Flight Sergeant Leslie Gordon Stewart GARLING

Service No: 403579
Born: Sydney NSW, 29 March 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 104 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Injuries from a Ground Accident: (No. 104 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z8542), Kabrit, 12 August 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Frederick and Elsie Pearl Garling, of Maroubra Junction, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Maroubra NSW
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 11 August 1942 Wellington Z8524 took off from Kabrit on operation. It was carrying a bomb load of 2000 lbs, full standard tanks and a crew of six. The Commanding Officer of the Squadron later reported “on the pilot’s first attempt to take off he pulled his throttles back about one third of the way along the runway and taxied back to dispersal. I felt the brakes and the starboard one was very hot. After cooling off another attempt was made and the aircraft swung off at the end of the runway with not sufficient speed. The tail wheel got badly hit on the vertical edge of the perimeter track and collapsed. I saw both attempts to take off and in the second one I thought that the aircraft would have been airborne by the end of the runway, but cannot presume to criticise the pilot as he knew how it felt and decided to stop. If it had not stopped it would have crashed into the Great Bitter Lake.” In the crash the Navigator was injured and died in hospital on 12 August 1942. The Navigator had vacated the aircraft from the astrodome and in the subsequent fall from the aircraft had fractured his skull. He was found some 50 yards behind the aircraft. The Second Pilot had said “get clear of the flare path” and it was thought that the Navigator mistook this as saying “get clear of the aircraft” and as a result he died from his injuries sustained in the fall from the aircraft. None of the other members of the crew were injured.

The crew members of Z8524 were:

Flight Sergeant Leslie Gordon Stewart Garling (403579) (Navigator)
Sergeant E H M Hepworth (109248) (RAFVR)
Sergeant F A Jobson (1282888) (RAFVR)
Sergeant C S Maxfield (936753) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant L Morgan (1387949) (RAFVR)


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, 163/115/130

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