Leslie John (Jock) Powell DFC

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Leslie John (Jock) Powell DFC
Powell Leslie John.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 9 Dec 1919
Place of Birth Fremantle, Western Australia
Death 16 Dec 1943
Place of Death Europe
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 4 months
Description 5'10" (1.78m) tall ; 138lbs
62.596 kg
; dark complexion ; hazel eyes ; dark brown hair ; large scar left knee
Occupation Shop assistant
Religion Presbyterian
Address Cnr Fifth & Fremantle roads, Armadale
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Jane McFarlane Powell
Military Information
Reg Number 406873
Date of Enlistment 28 Apr 1941
Rank Flight Lieutenant
Unit/Formation No. 156 Squadron RAF
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 30 Mar 1942 ‒ 11 May 1942
Transport Details unknown Sydney to England
Post War Details
Fate Missing in air operations from the UK
Killed in Action
Monument(s) Armadale War Memorial
WA State War Memorial
External Monument(s) Runnymede Memorial, England
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals Distinguished Flying Cross
1939-45 Star
Aircrew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Prior to enlisting Jack had attended the Armadale Public School, and then worked for J. Harrison as a grocer's assistant in Armadale for 5 years. He was active in local sporting teams and was engaged to a local girl Mavis Susan Grover. He had been a Private in the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlanders Regiment) in the CMF from April 1938 until November 1940. Jock's father Mr HJ Powell was killed during WW1.

War Service

Jock enlisted at No. 4 RAAF Recruiting Centre in Perth on 28 Apr 1941 and was sent to join the No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF at Pearce Airbase with the base rank of Aircraftman level 2. On completion of the course he was promoted to Leading Aircraftman and sent to join the No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF in Ballarat, Victoria on 26 Jun 1941 to train as an Air Gunner. This was followed with attendance at the No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School RAAF at Port Pirie in South Australia from 12 Dec 1941 until 9 Feb 1942. Australian based training completed, he was promoted Sergeant and was awarded his aircrew badge . On 10 Feb 1942 he was back in Perth at the No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF, but was sent east again, and on 16 Mar 1942 he was at the No. 2 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Bradfield Park, New South Wales. From 30 Mar 1942 Jock was attached to the RAF.

On arrival in England on 11 May 1942 he was sent to the No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre RAF at Bournemouth to await a posting, and on 26 May 1942 he was posted to the No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF at RAF Lichfield to train as a member of a night bomber crew using Vickers Wellingtons. On 9 Jul 1942 Jock was promoted Temporary Flight Sergeant. Training finally concluded, he was posted to No. 12 Squadron RAF on 17 Aug 1942 where on 29 Dec 1942 he was commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer on probation.

On 14 Mar 1943 Jock was posted to No. 1662 Conversion Unit RAF, and between 17 Jun and 14 Jul 1943 he attended the No. 61 Gunnery Leaders Course before becoming a Gunnery instructor. He was awarded the DFC on 14 Jul 1943. Probationary appointment to commissioned rank was confirmed on 29 Jun 1943 and he was promoted the same day to Flying Officer.

On 23 Sep 1943 he was posted to No. 156 Squadron RAF (Pathfinders) who were by then flying Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, operating out of RAF Warboys in Cambridgeshire. On 7 Dec 1943 Jock was promoted to acting Flight Lieutenant, and on 20 Dec 1943 awarded the 'Path Finder Force' Badge. On 16 Dec 1943 Jock's plane left RAF Warboys in Cambridgeshire but didn't return from their mission over Germany.

Award Citation

"Pilot Officer Powell has participated in successful sorties against targets at Essen, Wilhelmshaven, Hamburg, Milan and Berlin and has at all times displayed great devotion to duty and set an example worthy of attainment."

  • Runnymede Memorial
  • Location of Jock's name
  • West Australian article 20 May 1943 page 2
  • West Australian article 20 May 1943 page 7


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