Flying Officer Leslie Youle HAZELDINE

Service No: 401507
Born: Ascot Vale VIC, 9 June 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 February 1941
Unit: No. 458 Squadron, Protville, Tunisia
Died: Air Operations: (No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft HP 631), near Sardinia, 15 July 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert and Muriel Hemsley Hazeldine, of Essendon, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the night of 14/15th July 1943, Wellington ‘X’ of No 221 Squadron (RAF) was engaged on a cross over patrol between Corsica and Sicily, and at 2310 hours sighted 1 motor vessel cargo liner type of 9000 tons and 3 destroyers. A message was sent to base and 5 Wellingtons of No. 458 Squadron were diverted from their patrols to attack the motor vessel.

Aircraft ‘L’ (PO Quinlan) of No. 458 Squadron dropped two torpedoes and as a result the vessel caught fire and sank with the destroyers picking up survivors. Aircraft ‘K’ (Flight Sergeant Bishop) arrived in time to see the vessel sink and one of the escorts on fire. Wellington Aircraft ‘F’ (Flying Officer Lawson, HP 631) and Wellington Aircraft ‘A’ (Flying Officer Markowski (RAF)) which were also diverted to the sighting failed to return.

Wellington HP 631 ‘F’ took off from Protville, Tunisia, at 2100 hours on the night of 14/15th July 1943 to carry out an armed reconnaissance in an area off the north east coast of Sardinia. The aircraft sent a message at 0216 hours to another aircraft of the same Squadron requesting illumination of a target they had located, but nothing further was heard and HP 631 failed to return from the mission. Post war enquiries among local inhabitants at La Maddalena by a Missing Research and Enquiry unit established that the aircraft was shot down and crashed into the sea between Palau and La Maddalena. All the crew lost their lives at sea and their names are commemorated on the Malta Memorial.

The crew members of HP 631 were:

Sergeant Robert Edward Burrows (1245327) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Leslie Youle Hazeldine (401507) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Gordon Herbert Lawson (J/9691) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Edwin Albert McCorkell (J/11132) (RCAF) (Gunner)
Pilot Officer Arthur Robert Pagan (J/11125) (RCAF) (Gunner S)
Flying Officer Albert Renton (J/13982) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Maxwell Henry Tarrison (J/11225) (RCAF) (Navigator)


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, 166/17/229


Alexander, P. (Peter) We Find and Destroy: history of No. 458 Squadron, The 458 Squadron Council, 1959

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