The Airmen's Stories - P/O P H Leckrone
Phillip Howard Leckrone was born on 27th November 1912 in Salemy, Illinois, USA, the son of William and Lottie Leckrone.
Leckrone, known by the nicknames `Uncle Sam` or 'Zeke', had extensive pre-war flying experience and owned his own aircraft.
He travelled to Britain and enlisted in the RAF. Following Spitfire conversion training at 7 OTU Hawarden he joined No 616 Squadron at Kenley on the 2nd of September 1940 and was later posted to 71 Squadron at Church Fenton on the 12th of October 1940, to join other American volunteers in the first 'Eagle' squadron.
On 5th January 1941 Leckrone was killed on a formation practice, when his Hurricane V6636 collided with P/O EE Orbison in V6983, Leckrone crashing near Scunthorpe. He was the squadron's first fatality, Orbison managed to get his damaged aircraft back to Kirton.
He is buried in Kirton-in-Lindsey Burial Ground in Lincolnshire.
His home town airport is called Salem-Leckrone in his honour.
Leckrone was married to Naomi Leckrone (nee Joines) of Salem.
The American volunteers that flew with the RAF in the Battle are the subject of a book "The Few" by Alex Kershaw ISBN 978-0-718-14746-4