The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. L D Barnes
Leslie Denis Barnes was born on 5th March 1915 in
Harpenden, Hertfordshire. He
joined the RAFVR in August 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
He was called up on 1st September 1939, completed his flying training and joined 103 Squadron, flying Fairey Battles.
He volunteered for Fighter Command and was posted to 615 Squadron at Prestwick on 4th September 1940. He moved to 607 Squadron at Tangmere on the 21st.
257 Squadron in November 1940 after the Italian raid.
L to R: P/O G North, Sgt. LD Barnes, P/O SE Andrews, P/O B Davey, P/O PA Mortimer, P/O JK Kay, Unknown, F/Lt. HP Blatchford, P/O K Pniak
Barnes later went to 257 Squadron and took part in the engagement with the Italians on 11th November 1940, probably destroying a Fiat CR42.
Commissioned in January 1941, Barnes was with 46 Squadron when it sailed for the Middle East in late May in the carrier HMS Argus. At Gibraltar the pilots and aircraft were transferred on to HMS Ark Royal and Furious.
They flew off to Hal Far, Malta on 6th June and were absorbed into 126 Squadron.
Barnes destroyed two Mc200s in a combat over Ta Kali on 27th June and shared in the destruction of a Ju88 over Luqa on 30th December. He was appointed a Flight Commander on 1st January 1942.
His subsequent service is undocumented but it is known that Barnes survived the war and was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant.
A Leslie Denis Barnes is recorded as marrying Joan Evelyn Forman at the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Johannesburg, South Africa on 5th June 1943.