Pilot Officer Leslie STEWART

Service No: 418197
Born: Ivanhoe VIC, 6 August 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942
Unit: No. 21 Squadron
Died: Prisoner of War: (from the loss of No. 21 Squadron Vengeance aircraft A27-82 off Madang), Madang area PNG, 31 March 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edward Leslie and Susan Stewart, of Brighton, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Brighton VIC
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial PNG
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Vengeance A27-82 went missing on bombing mission near Madang on 5 March 1944. The aircraft had likely been hit by anti-aircraft fire and as third aircraft in formation of six, was observed to be emitting smoke from the engine exhaust. A27-82 lagged and then regained the formation with reduction of smoke. However soon after the aircraft rejoined the formation, more black smoke poured was emitted from the exhaust. A forced landing was made on the water some 8 kms east of Madang. It was witnessed as a heavy landing and there was no movement from the cockpit. The aircraft sank and soon disappeared after in 5 seconds.

Pilot Officer Stewart survived the forced landing and was captured, transferred and later executed along with Flight Sergeant Graeme McDonald (418154) on 31 March 1944.

The crew members of A27-82 were:

Flight Sergeant James Jarman Richards (418466) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Leslie Stewart (418197) (Navigator)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 220

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