McLeod, Henry Wallace "Wally"

Date of birth:
December 17th, 1915 (Regina/Saskatchewan, Canada)
Date of death:
September 27th, 1944 (Wesel/Rhineprovince, Germany)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Cemetery Rheinberg
Plot: 8. Row: E. Grave: 25.
Service number:
J.4912
Nationality:
Canadian (1931-present, Constitutional Monarchy)

Biography

Henry McLeod was born on December 17th, 1915 as the son to James Archibald McLeod and Hannah Elizabeth (Morris) McLeod.
He began his military career in 1928, serving with the 5th Saskatchewan Regiment and Regina Rifle Regiment until 1934. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on September 2nd, 1940. He graduated from training as a fighter pilot on April 1st, 1941 and arrived in Great Britain on May 9th, 1941, attending 57 OTU. McLeod then joined No. 132 Squadron but was moved quite a bit to other units also after his postiing to Malta which was in early June 1942. When in the October 'Blitz' on Malta ended he had become one of the island's top-scorers and left for the UK. He was then taken off duties because the war had put severe strain on him and was posted back to Canada, serving as an instructor. In January 1944 he set sail again for the UK and took command of No. 433 Squadron and became verey succesful during the invasion of Normandy by which time he was the RCAF top-scorer.
On September 27th, 1944, McLeod was leading his squadron on a patrol with the squadron of Johnnie Johnson over Nijmegen, Netherlands. During the action McLeod went missing. Johnson made repeated calls over the R/T, but McLeod did not answer. Debriefing showed that one of the pilots had seen McLeod chasing after a lone Messerschmitt.
After the war, McLeod was discovered dead in the wreckage of his Spitfire IX "NH 245", in the outskirts of Wesel, near Duisburg, just inside the German border. He was credited with 21 destroyed enemy aircraft.

Promotions:
1931: Signalling Sergeant;
May 1941: Pilot Officer;
1941: Flying Officer;
August 1942: Flight Lieutenant;
January 1944: Squadron Leader.

Career:
1928 - 1931: 5th Saskatchewan Regiment;
1931 - 1934: Regina Rifle Regiment;
1934 - 1935: Teacher;
1936 - 1937: Salesman;
1937: Accountant;
1937 - 1940: Motion Picture Projectionist;
September 2nd, 1940: RCAF Regina;
? - November 27th, 1940: No. 2 Initial Training School;
? - January 16th, 1941: No. 6 Elementery Flying Training School;
? - April 1st, 1941: No. 1 Service Flying Training School;
June 9th, 1941: No. 57 Operational Training Unit;
July 21st, 1941: No. 132 Squadron;
August 28th, 1941: No. 485 Squadron;
December 2nd, 1941: No. 602 Squadron;
December 23rd, 1941 - May 5th, 1942: No. 411 Squadron;
June 2nd, 1942: No. 603 Squadron;
23 juli 1942: No. 1435 Squadron;
March 12th, 1943: No. 1 Operational Training Unit, Bagotville;
January 12th, 1944: Commanding Officer No. 127 Squadron;
January 13th, 1944: "Y" Depot;
February 13th, 1944 - September 27th, 1944: Commanding Officer No. 433 Squadron.

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 1st, 1941
Pilot's Flying Badge
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
No. 1435 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
October 13th, 1942
Citation:
"In September, 1942, this officer participated in an engagement against at least 20 Messerschmitt 109's. 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."
LG 35741/4437.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
No. 1435 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
November 3rd, 1942
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Citation:
"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."
Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
LG 35768/4754.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Unit:
No. 433 (Porcupine) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force
Awarded on:
September 5th, 1944
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Citation:
"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."
LG 36686/4121.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
With "FRANCE AND GERMANY" clasp.
Air Crew Europe Star

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