Sergeant John Wilbert McLEOD

Service No: 418296
Born: Benalla VIC, 17 September 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 May 1942
Unit: No. 576 Squadron (RAF), RAF Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 576 Squadron Lancaster Aircraft ND783) France, 7 May 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter Wilbert McLeod and Mary Christina McLeod, of Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Kew VIC
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the morning of 7 May 1944, Lancaster ND783 took off from Elsham Wolds at 0015 hours, detailed to destroy an ammunition dump at Aubigne, France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off, and it failed to return to base. Post war it was learned that five crew members had been killed, one became a Prisoner of War, and one evaded capture.

The crew members of ND783 were:

Warrant Officer Arthur Henry Biltoft (414192) (Navigator)
Sergeant Corbett Norman George Drew (912475) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Joseph Arthur Ford (410968) (Air Bomber) Evaded capture: Discharged from the RAAF: 14 February 1946
Flight Sergeant Charles Victor Fox (1202748) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Air Commodore V R Ivelaw-Chapman (RAF) (Second Pilot) PoW
Sergeant Arthur Reginald Jackson (429953) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Wilbert McLeod (418296) (Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant James Maxwell Shearer (415712) (RNZAF) (Pilot)

Air Commodore Ivelaw-Chapman was the most senior RAF Officer to be taken prisoner while in Bomber Command service. He had recently taken up a Staff Officer post in No 1 Group.


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, 166/26/454

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