GILL Leslie 406279

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Leslie GILL

Service No: 406279
Born: Albany, 15 November 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 October 1940
Unit: No. 456 Squadron, RAF Valley, Wales
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 456 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft EL214), Irish Sea, 30 January 1943, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Andrew Baird Gill and Mary Gill, of Cottesloe, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Cottesloe WA
Remembered: Panel 192, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 30 January 1943, Beaufighter EL214 was authorised to carry out a night flying test practice A.I interception, camera gun exercise and single engine flying.

Flight Sergeant Gatenby (1) flying another aircraft was to co-operate with EL214. Flight Sergeant Gatenby later said: “I was using my Cine camera gun taking shots of the aircraft piloted by Anderson. He was taking evasive action but his turns were so violent, I remonstrated with him over the radio. Shortly afterwards as I closed in for further shots at a height of 6,000 feet, with the target aircraft flying at 4,000 feet, EL214 did anther steep turn, rolled on its back, attempted to pull out of its dive and crashed into the sea at a steep angle and exploded on impact.” Both the crew members of EL214 were killed.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Gordon Francis Gatenby (403330) was discharged from the RAAF on 14 August 1946.

The crew members of EL214 were:

Sergeant William Robert George Anderson (405167) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Leslie Gill (406279) (Navigator)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/15/8

Bibliography:

Bennett, J. (John) Fighter Nights: 456 Squadron RAAF, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2617, 1995
Vincent, D. (David) Mosquito Monograph: A history of Mosquitoes in Australia and RAAF operations, David Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1982