McLEOD Murdo 406943

LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Murdo McLEOD

Service No: 406943
Born: Inverness Scotland, 13 March 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 May 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 3 Squadron, Agnone, Italy
Died: Prisoner of War, France, 11 September 1943, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles, Bouches-du-Rhone, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Annie McLeod, of South Fremantle, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Fremantle WA
Remembered: Panel 98, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

The Kittyhawks were at times required to fly very low to investigate wayside coppices and plantations, but although stationary vehicles were often discovered by this means, the danger from ground gun fire was too great for these to be adopted as standard tactics. In the absence of general air opposition the light mobile guns with which the Germans were liberally equipped were indeed the only real hazard which the Kittyhawks had to face. Eight Australians were shot down but all except three managed to regain friendly territory. The risks of this close-support activity were very real, but they failed to deter pilots from attempting to exert the greatest possible pressure on enemy movements. In all during the five weeks they operated over Sicily Nos. 3 and 450 claimed as destroyed or damaged some 300 enemy vehicles, but this figure is hard to substantiate when checked against all claims and final estimates of enemy losses. The threat of attack which kept traffic off the roads rather than damage inflicted during actual attacks was the real measure of the
fighter-bombers’ success.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 576

Kittyhawk aircraft FL309 piloted by Warrant Officer McLeod went missing on operations over Sicily on 3 August 1943. It is likely that he had been shot down by anti-aircraft fire. While a Prisoner of War, Warrant Officer McLeod died in hospital in France from burns injuries on 11 September 1943.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
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, 166/26/202