LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Leonard Courtney LAVER

Service No: 400228
Born: Midland Junction WA, 29 March 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1940 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 69 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Luqa, Malta
Died: Air Operations: (No. 69 Squadron Wellington aircraft HX471), Sicily, 8 January 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Catania War Cemetery, Sicily
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Dr. Charles William Laver and Edith Beatrice Laver, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Wellington HX471 took off from Luqa at 0620 hours on 8 January 1943, detailed to carry out a shipping strike. Nothing was heard from the aircraft and it failed to return to base. Later it was discovered that all the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of HX 471 were:

Flight Lieutenant John Francombe (83117) (RAFVR) (Radio Operator)
Pilot Officer Allan Thomas Gell (402440) (Observer)
Warrant Officer Leonard Courtney Laver (400228) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Eric Frank Saggers (404425) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Benjamin Watson Shearer (407255) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant David Alexander Smith (404414) (Wireless Air Gunner)

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, 163/136/150