Phillip Leckrone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Phillip Howard Leckrone
Nickname(s) Uncle Sam, Zeke
Born 1912
Salem, Illinois
Died 5 January 1941 (aged 28)
Killed in flight accident over Lincolnshire
Buried Kirton-in-Lindsey Cemetery, Lincolnshire
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1940–1941
Rank Pilot Officer
Service number 84653
Unit No. 616 Squadron
No. 71 Squadron
Battles/wars

World War II

Pilot Officer Phillip Howard Leckrone (sometimes spelled Philip) (1912 – 5 January 1941) was an American pilot who flew with the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain in World War II. He was one of 11 American[1] pilots who flew with RAF Fighter Command between 10 July and 31 October 1940, thereby qualifying for the Battle of Britain clasp to the 1939–45 campaign star. He was killed in a flying accident in January 1942.[2]

Early life[edit]

Leckrone was from Salem, Illinois,[3] the son of William and Lottie Leckrone. He was married to Mackenzie A. Leckrone.[4] He was an experienced pilot, owning his own aircraft.

World War II[edit]

Leckrone traveled to Britain in 1940 and enlisted in the Royal Air Force. Following conversion to the Spitfire at 7OTU RAF Hawarden, he joined No. 616 Squadron at RAF Kenley on 2 August 1940.[3] He flew a Brewster airplane.[5] He flew more than two dozen sorties over the English Channel as a tail-end Charlie in 616 Squadron.[6] He was later posted to No. 71 Squadron at RAF Church Fenton on 12 October 1940, to join other American volunteers in the first 'Eagle' squadron.

Death[edit]

On 5 January 1941, Leckrone was taking part in a formation practice when he collided with Pilot Officer Edwin Ezell Orbison,[7][8] who was able to reach base and safety. Leckrone went into a tail-spin and plunged toward the ground. Pilot Officer Vernon Keogh, who was flying in formation practice at 20,000 feet with Orbison and Leckrone, followed Leckrone down, shouting at him over the radio telephone. "Bail out! Bail out!" Leckrone did not reply and made no attempt to bail out. He died on impact[9] and was the first fatality in No. 71 Squadron.[10]

He is buried in Kirton-in-Lindsey Cemetery in Lincolnshire.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Battle of Britain - Roll of Honour
  2. ^ American memorials Overseas - Phillip Howard Leckrone
  3. ^ a b Caine, Philip D. (1991). Eagles of the RAF. Washington, DC: National Defense University. p. 72. OCLC 24066996. 
  4. ^ "Salem, IL Leckrone Airport (KSLO)". The Lexicans. 
  5. ^ Haugland, Vern (1992). Caged Eagles: Downed American Fighter Pilots, 1940-1945. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Aero. p. 9. ISBN 0830621474. 
  6. ^ Alex Kershaw, World War II Magazine Volume 25, No.4 November/December 2010, p. 37
  7. ^ Reading Room Manchester. "CWGC - Casualty Details". 
  8. ^ Haugland, Vern (1992). Caged Eagles: Downed American Fighter Pilots, 1940-1945. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Aero. p. 12. ISBN 0830621474. 
  9. ^ Alex Kershaw, World War II Magazine Volume 25, No.4 November/December 2010, p. 42
  10. ^ Haugland, Vern (1992). Caged Eagles: Downed American Fighter Pilots, 1940-1945. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Aero. p. 15. ISBN 0830621474. 
  11. ^ Reading Room Manchester. "CWGC - Casualty Details". 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Caine, Philip D. (1991). Eagles of the RAF. Washington, DC: National Defense University. OCLC 24066996. 
  • Haugland, Vern (1992). Caged Eagles: Downed American Fighter Pilots, 1940-1945. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Aero. ISBN 0830621474. 

External links[edit]