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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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443 Squadron Spitfire IX NH245 Sq/Ldr. Henry Wallace McLeod DSO. DFC

Operation: Patrol over Nijmegen

Date: 27th September 1944 (Wednesday)

Unit: No. 443 Squadron (motto: 'Our sting is death') 144 Wing. 83 Group

Type: Spitfire IX

Serial: NH245

Code: 21-?

Base: B.68 Le Culot, Belgium

Location: Elten, Germany

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Henry Wallace McLeod DSO. DFC and bar. J/4912 RCAF Age 28. Missing - believed killed


Sq/Ldr. McLeod was leading a section of six aircraft of this squadron on high patrol over front lines from Nijmegen to Vera. Five other aircraft of the squadron with W/Cdr. Johnsonflying Spitfire IX MK392 leadIng the section made up the rest of the patrolling unit. At approximate 13:00 hrs. nine Me109's were sighted at 6,000 feet over the German town of Rees and the Wing Commander lead the bounce from 2,000 feet

Immediately on making contact with the enemy Sq/Ldr. McLeod was seen to single out one Me109 and gave chase. His No. 2 man, J/27378 F/O. Lesley Birket Foster flying Spitfire IX MJ799 21-X was unable to get rid of his drop tank and began to fall behind rapidly. He reported this fact to the C.O. and was told to keep trying. The attempt to jettison was unsuccessful and he last reports seeing Sq/Ldr. McLeod going into cloud hard after the enemy aircraft. Nothing further was heard over the R/T from the Squadron Leader nor was he again seen. He has therefore been reported 'missing' - particulars unknown.

During the Malta operations it is thought Henry McLeod may have shot down and killed the 47 victory ace Heinz 'Figaro' Golinski on the 16th October 1942. (shown right - courtesy Kracker Archives)

Burial and other details:

Recovered from the wreckage of his Spitfire on the 08th September 1949 nearly five years since posted as missing.

Sq/Ldr. Henry Wallace McLeod DSO. DFC and bar. Rheinberg War Cemetery. Grave 8.E.25. Born on the 17th December 1915 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Served in the 5th Saskatchewan Regiment and Regina Rifle Regiment ufrom 1928 ntil 1934. Enlisted in the RCAF on the 02nd September 1940. He graduated from training on the 01st April 1941 and arrived in Great Britain on the 09th May 1941, attending 57 Operational Training Unit. Served with with 485 Squadron and 411 RCAF. By May 1942 he had scored five victories. On the 13th October 1942 he was awarded his first DFC. Soon afterwards McLeod was moved to No. 603 Squadron on Malta and in July joined 1435 Squadron. On the 03rd November 1942, he received a Bar to his DFC for his actions in the island's defence. It is believed McLeod was credited with12 enemy aircraft at this point. During his time in Malta,

Son of James Archibald McLeod (died 21st May 1974, age 98). Later married Thelma Audrey on the 22nd February 1923 (née Lewis - died - 1990, age 96) and of Hannah Elizabeth McLeod (née Morris - died of Spanish influenza 24th November 1918, age 28), of 2311 Garnet Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Epitaph: 'To Honor The Dead Cherish The Living. "Ii Samuel Ix.1'.

Air Ministry, 13th October 1942.

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy.In September 1942, this officer participated in an engagement against at least 20 Messerschmitt 109's [sic]. Despite the odds, Flight Lieutenant McLeod so skilfully led his section during the combat that the enemy force was completely broken up. This officer has always displayed the greatest determination to engage the enemy and has destroyed at least 5 and damaged a number of other hostile aircraft. His leadership has

been most inspiring

Air Ministry 5th September 1944. Distinguished Service Order

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy. This officer continues to display the highest standard of courage and resolution in air operations. He is an exceptional leader and a relentless fighter whose achievements are worthy of the highest praise. He has destroyed 17 enemy aircraft.

Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross 03rd November 1942.

One day in October, 1942, this officer took part in an attack on a formation of six Junkers 88's and shot two of them down. Although his aircraft was damaged in the combat he led his section in an attack on another formation of nine enemy bombers. Afterwards, he skilfully flew his damaged aircraft to base. During a period of five days Flight Lieutenant McLeod destroyed five enemy aircraft in the defence of Malta. A gallant fighter, this officer has destroyed 12 and damaged many more enemy aircraft.

In September 2002, a building at 15 Wing, the military air training base south of Moose Jaw was named for Henry Wallace McLeod. A McLeod Street in Regina's industrial district is jointly named for him and for broadcaster Jim McLeod (no relation).

McLeod Creek, Saskatchewan was named after Sq/Ldr. Henry Wallace McLeod.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the National Archives Kew AIR-27-1683-11/12. Paradie RCAF Archives, Government of Canada WW2 military records, Kracker Luftwaffe Archives.

Other pages that may interest you:

Pages regarding 1944 losses

Pages detailing RCAF losses

Other sources as quoted below:

KTY 07-01-2024

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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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