The Airmen's Stories - P/O L W Graham
Leslie William Graham was born on 17th February 1914 in Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo), South Africa. His home was a farm named 'Bandolierkop'.
He was educated at St. Johns College, Johannesburg and the University of Witwatersrand.
Graham joined the Transvaal Air Training Squadron in January 1935, going on to a commission in the South African Permanent Force in March 1936. His first posting was the Cape Squadron.
He was appointed Staff Officer (Adjutant and Quartermaster) at Roberts Heights, Pretoria in September 1936, serving until November 1938, when he returned to the Air Force. His commission expired in March 1939.
Graham is recorded as arriving in Southampton aboard the ss Athlone Castle on 31st March 1939 from Durban, South Africa.
He gave as his address here 52 Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh, his birth year 1914 and occupation 'Air Force'.
He was granted a direct-entry RAFVR commission because of his previous service.
He arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on 15th July 1940 and after converting to Hurricanes joined 56 Squadron at North Weald on 29th July.
His Hurricane, V7368, was set alight in a surprise attack by enemy aircraft during a sector patrol on 16th August. Graham baled out, slightly injured. He was posted away three days later to RAF North Weald as non-effective sick.
His subsequent service is currently undocumented until Graham was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Squadron Leader.
He is believed to have died in South Africa in 1988.
Additional research and above image courtesy of Gary Jones, Port Elizabeth, SA.