Sqns KIA 2 October 1941
Lusk, H S Plt Off NZ 25 Sqn
Lusty, Kenneth Roy Sgt BR 25 Sqn Died 18 September 2009 [41]
Lyall, Alastair McLaren Flt Lt BR 25 Sqn
Lyall, Archibald "Pat" Plt Off BR 602 Sqn KIA 28 November 1940
Lynch, James AC BR 25 Sqn MIA 22 January 1944
Lyons, Emanuel Barrett Plt Off BR 65 Sqn DFC
Lysek, Antoni Sgt POL 302 Sqn KW MIA 5 July 1942

Born Gillingham, Kent, 21 March 1919 KIA 20 February 1941, buried in Island Magee (Ballyharry) Cemetery, County Antrim

How This Photograph Helped Change the Course of History

T he man depicted in the above photograph is an escaped slave named Gordon who was popularly known as Whipped Peter. He fled from a Louisiana plantation in March 1863 to a Union encampment in Baton Rouge where he gained his freedom. The picture above depicts the torture and abuse inflicted on enslaved African Americans by their slave owners.

In July 1863, this image appeared in an article about Gordon published in Harper’s Weekly, the most widely read journal during the Civil War. The images of Gordon’s scarred back provided the Americans of the North visual evidence of the harsh treatment of enslaved people. The images also inspired many free African Americans to enroll in the Union Army.

Gordon later joined the United States Colored Troops and served as a soldier in the Civil War.

Gordon escaped from a 3,000 acre Louisiana plantation owned by John and Bridget Lyons in March 1863. The Lyon plantation was located along the west bank of the Atchafalaya River in St Landry Parish, between present-day Melville and Krotz Springs, Louisiana. The couples owned forty slaves at the time of the 1860 census.

During his time in the Lyons’ plantations, Gordon didn’t only endure the indignity of slavery but also the brutal whipping that almost took his life. He was stuck in bed for two months healing from it. The harsh treatment did not only affect his physical body but his mind as well. It was told that he was “sort of crazy” to the point he had threatened to shoot his wife with a gun.

When the plantation owner, John Lyon, finally heard of what had happened, he went over to see Gordon in bed and later fired his overseer. However, by that time, Whipped Peter had already made up his mind to escape.

Gordon and three other slaves escaped the plantation at night. They crossed swamps all the while being chased by slave catchers and their bloodhounds. Unfortunately for one of the slaves, the bloodhound caught up with him and killed him. But the rest of the escapees took out onions from their pockets and rubbed them on their bodies to throw the bloodhounds off their scents.

Gordon and his group had fled over forty miles to the north over the course of ten days before reaching Union soldiers of the XIX Corps who were stationed in Baton Rouge. Joy filled their faces when they were greeted by black men in uniform and immediately, they enlisted in the Union Army.

During his examinations, white soldiers were horrified to see the wounds that were hidden behind the pile of dirty bandages. According to a witness:

“It sent a thrill of horror to every white person present, but the few Blacks who were waiting…paid but little attention to the sad spectacle, such terrible scenes being painfully familiar to them all.”

McPherson and his partner, Mr. Oliver, who were in the camp at the time, photographed Gordon’s back, and the photo was reproduced and distributed all over the country as a carte-de-visite. The small cards were cheap to produce and became wildly popular during the Civil War, providing a near instant look at the war, and the people involved, as it unfolded.

“I have found a large number of the four hundred or so contrabands (people who had escaped slavery and were now protected by the Union Army) examined by me to be as badly lacerated as the specimen represented in the enclosed photograph,” — a report from J.W. Mercer, Asst. Surgeon 47th Massachusetts Volunteers, to Colonel L.B. Marsh, Camp Parapet in Louisiana.

“This Card Photograph should be multiplied by 100,000, and scattered over the States,” wrote an unknown journalist. The photograph stood as a proof that enslaved people were not treated humanely. It also helped bring the stakes of the civil war to life, contradicting the southerners’ insistence that their slave-holding was a matter of economic survival, not racism.

Gordon joined the Union Army as a guide three months after the Emancipation Proclamation allowed for the enrolment of freed slaves into the military forces. On one expedition, he was taken prisoner by the Confederates, they tied him up, beat him, and left him for dead. He survived and once more escaped to Union lines.

Afterward, he soon enlisted in a U.S. Colored Troops Civil War unit. He was said to have fought bravely as a sergeant in the Corps d’Afrique during the Siege of Port Hudson in May 1863. It was the first time that African-American soldiers played a leading role in an assault.

It’s unclear what Peter’s life was like after the Civil War. Even though slavery had been abolished, he and the others who had been subjugated, beaten, and demeaned during hundreds of years of slavery in America still carried the scars of slavery.

The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief James Bennet noted in 2011:

“Part of the incredible power of this image I think is the dignity of that man. He’s posing. His expression is almost indifferent. I just find that remarkable. He’s basically saying, ‘This is a fact.’”

Gordon photos served as a dramatic example of how the new trendy medium of photography at that time, helped change the course of history.


Here’s something new to add to our occasional ‘Still things turn up’ theme. Let’s call it, ‘Whatever happened to …’ which is especially relevant to the Coopers that came to Australia, New Zealand and other places such in Asia and Africa and then became something else, often with four cylinders.

The excitement of having a brand new Cooper from England may well have soon rubbed off as local specials could sometimes show a clean pair of heels to Surbiton’s best. If you had a ‘big-twin’ JAP in it rather than a ‘500’, the chances were that its unreliability would get you down.

An obvious solution was to put something else in it and so the Loose Fillings team thought we should have look at things that people did to Coopers engine-wise. The first candidate has been described for us by Andrew Halliday who writes as follows:

Built in 1949 by the Cooper Car Company at Surbiton, Surrey England, car 10-26-49 was powered by a 996cc JAP dry-sump 8/80 V-twin engine and was painted red. The car is the oldest survivor of the first batch of Coopers which was imported to Australia by Keith Martin, the original Australian Cooper agent. The cars arrived in Melbourne on 25 January 1950 and this one, coloured red, was purchased by Jack Saywell who had raced a monoposto Alfa Romeo before World War 2.

It was the second Cooper to race in Australia, and it made its first race appearance at the Easter car races at Bathurst in 1950 as number 4. It was timed at 190 km/h (118.4 mph) through the flying quarter mile down Conrod Straight. In the under 1500 cc, 25 mile race, the car finished 5 th , winning the handicap with a fastest lap of 3 minutes 10 seconds.

In the October meeting at Bathurst (above) it finished 4 th in the 12 lap, 50 mile under 1500cc race, with the fastest lap of 3 minutes 13 seconds and fastest time. At the Easter 1951 Bathurst meeting it became the first car to lap the circuit in 3 minutes in unofficial practice Saywell crashed into to the fence near Quarry Bend and during the race the car broke a countershaft sprocket.

The 1952 April Bathurst meeting was held as the 17 th Australian Grand Prix and the car finished 16 th. It raced at Ballarat, Parramatta Park and Mt Druitt winning a few races. The car was maintained at Jack Zeidler’s workshop in Leichardt, Sydney, and the engine was maintained by well-known motorcycle racer Don Bain. With business commitments to deal with, Jack Saywell parked the Cooper at the end off 1952 and it sat around for five years.

In 1957, Bill Reynolds, a well-known speedcar driver, motorcycle racer and announcer at the Sydney Sportsground Speedway, purchased the car. At the Easter Bathurst meeting, during the Bathurst 100 of 26 laps, the car caught fire as it exited Forrest’s Elbow and returned to the pits with flames shooting to the sky. It was found that a float bowl had come loose, spraying fuel onto the exhaust pipes.

Bill raced the car at Mt Druitt (above), winning two scratch races and the NSW Sprint Championship, and he won the 501cc to 1100cc class at Silverdale hillclimb. Doug Chivas raced the car for Bill Reynolds at Mt Druitt, winning an under 1500cc scratch race.

In February 1958 Jack Myers purchased the car for hillclimbing, removing the JAP 8/80 and replaced it with a pair of 650cc twin Triumph twins which were later supercharged (below) . One of the engines ran in reverse direction and chains served all three drives – primary, final drive and blower. The final drive was through a Cooper ZF differential. The gearbox was from a 1938 Norton motorcycle.

The car was capable of 120 mph (200 kph) and a standing ¼ mile in 13 seconds and became known as the Tangerine Tornado. Ken Waggott helped engineer the car and would drive it too, only to break crankshafts at Gnoo Blas (Orange), Foley’s Hill at (Mona Vale) and Fishermens Bend (Melbourne ). Eventually Jack Myers solved the problem at his Maroubra workshop.

Jack’s first outing in the car was at Foley’s Hill. Never having driven the car, he broke the record in practice and in competition bettered his time by 1½ seconds. His next meeting was at Huntley’s Hill near Wollongong, breaking the course record. This would be the last time the car ran with natural aspiration, it then having a supercharger off a Spitfire fitted.

While on his way to the Bathurst hillclimb, Jack called into Marsden Park airstrip to do some testing and put a hole in a crankcase. He missed practice but knocked ½ a second off the record on his second run. He also won the NSW Hillclimb series smashing all four outright records in all competition events.

In 1960 Jack Myers again won the NSW Hillclimb Championship in the car. He then replaced the Cooper with a chassis built by Ron Tauranac, removing the two Triumph 650cc engines from the Cooper and putting them into the Ralt chassis. Jack would lose his life in the Ralt at Katoomba’s Catalina Park on 21 January 1962. In 1961 Peter Williamson had purchased the Cooper using it at Silverdale Hillclimb powered by an Ariel engine and finished third in 50.37 seconds.

The car was next purchased by Bob Joass who rescued it from decay. It was later owned by Peter McCleay until 1976 when Tony Caldersmith acquired it. In 1990 the car was issued with CAMS first ever Certificate of Description and was displayed in a Parramatta bookshop shop window in Church St in 1993. In 1995 Matt Segafredo, a Formula Ford racer, purchased the car as he liked the look of it and it sat in his lounge room for years until Andrew and David Halliday acquired it for historic racing.

Watch the video: Spitfire