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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Bomber Command Crest
30.03.1944 No. 20 OTU Wellington III HZ128 Fl/Lt. Leslie H. Ferry MiD

Operation: Training bombing exercise

Date: 30th March 1944 (Thursday)

Unit: No. 20 OTU. A Flight

Type: Wellington III

Serial: HZ128

Code: D

Base: RAF Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland

Location: North Sea off Spey Bay, Scotland

Pilot: Fl/Lt. Leslie Howard Ferry MiD. 102590 RAFVR Age 24. Killed (1)

Pilot 2: F/O. James Lloyd Bell J/25954 RCAF Age 24. Severely injured (2)

Nav: F/O. Roy Walton Ledger J/35826 RCAF Age 29. Missing (3)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Charles Kilpatrick 2206500 RAFVR Age ? Severely injured (2)

Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Edmund Palmer 1896993 RAFVR Age 21. Killed (4)

Air/Bmr. Sgt. Robert Siderfin Davis R/157624 RCAF Age 20. Missing 


Took off at 09:01hrs from Elgin for a bombing training exercise. At 10:36hrs, having lost a wing, crashed into the water of Spey Bay near Lossiemouth, Scotland. 

The reason for the crash has never been established. This aircraft had chalked up a total of 400.50 flying hours

(1) FL/Lt. Leslie Howard Ferry was twice Mentioned in Despatches and held a Certificate of Royal Society of Arts.
(2) A air-sea rescue boat from Buckie, Banffshire was launched and picked up the bodies of FlO. James Lloyd Bell and Sgt. Leslie Charles Kilpatrick both had suffered severe head injuries. They were taken first to Dallyachy where they later died of their injuries. Then taken to the morgue at Lossiemouth, Morayshire.
(3) F/O. Roy Walton Ledger was born 16th January 1915 in Vancouver, Canada. Educated at Lord Selkirk Public School and John Oliver High School, Vancouver. Entered the service of the Bank 3rd July 1934. Served at Vancouver city branches and others in British Columbia. Enlisted 26th September 1934; Flying Officer 17th March 1944. Trained at Edmonton, graduating as Navigator. Overseas in November 1943. Officially presumed dead March 1945. Flying Officer Ledger was a brother of Mr G.W. Ledger, of Robson District, Vancouver branch of the Bank. While stationed at the Grand Forks branch in the summer of 1940, he, in company with Flight Lieutenant N.G. Russell, DFC. gallantly attempted the rescue of a swimmer, going down a rope twenty-five feet into the water. A.C.B.A. (Hons.)
(4) Sgt. George Edmund Palmer’s body was also recovered from the sea.

Burial details:

Fl/Lt. Leslie Howard Ferry. Buried on the 6th April at Wembley (Alperton) Burial Ground, Middlesex. Ground. Plot X. Grave 22. Son of Albert Howard Ferry and Louisa Mary Ferry of North Wembley, London, England. Brother of 20 year old, Sgt. Stanley Albert Ferry 932387 RAFVR who, on the 15th July 1942 recorded as missing. No further information.

F/O. James Lloyd Bell. Lossiemouth Burial Ground, Morayshire. Grave 1256. Son of Wellington Maitland Bell and Isabella Wallace Bell, husband of Seretha Emeline Bell of Yarmouth North, Nove Scotia, Canada.

F/O. Roy Walton Ledger. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 246. Son of Vernon Walton Ledger and Willow Ledger of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Sgt. Leslie Charles Kilpatrick. Thirsk Cemetery, Yorkshire. Sec. M. Grave 57. Son of Robert and Annie Elizabeth Kilpatrick of Thirsk, Yorkshire, England.

Sgt. George Edmund Palmer. Sheffield (Burngreave) Cemetery, Yorkshire. Sec. C.S. Cons. Grave 74. Son of Albert and Blanche Palmer of Sheffield, England.

Sgt. Robert Siderfin Davis. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey. Panel 255. Son of Sidney R. and Bernice H. Davis.

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew. Memorial booklet prepared by the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Memorial picture Ferry brothers courtesy of Clive Lewis WW2Talk.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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