01st May 1942 457 Squadron Spitfire VB BM188 Fl/Lt. North DFC
Operation: Circus 150
Date: 01st May 1942 (Friday)
Unit: No. 457 Squadron RAAF. 11 Group
Type: Spitfire VB
Base: RAF Redhill, Surrey
Pilot: Fl/Lt. Harold Leslie North DFC. 41608 RAF Age 22. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
26th August 1940. Whilst serving with 43 Squadron flying Hurricane I V7259 was badly damaged after contact with HE111's baled out with wounds to his head and shoulders. Admitted to the Royal Sussex Hospital, Chichester but returned to to the squadron on the 10th September.
Taking off from RAF Redhill at 18:30 hrs leading 11 others to provide cover to Hurribombers on an operation to the Shell factory in Marquise in France.
On the return journey just prior to crossing the French coast enemy aircraft intercepted the squadron. Fl/Lt. North together with his No. 2 Sgt. Peacock flying BM251, were last seen diving on an enemy aircraft with 10 enemy aircraft diving into them.
The two pilots have no known graves.
Above L-R: Fl/Lt. Harold Leslie North DFC, P/O. George Gray Russell Aus/402253 shot down on the 04th April 1942 flying Spitfire VB BP859 PoW No: 27 Stalag Luft Sagan, Sq/Ldr. Peter Malam Brothers CBE, DSO, DFC and Bar. Retired in 1973 as Air Officer Commanding Military Air Traffic Operations and Director of Public Relations. Passed away the 18th December 2008, aged 91.
FlLt. Harold Leslie North DFC. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 66. Born on the 31st October 1919 at Dunedin. Prior to being selected for a RAF short service commission on the 31st August 1928 worked as a collection clerk for G.H.M. Moir solicitors. Awarded his wings on the in May 1939. Son of William Charles Dingey North and Ruby Rogers North (née Brooks), of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. Credited with five enemy aircraft destroyed, 3 probables with 3 others as damaged.
Sgt. Andrew Francis Peacock Aus/403371. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 113. Born on the 11th August 1920 at Lake Cargelligo Australia. Son of Harold and Charlotte Agnes Pearl Peacock, of Canberra, Australia
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Ian Banks, Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, AWMM, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: