HEASON Leonard William 415531

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Leonard William HEASON

Service No: 415531
Born: Perth WA, 9 July 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1941
Unit: No. 90 Squadron (RAF), RAF Wratting Common, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 90 Squadron Stirling aircraft LK379), Germany, 18 November 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Percy Charles and Lucy Heason, of Mount Hawthorne, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Nannup WA
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Stirling LK379 took off from RAF Wratting Common at 1718 hours on the night of 18/19th November 1943, detailed to bomb Mannheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The route was Beachy Head – Cayeux – Target – Position 49.12N 08.08E – 48.50N 05.00E – 50.00N 0115E – Beachy Head – Base. The estimated time of arrival (ETA) back at Base was 2309 hours. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was established in 1947 that on 18 November 1943 between 1930 and 2000 hours, an aircraft had attempted to make a forced landing on Biedesand Island and it had been previously damaged. It collided with a tree and exploded scattering wreckage over a wide area. In 1950, following exhumation of graves in Lampertheim Cemetery, the remains of Flight Sergeant Sykes, Flight Sergeant Ussher, and Flight Sergeant Heason were identified. The other four crew members have no known grave and their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Surrey.

The crew members of LK379 were:

Flying Officer David Edward Blain (55025) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer Donald Arthur Brown (133716) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Leonard William Heason (415531) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Douglas Leon Hollamby (1624700) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Ross McCulloch Simpson (415279) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Eric Whitton Sykes (1239644) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Owen Neville Ussher (39590) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator)

References:

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, 166/17/380