102 (Ceylon) Squadron

Tentate et perficite (Attempt and Achieve)

Flying Officer Leonard James Dowdall

Wireless Op - Crew Piloted by Sgt. Michael Gerrard Gibbons

Jimmy Dowdall - 102 Ceylon Squadron

The story of my Grandfather - by Jim Willis

Leonard James Dowdall. (Known as Jimmy)

Service Number 1378569

Born 21.02.1908 in Dulwich London.

He was a Flying Officer

Date of enlistment 20.09.1940

Pronounced medically unfit to be a pilot 26.02.1941 but fit to be WO/AG.

Joined 102 Squadron on 31.10.1942

Wireless Operator and Air gunner WO/AG

Killed 26.02.1943

Sgt. Gibbons Pilot.

102 Squadron Halifax II HR669 DY–E

Operation Koln (Cologne).

Take off 1853.

All crew laid to rest on 03/03/1943 in the Ehrenfriedhof at Koln-Sud.

Then taken to Rheinburg.

Plane was carrying a second Pilot, Sgt. J.L. Wilson whose body not found and is perpetuated at Runnymede Panel 170. Therefore it must be assumed that the crew had flown about a dozen operations. (still to be researched)

Crew members initially buried in Cologne and later transferred to Rheinberg.

Buried in Rheinberg war cemetery Coll. Grave 4 C 2-20.

Jimmy Dowdall - 102 Ceylon Squadron

Crew members:

Sgt. Michael Gerrard Gibbons - Pilot - Aged 24 - (C.W.G.C.)

Sgt. Louis John Langham - (Nav. B/A) - Aged 23 - (C.W.G.C.)

P/O Leonard James Dowdall - WOp - Aged 35 - (C.W.G.C.)

Sgt. Dennis Stanley Richings - AG - Aged 22 - (C.W.G.C.)

Sgt. John William Hunt - AG - (C.W.G.C.)

Sgt. Thomas Edward Russell - F/E - (C.W.G.C.)

Sgt. John Leslie Wilson –2nd Pilot - Aged 24 - (C.W.G.C.)

Sgt. Henry Easton Bradshaw - ? - Aged 21 - (C.W.G.C.)


One extra crew member was second pilot on training

Plane blew up over the target so must have been hit on the bomb run in the bomb bay by flak.

Jimmy Dowdall left behind a wife and two daughters 6 and 8 years old.

A member of the ground crew (Name unknown so far) sent the two daughters money on a regular basis for a few years after their father had been killed.




JimmyEddieSam  - 102 Ceylon Squadron


Possibly training school..


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