Flying Officer Leslie James CONNORS

Service No: 411866
Born: Mayfield NSW, 14 June 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1941
Unit: No. 243 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations (No. 243 Squadron Spitfire aircraft JL375), off Malta, 10 July 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James and Dulce Adeline Connors, of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: NSW Department of Education Teachers and Trainees WW2 Honour Roll, sydney NSW
Remembered: Newcastle Boys High School Memorial Entrance World War II, Waratah NSW

Between 0455 and 0725 hours on 10 July 1943, No. 243 Squadron patrolled off Syracuse and in the Gulf of Noto covering shipping and landing operations on the east coast of Sicily.

When over base (Malta), Flying Officer Connors was heard to say he was at 5,000 feet and would have to force land as the engine was dead. He asked for the runway to be kept clear. Other pilots saw the Spitfire with wheels down approaching the south east end of the runway at about 1,000 feet in a left hand turn. The Spitfire was next seen to go into the sea about half a mile from shore in line with the south east end of the runway. A few seconds later an object came to the surface and a patch of fluorescine seen. One pilot of No. 45 Squadron orbited the spot, gave a Mayday, and stated that he saw the pilot swimming for the shore in a mae west. An Air Sea Rescue launch searched the area for Flying Officer Connors without success.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/8/164
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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