The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. L E Freese
Laurence Eric Freese, from Ilford, Essex, was born there in June 1917. His paternal grandfather was born in Germany as Johann Friederich Freese. He became a tailor, moved to England, was naturalised as a British subject (on 27th October 1902) and changed his given names to John Frederick. LE Freese's father worked in the furniture trade.
Freese joined the RAFVR about November 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 18 EFTS and 5 FTS, converted to Spitfires at 7 OTU Hawarden and was posted to 611 Squadron at Tern Hill on 29th September 1940.
Above image courtesy of Lynne Bate.
Freese joined 74 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 26th October and on 14th November claimed a Ju87 destroyed and another damaged and on the 15th he destroyed a Me109 and probably another.
On 10th January 1941 the squadron went on an anti-shipping strike but they were sent too far out and ran out of fuel on the return trip.
Freese was fatally injured attempting to make a forced-landing at Detling in Spitfire IIa P7561.
He was 24 years old and is buried in Rippleside Cemetery, Barking, Essex.