Leslie John (Jock) Powell DFC
From Our Contribution
|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|
5'10" (1.78m) tall ; 138lbs|
62.596 kg; dark complexion ; hazel eyes ; dark brown hair ; large scar left knee
|Address||Cnr Fifth & Fremantle roads, Armadale|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs Jane McFarlane Powell|
|Date of Enlistment||28 Apr 1941|
|Unit/Formation||No. 156 Squadron RAF|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||30 Mar 1942 ‒ 11 May 1942|
|Transport Details||unknown Sydney to England|
|Post War Details|
Missing in air operations from the UK |
Killed in Action
|Monument(s)||Armadale War Memorial|
|Australian War Memorial||Australian War Memorial|
Distinguished Flying Cross |
Air Crew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
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 Highlander's Regiment) in the CMF from April 1938 until November 1940. Jock's father Mr HJ Powell was killed during WW1.
Jock enlisted at No. 4 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.
"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."