Adair, Leslie James

Personal Information

Rank WO1
Forename(s) Leslie James
Surname Adair
Gender M
Age 21
Date of Death 03-01-1944
Next of Kin Son of James Roy Adair and Gertrude Jean Adair (née Deans), of Wingham, Ontario, Canada.

Aircraft Information

Aircraft Avro Lancaster III
Serial Number JB553
Markings GT-J

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place Runnymede Memorial
Grave Reference Panel 253.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 121

Enlistment Information

Service Number R/133591
Service Royal Canadian Air Force
Group 8
Squadron 156
Squadron Motto We light the way
Trade Air Gunner
Country of Origin Canada

Other Memorials

Location St. Mary Magdalene Church, Warboys, Cambridgeshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Stained Glass Window & Inscribed Slate Tablet
Memorial Text We light the way" This tablet is placed in memory of Flight Lieutenant JL Sloper DFC and Bar, RAFVR. And in tribute to all who served with 156 Squadron Path Finders Force at RAF Warboys, 1942-1945, In gratitude.
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Location Tithe Farm, Warboys, Cambridgeshire
Country United Kingdom
Memorial Type Brick Pillars and inscribed Metal Plaques
Memorial Text From this RAF Station Warboys 156 squadrons No 8 (PFF) group, marked targets for Bomber Command 1942-1944
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Miscellaneous Information

One of five Lancasters Lost by 156 on this operation with only four survivors from the 36 aircrew
Born on 29 October 1922, in Ottawa. His father was born in Fordwick, Ontario and operated and owned his own Commercial Transport business and his mother was born in Wingham, Ont. Leslie went to Wingham Public School between 1928 - 1937 and then two years at Wingham High 1937-1939 where he studied for his Junior Matric. He was employed for two years driving trucks and for four months as a Commercial salesman (cakes and bread). He had some previous service with the 99th Field Battery R.C.A. at Wingham 1940- 1941. He liked to play hockey, baseball and football and his hobby was reading books about Aero engine mechanics.
Leslie enlisted on 12 September 1941 and after training embarked for the U.K. He was at 3 PRC on 15 April 1942, 2 AGS 12 December 1942, 28 OTU 2 February 1943, and 1656 CU on 1 May 1943. He went on to 12 Squadron on 7 June 1943 and arrived at 156 Squadron on 2 October 1943.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The National Archives

Fellow Servicemen

Last Operation Information

Start Date 02-01-1944
End Date 03-01-1944
Takeoff Station Warboys
Day/Night Raid Night (52% moon)
Operation Berlin. 383 aircraft, 27 Lancasters Lost (7.0%). Berlin was recognised as the target 40 minutes before zero hour and night-fighters were sent to a radio beacon rendezvous point between Hanover and Bremen but missed the bomber stream and were consequently redirected to Berlin. PFF losses were unusually high with 10 Lancasters being Lost from 156 Sqn. All in all, an ineffective raid, with bombs being scattered throughout Berlin. 82 houses were destroyed and 36 people killed. No industrial damage of note.
Reason for Loss Presumed to have crashed in the target area

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.