Date: 31st October 1942 (Saturday)
Unit: No. 486 (NZ) Squadron (motto: Hiwa hau Maka - 'Beware of the Wild Winds'). 1 Group
Type: Typhoon Ib
Base: RAF Tangmere, Sussex
Location: English Channel
Pilot: F/O. Leslie Vincent Weir NZ/412294 RNZAF Age 36. Missing - believed killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at about 16:15 hrs. on a stand-in patrol between St. Catherine's Point and Selsey Bill.
55 minutes later he called on his radio that he was going to have to bale out. Before he could do so the Typhoon dived into the sea about 6 miles SE of Selsey Bill. His No. 2 circled for 15 minutes but only sighted the pilots empty dingy.
Burial and personal details:
F/O. Leslie Vincent Weir. Runnymede Memorial. Panel 114. Born on the 22nd October 1906 at Whangarei. Worked as a marine engineer for South Westland Shipping. prior to service. A member of the West Coast United Aero Club - 'A' licence gained on the 30th September 1936. Enlisted at Levin on the 13th April 1941. Attached to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School on the 24th May 1941. Embarked for Canada on the 22nd July 1941. Further training with No. 6 Service Flying Training School joining on the 18th August 1941. Awarded pilots badge on the 22nd November 1941 and received his commission. Embarked for England on the 14th November 1941. Attached to 55 Operational Training Unit on the 23rd December 1941. Joined 486 squadron on the 25th March 1942. Son of Archibald Douglas Weir, and of Emily Agnes Weir (nee Boyd), of Whangarei, New Zealand. A total of 427 flying hours logged and on his 21st operational sortie.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to Jenifer Lemaire and to the extensive research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland Library Heritage Collection, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below:
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember
them. - Laurence
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