John Leonard

Biography of John Leonard

John Leonard, pictured extreme left
John Leonard, pictured extreme left

Sergeant John Leonard of the RAF was born in Glasgow on the 7th of December 1910, to William, a Plasterer. He attended St Mungo's Academy, before enrolling at the University of Glasgow. He graduated MA from the University in 1933 and became a teacher. Before joining the RAF in 1940, he taught Latin at Holyrood Senior Secondary School in Glasgow.

Leonard was attached to 114 Squadron, No 2 Group, Bomber Command. He was killed on the night of 30 May 1942 in Germany. The first RAF 1000 bomber raid was carried out against Cologne on this date. As the navigator in a Blenheim Mk.IV, Leonard was part of a diversionary force of long-range fighters and Blenheim light bombers dispatched on Intruder operations. Their job was to carry out isolated attacks on Luftwaffe airfields in north west Germany.

Leonard's Blenheim took off at 9.24pm on 30 May from West Raynham, Norfolk. The Blenheim carried a crew of three. The aircraft, of No. 114 'Hong Kong' Squadron, was hit by anti-aircraft fire in Lower Saxony, and came down in a nearby village. All three of the crew were killed in action. Initially Leonard was buried in Wittmund town, but was reburied in 1947 in the Sage War Cemetery in north west Germany.

Additional information supplied by James Donnelly.


John Leonard
Born 7 December 1910, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 30 May 1942.
University Link: Graduate
GU Degree: MA, 1933;
Father's Details: William Leonard; Plasterer
War Service: Sergeant, Royal Air Force
Grave / Memorial: Sage War Cemetery, Germany
View Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
Record last updated: 19th Feb 2019

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