Sergeant Leonard Garth WHIBLEY

Service No: 407565
Born: Henley Beach SA, 18 February 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1940
Unit: No. 83 Squadron (RAF), RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
Died: Injuries from Air Operations  (No. 83 Squadron Manchester aircraft L7387 sortie on 12 February 1942), England, 13 February 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Hebburn Cemetery, Durham
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Norman and Muriel Louise Whibley of Henley Beach, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Henley Beach SA
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Manchester L7387 took off on the early afternoon of 12th February 1942 detailed to carry out an attack on German battle cruisers about 10 miles west of the Hook of Holland. L7387 was attacked by two enemy aircraft directly from the rear, and the rear gunner of L7387 answered their fire. The aircraft attacked again and on this occasion the enemy aircraft closed to about 40 yards range. Both the rear gunner and mid upper gunner returned the fire. A third attack was made from about 150 yards by a single enemy aircraft. These attacks caused severe damage to L7387 as also did fire from the battleships and their escorts. L7378 flew over the battleships at 500 feet but was unable to open the bomb doors as the hydraulic system was damaged. L7378 returned safely to base, but Sergeant Whibley the rear gunner who had sustained injuries from one of the attacks, died of his injuries on 13 February 1942. The rest of the crew members were uninjured.

The crew members of L7387 were:

Sergeant Allan (RAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Pilot Officer J R Feirn (RAF) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer J P Hayes (RAF) (First Wireless Operator)
Pilot Officer R McFarlane (RAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant J Partridge (RAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant J Ridd (RAF) (Second Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Leonard Garth Whibley (407565) (Rear Gunner)


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, 163/177/218

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