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No. 299 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War
Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books
No.299 Squadron was an airborne forces squadron that took part in the D-Day landings, Arnhem, the crossing of the Rhine and the liberation of Oslo.
The squadron was formed on 4 November 1943 around C Flight, No.297 Squadron. It trained with Venturas, before converting to the Stirling in January 1944. The squadron's first combat operation came on 5 April 1944, and saw it dropping supplies to SOE operatives working with the French Resistance.
The squadron's main purpose was to work with the airborne forces, both towing gliders and carrying paratroops. On D-Day the squadron provided twenty four aircraft for a pre-dawn paratroop drop and sixteen glider towing aircraft. Two aircraft were lost on the day, one on each operation.
The squadron's next major operation was Market Garden. Between 17-23 September the squadron flew fifty-four glider towing sorties and seventy two supply dropping missions, losing five aircraft.
The next major airborne operation was the crossing of the Rhine, but by this point German resistance was fading, and no aircraft were lost in twenty nine sorties.
The squadron's last major operation was the liberation of Oslo in May 1945, which saw Allied airborne forces fly into Oslo to disarm German troops, partly to prevent any attempt at a final stand in Norway and partly to prevent any possible Soviet occupation.
The squadron flew general transport missions until it was disbanded on 15 February 1946.
November 1943-January 1944: Lockheed Ventura I and II
January 1944-February 1946: Short Stirling IV
November 1943-March 1944: Stoney Cross
March-October 1944: Keevil
October 1944-January 1945: Wethersfield
January 1945-February 1946: Shepherds Grove
Squadron Codes: A (Ventura), 5G (Stirling)
1943-1945: Airborne forces
6 June 1944: No.38 Group; HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Force
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No. 100 Squadron Royal Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Aldridge Norman Hubert. Flt.Sgt.
- Armon A. J.T.. P/O
- Barends Charles Alexander. Sgt
- Bartholomew Douglas Wallace. Sgt. (d.13th Jun 1943)
- Bayes Leonard Whatmore.
- Bayes Leonard.
- Bowden L. D.. Sgt.
- Boxhall G. R.. Sgt.
- Burry Frederick Charles. Flt.Sgt. (d.9th Dec 1942)
- Cohen Leonard. Sgt. (d.20th October 1943)
- Cooper Charles John. (d.16th March 1945)
- Cowling Peter Radford. Sgt. (d.20th October 1943)
- Cox D. B.. Sgt.
- Curle Richard Alexander. F/Lt. (d.4th March 1943)
- Edmondson Joseph Philip. Flt.Sgt. (d.16th March 1945)
- Fairbairn Douglas Thomas George. P/O. (d.11th Jun 1944)
- Gibb Clarence William. Sgt. (d.20th October 1943)
- Gibson Hugh.
- Godseff Gerald James. Sgt. (d.20th October 1943)
- Goode Kenneth Frank. Sgt. (d.18th Aug 1943)
- Green Charles. (d.4th Oct 1943)
- Hamblin Harold Leonard. Sqn Ldr.
- Hayton John William. Sgt. (d.4th Sept 1943)
- Hodges Alfred Malcolm. Sgt. (d.21st Apr 1943)
- Isaac Gordon James Ross.
- Jones D..
- Jones David Martyn. Flt.Sgt. (d.19th Jul 1944)
- Kitchin Eric. Sgt.
- Leddiman William Ernest. F/O (d.13th July 1943)
- Lower Alfred William Nelson. Sgt. (d.20th October 1943)
- Mazlin Cecil Graham. P/O.
- McDermott Raymond Michael. W/O.
- McKern Ralph Noel. Grp Capt.
- McMaster Malcolm Stalker. P/O. (d.16th January 1945)
- Montague James. F/Sgt. (d.21st May 1945)
- Morgan Thomas Hurley. F/O. (d.4th Oct 1943)
- Parker Richard. F/O (d.30th Jan 1944)
- Parnell Roy Alexander. Flt.Sgt.
- Parry Eric Frank. (d.27th Apr 1944)
- Parry Eric Frank. Sgt. (d.27th Apr 1944)
- Pendlebury Norman. Sgt. (d.24th Aug 1943)
- Robertson John Maxwell. F/Sgt. (d.25th Apr 1944)
- Robertson John Maxwell. F/Sgt. (d.25th Apr 1944)
- Roots Leslie Charles. Flt. Sgt. (d.18/19th July 1944)
- Sadler Anthony Graham. F/Lt..
- Sadler Anthony Graham. F/Lt.
- Scarbrough William Edward. Sgt. (d.15th Feb 1943)
- Schaffhausen Fred.
- Scurr Charles. Sgt. (d.3rd Feb 1945)
- Sharpley John Eason. Flt.Sgt. (d.1st July 1944)
- Simpson T. L.. P/O (d.20th Oct 1943)
- Simpson Theodore Leonard. P/O (d.20th Oct 1943)
- Smith Mervin Philip.
- Smith Philip.
- Snowden-Johnson Christopher. A/Sqd.Ldr.
- Storey Douglas Simpson. WO (d.20th October 1943)
- Sutherland John William Elwison. Sgt. (d.19th January 1943)
- Thrower Frank.
- Weedon R. F..
- Wightman David.
- Willey R. W.. Sgt.
- Wilson Carl Albert. F/Lt.
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The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (421012) Flight Sergeant Leslie John Gilbert, No. 299 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War
The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Charis May, the story for this day was on (421012) Flight Sergeant Leslie John Gilbert, No. 299 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
421012 Flight Sergeant Leslie John Gilbert, No. 299 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 6 June 1944
Story delivered 2 April 2015
Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Leslie John Gilbert, who was killed on active service with the Royal Air Force on D-Day, 6 June 1944.
D-Day has become an iconic event not only in the history of the Second World War but also in the history of the Western world. On this tumultuous day, a multi-national Allied force landed on the shores of Normandy. It was the first major step in the liberation of Western Europe from the tyranny of Nazism and fascism.
Leslie John Gilbert was born in Perth, Western Australia on 21 May 1914 to William and Mary Gilbert. Before his enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force, Gilbert worked as foreman at Freezers Northern Meet Co-Operation in Casino, New South Wales. He and his wife, Heather Mary Gilbert, resided in Lismore.
After joining the Royal Australian Air Force Gilbert embarked for Britain. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was one of almost 16,000 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers who joined Royal Air Force squadrons throughout the course of the war.
In Britain he was promoted to Flight Sergeant, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, and in April 1944 he was posted to No. 299 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
Gilbert was regarded as “one of the best pilots” in the squadron, showing great “skill, determination and calmness” while flying, and was very popular member of the squadron.
No. 299 Squadron was a special operations squadron that became operational in April 1944. It performed the specialist task of dropping agents and supplying these special operatives as well as resistance movements working behind enemy lines in occupied Europe. In the early hours of 6 June 1944 No. 299 Squadron carried the paratroopers and gliders of the British 6th Airborne Division to their landing zones in Normandy.
The Stirling bomber piloted by Gilbert was shot down over the Ranville drop zone near Caen. All six crew members were killed, as were nine of the 20 paratroopers still on board. The 11 surviving paratroopers dropped safely over the target. They later reported that there was heavy flak when they left the aircraft.
Gilbert was 30 years old, one of the first Australians killed in the invasion of Europe.
Gilbert’s body was not recovered and his name is listed and commemorated upon the Air Forces Memorial overlooking the River Thames in Runnymede. The memorial lists all British and Commonwealth aircrew who died in the war and who have no known grave.
The photograph displayed today in front of the pool of reflection was taken just two days before Gilbert’s death in Normandy.
Gilbert was one of thousands of Australians who served in the British and Commonwealth forces on D-Day and throughout the Normandy campaign. On this day of days, Leslie John Gilbert made the ultimate sacrifice.
His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 40,000 Australians killed in the Second World War.
This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight-Sergeant Leslie John Gilbert, and all of those Australians – as well as our Allies and brothers in arms – who gave their lives in the hope for a better world.