Writing case : Flight Officer A J D Leslie, 463 Squadron, RAAF

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL30734
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Leather; Silk; Brass; Enamel
Maker Personality
Place made Australia
Date made c 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Blue leather writing case, in two parts. The outer cover is padded reinforced leather and houses an inner folder. The outer case is closed on three sides; the fourth side is open allowing the inner folder to slide in. There is an indent in the middle of the open side allowing for easier access to the inner folder. The case bears the initials in gold 'A.J.L' in the bottom right hand corner. In the top left hand corner there is a pair of brass and enamel RAAF wings attached to the leather. The inside of the reinforced leather folder is lined on both sides with blue silk. On the left side of the opened folder are two narrow blue leather straps sewn in at each end, designed to hold paper. Along the inside middle spine there is a single leather loop to hold a pen or pencil. On the right hand side of the opened folder there is a large compartment with six smaller compartments layered over it. Two of the compartments hold small address and note books, both labelled as such in gold lettering. The note book contains two lines of writing, the address book contains two pages of addresses, with the remaining pages left blank. There is a rectangular window sewn over the outer compartments presumably designed to hold the owner's address. Inside the window is a white card with the following written in black ink; 'To. J. Leslie With best wishes for many happy landings from His friends at G.M.H 12-7-1941'.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of 409721 Flying Officer Alan James Durham Leslie who served in 463 Squadron RAAF. Leslie, known as Jim, was born on 13 October 1917 in Sale, Victoria. He worked as a clerk until his enlistment in the RAAF on 10 October 1941. Leslie piloted Lancasters with 463 Squadron in the bombing campaign over Germany. On the night of 27 January 1944 Lancaster JO-L (ME563) took off from Waddington RAF Base to attack Berlin. It was caught in heavy flak and exploded in mid-air. The wreckage crashed in the vicinity of Teltow, sixteen kilometres south west from the centre of Berlin. None of the crew, three of whom were Australian, survived the crash. Leslie was identified by the Flying Officer braid of his uniform. Six of the crew, including Leslie were buried in the Parish cemetery of Waltersdorf in Teltow, Germany. The remaining crew member, Wireless Operator Douglas George Barrett, was discovered some distance away and buried at Teltow. Post-war the remains of this crew were exhumed and reburied at the British Military Cemetery in Berlin.