97 Squadron, Books, Family, fire by night, History, World War 2

Coincidence is so cool and the Kevin bacon game

So it dawned on me on the drive home from work last night when listening to the Audible copy of The Last British Dambuster how small a world we really live in. I started to think of the Kevin Bacon game in which it is surmised by the fact that all people in the world can be connected by 6 or less people. So by the Kevin Bacon game It could be that there is a connection to Johnny Johnson in 3 moves.

1. me to Nigel via work
2. Nigel to Tom “Nigel” Leak via Tom is Nigel’s great uncle
3. Tom to Johnny Johnson via they both fly in 97 Squadron

And then I got to thinking some more with how using the same game who else it would work for, Guy Gibson in 4? And so let me know what connections you can make?

My last one would be Jennie Gray who’s webpage http://raf-pathfinders.com led me to her book Fire By Night: The Dramatic Story of One Pathfinder Crew and Black Thursday, 16 December 1943 Paperback – 19 May 2011 and works out like this

1. me to Nigel via work
2. Nigel to Tom “Nigel” Leak via Tom is Nigel’s great uncle
3. Tom to Joe Mack via Tom fly in 97 squadron and looks as well as if flew in the plane that Joe crashed in the mission before!
4. Joe To Jennie via Joe being Jennie’s father

And that is also coincidence as without trying to find out more about Tom and his RAF days I wouldn’t have found all these links!

Reference:
http://www.audible.co.uk
The Last British Dambuster, by George Jonny Johnson
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon
Jennie Gray http://raf-pathfinders.com
Fire By Night: The Dramatic Story of One Pathfinder Crew and Black Thursday, 16 December 1943 Paperback – 19 May 2011

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97 Squadron, History, World War 2

Bomb Aimer Brevet

I am able to post a picture of Tom’s Bomb Aimer Brevet this he would have got after April 1942 and would have replaced the “O” observer brevet he is pictured wearing in the photo on Jennie Grey’s web page RAF PATHFINDERS the picture however is later than 1942 as he is wearing the DFC and looks like 1939/45 France German Star which he got in February 1944 and his temporary award of the PFF badge. Any help would be great on the ribbons in the photo, I really must get plans together to visit the Thorpe camp museum as it has lots on 97 Squadron.

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97 Squadron, fire by night, History, World War 2

Thank you’s and acknowledgements for information

Sorry I haven’t updated for a while but I have been doing a lot of reading from several sources in my hunt for information on Tom Leak.

First I would like to thank Jennie Gray who’s webpage http://raf-pathfinders.com led me to her book Fire By Night: The Dramatic Story of One Pathfinder Crew and Black Thursday, 16 December 1943 Paperback – 19 May 2011 (available on amazon as well as kindle) and the 97 Squadron (Straights Settlements) web pages ( more below). The information she had on her webpage allowed me to look for both Tom and his pilot Charles Owen. I thank Jennie for the insights and would like to acknowledge in advance the help her research and book have given me and I will be referencing her materials when used.

Secondly I would like to thank Kevin Bending and Gail Savage-Smith for their help and allowing me to join as an associate member the 97 Squadron (Straights Settlements) it is an honour. I have used their webpage http://www.97squadronassociation.co.uk and transcripts of the squadron operations books to map out Tom’s missions and career. As well as the great history of 96 Squadron by Kevin, Achieve Your Aim: The History of No. 97 (Straits Settlements) Squadron – A WW2 Pathfinder Squadron Paperback – 1 May

Finally I am doing this for my friend Nigel Scott who’s Uncle Tom was, and he loaned me a video of Tom talking of his war time experiences I hope to review it further as the quick glance I gave it answered a few questions but left more! I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to share in the knowledge of his uncle and all who he fly with.

As today is Remembrance Sunday I would like to finish with.

their name liveth for evermore

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Looking for information on Thomas Leak

I am looking for information for my friend about his uncle DFC LEAK, Thomas William Leslie PO 172951 RAFVR LG 17.10.44

He was a bomb aimer on lancasters in 97 squadron part of the Path Finder Force. Most of the information so far comes from the squadron web page http://www.97squadronassociation.co.uk/ so please check them out.

I will upload what I find here please feel free to contact me with any info you might have.

Update:

The DFC Medal was awarded to RAF Airmen for the below
“an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy”

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The Medal and Ribbon

From the notes above it appears Thomas was awarded his on 17/10/1944 I will check the ops book to see if I can find what mission it was for. If anyone can help please comment.

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