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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J Le Cheminant


Jerrold Le Cheminant was born on 24th April 1918 in the Channel Islands. He joined the RAFVR about January 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training and joined 616 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey from 7 OTU Hawarden on 14th October 1940.

In early 1941 le Cheminant was serving with 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill.

He claimed a Me109 probably destroyed on 23rd June and destroyed others on 2nd July and 9th August.



During his time in 92 le Cheminant had to abandon his aircraft after engine failure, he baled out and landed on the Goodwin Sands. He was able to stand on the exposed sands and was spotted by an ASR launch. However by the time it the tide allowed it to approach him le Cheminant was immersed up to his chest.

Tour-expired, le Cheminant was posted to 53 OTU Llandow in September 1941 as an instructor.

Commissioned in May 1942, le Cheminant joined 72 Squadron at Biggin Hill in early August and went with it to North Africa in November. On 2nd December he was shot down by Oblt. Bihlingen of JG2 in a Fw190. Le Cheminant crash-landed at Tebourba and was picked up by French troops, who returned him to his squadron.

On the 4th he shot down a Me109, on 6th January 1943 and 1st March he damaged Me109's, on 2nd March he chased one to ground level, causing it to crash into a hill, and on 24th April he destroyed another.

Le Cheminant was posted to 232 Squadron at Souk-el-Khemis on 26th April and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 21st May 1943).

Back in the UK later in the year le Cheminant was attached to the US 8th Air Force in East Anglia, to teach them German fighter tactics.

Staying on in the RAF after the war, le Cheminant went to Mitchell Field, Long Island in 1947 on exchange duties.

From 1968 to 1970 he was OC, RAF Saxa Vord on the island of Uist, Shetland, a radar base, playing a major Cold War role. He was made an OBE (gazetted 13th June 1970) and retired on 1st November 1972 as a Wing Commander.

Le Cheminant was stricken with Alzheimers in later life and died on 25th November 1996 in Chippenham, Wiltshire.




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