The Airmen's Stories - F/O L W Stevens
Leonard Walter Stevens, from Hindhead, Surrey, was born on 7th March 1914 and attended Whitgift School in Croydon. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in January 1939.
The unit he served with after completing his training is not known but he arrived at 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge on 8th June 1940 for a refresher course. After converting to Hurricanes, he was posted to 229 Squadron on the 17th but by early July 1940 he was serving with 17 Squadron at Debden.
He claimed a Me110 destroyed on 11th August and shared in the destruction of a Do17 on 2nd October.
On 30th March 1941 Stevens joined 145 Squadron at Tangmere as 'B' Flight Commander. As the squadron was returning from a patrol on 21st May, Stevens, in Spitfire IIa P7493, collided with his No.2 over Tangmere. The two aircraft spun in and crashed a few yards from each other at the edge of the aerodrome. Both pilots were killed.
Stevens is buried in St Alban's churchyard, Hindhead. Unusually the other pilot, F/O DW Owen RCAF (who was in P7737) is interred in the same grave.
In 2006 a plaque was unveiled at Whitgift School, Croydon, bearing the names of the eight 'old boys' who had served in the Battle of Britain