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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. L L Pearse


Leslie Lewis Pearse was born in Watchet, Somerset on 22nd April 1915 and attended Minehead School. After leaving he was employed as a Bank Clerk in Budleigh Salterton.

He joined the RAFVR on 4th September 1939.

Pearse qualified as an Observer on 14th September 1940 after training at 4 AONS and 8 B&GS. He was posted to 236 Squadron at St. Eval, flying Blenheims in the fighter role, and with them flew 10 operational sorties during the Battle of Britain.

After a further 17 sorties with 236 Squadron he was posted as an instructor to 24 Commonwealth Air Observer School at Moffat, Rhodesia until early 1944.

He was promoted to Warrant Officer on 1st October 1942 and commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 9th November the same year.

On completion of an Air Bomber refresher course at 8 AFU Mona, 30 OTU and 1667 HCU, he joined 460 Squadron RAAF on 21st October 1944 at Binbrook, operating Lancasters.

He flew his first operation with his new squadron the next day as Air Bomber to G/Capt. H Edwards VC, DSO, DFC on a daylight raid over Cologne.

Over the next six months he flew on a further 35 operations, including raids on Nuremburg, Hanover, Stuttgart, Dresden, Chemintz and Kassel. He flew his last sortie on a daylight raid to Bremen on 23rd April, 1945.

Pearse was awarded the DFC (gazetted 21st September 1945).

He was released from the RAF on 29th September 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Pearse died in June 1989 in Devizes.



Battle of Britain Monument