Flt Lt Leslie Baveystock DSO DFC* DFM

(edited by 207 Sqn RAF Association member Alan 'Ben' Lyon)

(Airlife, September 2001, 19.99: now Crowood Press or via www.amazon.co.uk )

The late Leslie 'Bav' Baveystock sank two U Boats in the summer of 1944 when flying a Short Sunderland flying boat in Coastal Command. Earlier in the war on 50 Sqn he flew as second pilot aboard an elderly 106 Sqn Bomber Command Avro Manchester on loan to 50 Sqn on the first 1,000 bomber raid.

When returning from Cologne his aircraft was hit and seriously damaged by flak. With only one engine powering the bomber it was steadily losing height and the pilot, Leslie Manser ordered the crew to jump. The crew, except for the pilot who was later awarded a posthumous VC on the basis of the accounts given by his crew, landed safely and eventually escaped occupied territory via the renowned Comet Line escape route.

Baveystock was transferred to No. 201 Squadron, Coastal Command, where he flew Short Sunderlands on long-range Atlantic patrols. His first success was search for and find the blockade runner Alsterufer sunk later by a Czech Liberator of Coastal Command. In June 1944, when flying a patrol to protect the D-Day landings, U-955 was sighted in the Western Approaches. Baveystock immediately attacked, dropping flares to illuminate the submarine and dropped depth charges from a mere seventy feet, despatching the U Boat to the bottom.

Casebound, 234 x 156mm, ISBN 1 84037 310 5, b/w photographs

On 18 August of that same year he sank U-107!

Sqn Ldr 'Babe' Ruth, ex-207, was his Flight Commander: Babe took over Bav's crew whilst Bav was on compassionate leave following the death of his father. They did not return from an attack on a U boat.

page last updated 16 July 2008: 23 Dec 13