Operation: Night Intruder Mission
Date: 12/13 February 1943 (Friday/Saturday)
Unit: No. 418 City of Edmonton Squadron RCAF - Motto: PIYAUTAILILI (Inuit) - "Defend even unto death"
Badge: An Inuit on an ice-floe holding a harpoon. The Inuit holding a harpoon symbolises the function of the unit which stands on guard on Canada's northern frontiers. The ice with its reflection is to symbolise the northland.
Type: Douglas Boston III
Base: RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex
Location: Between Mantes and Seine-Maritime, France
Pilot: F/Sgt. Robert Renwick Jackson 655320 RAFVR - Killed (1)
Nav: F/O. Peter John Leboldus J/15034 RCAF - Killed (2)
Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas S. McNeil 992621 - PoW No. 27576 Camp: Stalag Lamsdorf - 344 (3)
The original 418 Squadron Badge
Took off from RAF Bradwell Bay at 23:17 hours on a night intruder mission to Mantes. Nothing further was heard from the crew; their aircraft crashed between Mantes and Seine-Maritime. F/Sgt. Robert Jackson and F/O. Peter Leboldus were both killed and were buried at Saint-Riquier-ès-Plains Temporary Burial Ground (Seine-Maritime, Haute Normandie). Sgt. Thomas McNeil escaped but was captured with his helpers on 16 February at Elbeuf south west of Rouen and sent to to Stalag Lamsdorf in Silesia.
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(1) F/Sgt. Robert Renwick Jackson was born at Epping, Essex in 1920 the son of Frank H. Jackson and Roberta Jackson nee Renwick. His father was a Commercial Traveller and his brother John T. Jackson, born in 1922, served in Bomber Command and survived the war. The family lived at Stamford, Thackerays Lane, Woodthorpe, Nottingham.
Robert Jackson was admitted to Nottingham High School in 1928 aged 8 and left in 1935. In 1930 he was in the same form as William Euerby King (killed when Hampden P1305 crashed in 1940) - read the account of the crash here:
And in 1931 he was in the same form as Ernest Millington (killed when Wellington Z8774 crashed in 1942 - read the account of the crash here:
Robert Jackson was a member of the school OTC. He is commemorated on the Nottingham High School War Memorial and the Solihull War Memorial by St Alphege Church. (Courtesy Nottingham School Archives)
(2) F/O. Peter John Leboldus was born on 24 October 1917 at Vibank, Saskatchewan Canada the eighth child of John Leboldus and Regina Leboldus nee Weisbeg. John Leboldus was a Hardware and Implement dealer; he and his wife Regina were both born in Russia and had become naturalised Canadians: they were to have twelve children in total. He attended Public School and High School at Vibank and Balfour Technical School at Regina where he studied Aeronautics.
Peter John was their third son and after leaving school worked as a serviceman for the John Deere Plow Company. He joined the RCAF Special Reserve in late 1939 at Montreal and whilst waiting to enlist worked as an Electrician and Painter for Haliburton and White in Monteal.
He enlisted in April 1940 when he was described at 5'6" tall and weighing 140 lbs. He stated that he enjoyed playing Hockey, Baseball and Soft Ball and his hobbies were Music, Model Building and Hunting.
He trained as an Observer in Ontario at No. 1 Air Observers' School at RCAF Malton No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School at RCAF Jarvis and No. 1 Air Navigation School at RCAF Trenton where he was awarded his Air Observers Badge on 28 September 1940. On 27 October 1941 he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer.
He embarked for the UK in November 1941 with the first group of Observers to graduate under the Empire Training Scheme. After arriving in the UK the group were entertained at tea at Buckingham Palace.
Peter Leboldus was posted to RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland on 29 December 1941 and on 7 March 1942 to RAF Ballykelly,
County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Promoted to Flying Officer on 1 October 1942 he was posted to 418 Squadron on 11 December 1942.
Newspaper report and photograph from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Courtesy David Archer, Operation Picture Me
Two of Peter's brother were also killed in action with the RCAF. Sgt. Martin Benedict Leboldus R/613333 was killed on 20 February 1944 whilst flying as the Flight Engineer of Halifax JD114 of No. 419 squadron and Captained by P/O. Douglas Kenneth MacLeod (see http://aircrewremembered.com/macleod-douglas.html) and F/Sgt John Anthony (Johnny) Leboldus R/155568 was killed on 25 November 1943 whilst flying as Air Gunner of Wellington LN566 of 142 Squadron Captained by F/Sgt. Reginald Charles Tyas (see http://aircrewremembered.com/tyas-reginald.html)
In 1955 their mother, Regina Leboldus, was selected by the Royal Canadian Legion as that year's National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother. On 11 November at the National Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa she laid a wreath at the National War Memorial on behalf of all mothers who have lost a children in the service of their country.
The memory of the three Leboldus brothers was honoured by the Province of Saskatchewan with the naming of Leboldus Channel, adjoining lake, and islands in the lake. Leboldus Channel, named after John Anthony connects Leboldus Lake, named after Peter John with Frobisher Lake in north western Saskatchewan. The Leboldus Islands in the lake are named after Martin Benedict.
(3) W/O. Thomas S. McNeil - Whilst at Stalag Lamsdorf he exchanged identities with Gnr. C. T. Galvin (PoW No.32419) of the Australian Forces. He was liberated at Ditfurt in the district of Harz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany on 12 April 1945. By the time of his liberation he had been promoted to Warrant Officer.
Nothing further known. If you have any information please contact the Helpdesk
F/Sgt. Jackson and F/O. Leboldus were originally buried at Saint-Riquier-ès-Plains (Seine-Maritime, Haute Normandie) Temporary Burial Ground and were reburied at Grandcourt War Cemetery (Seine-Maritime) on 1 October 1947
F/Sgt. Robert Renwick Jackson was buried at Grandcourt War Cemetery - Grave A, 7.
F/O. Peter John Leboldus was buried at Grandcourt War Cemetery - Grave A, 6
Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - June 2016
With thanks to the sources quoted below.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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