LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant William Joseph LEAHY

Service No: 425679
Born: Barcaldine QLD, 18 March 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942
Unit: No. 224 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station St Eval
Died: Air Operations: (No. 224 Squadron Liberator aircraft BZ776), Bay of Biscay area, 20 March 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles and Catherine Rose Leahy, of Clayfield, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 261, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2015 hours on 19 March 1944 Liberator BZ776 took off from St Eval to carry out an anti-submarine patrol in the Bay of Biscay. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it did not return to base. Following post ware enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of BZ776 were:

Warrant Officer Ronald Herbert Cook (974019) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Mechanic/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Alexander Valentine Cormack (135511) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Raymond Frank Dunn (104435) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant George Kenneth Jones (946977) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Joseph Leahy (425679) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant John Charles McCartney DFM (542139) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer II Martin Harvey Penhale (R/144001) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Allan John Pearson Souter (415379) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Frank Stockwell (1331627) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Warrant Officer II Harvey Thornton (R/115851) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator 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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/24/401

Bibliography:

Jay, Alwyn, Endurance; Coastal Command Liberator Operations 1941-5, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD, 4650, 1996