Les Knight

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Leslie Knight
Leslie Knight UK0238A 2.jpg
Pilot Officer Leslie Knight, June 1943
Born(1921-03-07)7 March 1921
Camberwell, Australia
Died16 September 1943(1943-09-16) (aged 22)
Den Ham General Cemetery, Netherlands
Service/branchRoyal Australian Air Force
Years of service1941–1943
RankFlight Lieutenant
UnitNo. 617 Squadron RAF
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsDistinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches

Leslie Gordon Knight, DSO (7 March 1921 – 16 September 1943) was a Royal Australian Air Force pilot who served with the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command during the Second World War. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1943 for taking part in Operation Chastise – the Dams raid,[1] while flying with No. 617 Squadron RAF. Knight's crew, flying in N-Nan, attacked, hit and breached the Eder Dam, the second dam to be attacked, after his comrades had previously scored one hit and one miss.

Knight's grave in Den Ham General Cemetery

Knight was killed later the same year while taking part in Operation Garlic – the Dortmund–Ems Canal raid.[2] After his Lancaster was damaged by flying into a tree he was able to allow his crew to bail out but was unable to land the aircraft. He is buried in Den Ham General Cemetery, the Netherlands.[3]

In the 1955 film The Dam Busters, Knight was played by Denys Graham.


  1. ^ "No. 36030". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 May 1943. pp. 2361–2.
  2. ^ "The 617 Sqn raid on Ladbergen in 1943". Bomber History. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Knight, Leslie Gordon". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 6 February 2018.

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