LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Leslie Thomas William SHELDON

Service No: 412721
Born: Dubbo NSW, 24 October 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 608 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 608 Squadron Hudson aircraft AM710), off the Sicilian Coast, 14 September 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie John and Rose Hannah Sheldon, of Tooraweenah, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 12, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0252 hours on 14 September 1943 Hudson AM 710 took off from its base in Sicily to conduct a U-Boat hunt. After take-off the aircraft made two circuits of the aerodrome. On the second circuit the ACP stated that he saw a ‘vapour trail’ from the starboard engine. Thinking the aircraft would land immediately the ACP gave it a green. The aircraft then left the circuit area on a course of 290 degrees at an approximate height of 1000-1500 feet and was not seen again. At approximately 0310 hours a pilot of No. 235 Squadron (RAF) stated that he saw flames on the surface of the water in position 38.02N 012.22E, about four miles from the coast of Sicily. No trace of wreckage or the crew members was found.

The crew members of AM710 were:

Flying Officer Basil George Sheridan Bradley (411736) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Kenneth Claude Cherer (J/11622) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Eric Noel Pettitt (412679) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Leslie Thomas William Sheldon (412721) (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, 166/37/281