26.07.1942 No. 1401 Flt. Mosquito FB. IV DK289 F/O. Leonard J. Dejace
Operation: Pampa Flight (1)
Date: 26th July 1942 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 1401 Flight
Type: Mosquito FB. IV
Base: RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk, England.
Location: North Sea off Lista, Norway
Pilot: F/O. Leonard Joseph Dejace 81632 RAFVR Age 33. Killed
Nav: Sgt. George Anthony Prag 1260484 RAFVR Age 22. Missing
REASON FOR LOSS:
During a flight to gather weather information for Coastal Command operations it is understood that DK289 was shot down off the Lista peninsular in the North Sea by Lt Dieter Gerhardt of JG1.
Left: F/O. Leonard Joseph Dejace (courtesy Johny Recour)
The body of the pilot was later washed up on the Norwegian coastline but the navigator was never found.
(1) Pampa - Photo-recce And Meteorological Photography Aircraft.
F/O. Dejace was first buried at the Arendal Hogedal Cemetery in Norway, reinterred on the 12th May 1960 in Belgium. His headstone still remains at Arendal and is inscribed: Mort au combat pour écraser l'oppression des peuples, et libérer son pays (Died in battle to crush the oppression of peoples and liberate his country)
F/O. Leonard Joseph Dejace. Liege (Robermont) Cemetery. Grave 10.54.4/5. Chevalier de l''Ordre de Leopold II, Croix de Guerre avec Palme (Belgium). Son of Joseph and Lambertine Dejace, of Liege, Belgium. Further information: Born in Liege, Belgium on the 24th January 1909, joining the Belgian Air Force in 1927. After the fall of France escaped on the Polish ship ’Sobieski’, arriving in England on the 27th June 1940. First served with 236 Squadron before joining 272 Squadron flying Beaufighters. In October 1941 joined the meteorological flight.
Sgt. George Anthony Prag. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 91. Son of Louis and Ellen Grace Prag, of Wanstead, Essex, England.
Researched for relatives of the crew, with thanks to the following for further information, John Recour from Belgium, RAF command Forum, Aircrew Remembered own archives. Commonwealth War Graves Commission