Humphrey de Verd Leigh
|Humphrey de Verd Leigh|
|Born||26 July 1897
Aldershot, Hampshire, England
|Died||6 June 1980(aged 82)|
|Service/branch||Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1915 – 1919
1939 – 1945
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross
Wing Commander Humphrey de Verd Leigh OBE, DFC, AFC (1897–1980) was a Royal Air Force officer. During the Second World War his idea for an anti-submarine spotlight for Coastal Command was developed and named the Leigh Light after him.
Humphrey de Verd Leigh was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, England on 26 July 1897. He entered the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in 1915, serving in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) flying seaplanes for the relief of Kut, and went on to serve in the early Royal Air Force (RAF) 1918–19. Resigning in 1919 he went into business, working for many years in the Sudan in the Cotton industry. On the outbreak of World War II he rejoined the RAF in September 1939 and served on Personnel and Staff Duties, for Coastal Command from 1939 until 1945.
His successful development of the Leigh light, at his own volition and risk, and without approval of his senior commanders made a significant contribution to the Battle of the Atlantic, in 1942.
de Verd Leigh was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1943. He was awarded the Air Force Cross on 8 June 1941. In 1954 he relinquished his wartime commission. He died on 6 June 1980.