Sergeant Leonard William HANSON

Service No: 406178
Born: Leonora WA, 18 June 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1940
Unit: No. 76 Squadron (RAF), RAF Middleton St George, County Durham
Died: (No. 76 Squadron Halifax aircraft R9453), North Atlantic, 31 March 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry William and Olive Prudence Hanson, of Gingin, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Gingin WA
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Halifax R9453 of 76 Squadron took off from RAF Tain, Scotland, at 1832 hours on the night of 30/31 March 1942, to bomb the German battleship Tirpitz. The aircraft was last heard from on Wireless/Telephone at 0215 hours on 31 March, but nothing further was heard and the aircraft did not return to base. Squadron Leader Burdett’s body was recovered from the sea approximately 16 miles south of Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands. It was presumed that the aircraft had crashed into the sea, and that the remainder of the crew had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of R9458 were:

Pilot Officer Norman Frederick Bowsher (J/5797) (RCAF)
Squadron Leader Arthur Patrick Burdett (78272) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William John Cadger (R/64713) (RCAF)
Sergeant Stanley Davis (1006122) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Leonard Watson Fletcher (R/57839) (RCAF)
Sergeant Leonard William Hanson (406178) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Dennis Clifford Martin (568524) (RAF)


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/120/416


Chorley W R, To See the Dawn Breaking: 76 Squadron Operations, W R Chorley Devon UK, 1981