The Ryder Cheshire Foundation was founded by Sue Ryder and Leonard Cheshire. This article about Leonard’s wartime experience is reprinted with kind permission of the editor of the magazine 90 Flypast August 2016.
With four tours and 102 ‘ops’, many people regard Leonard Cheshire as the RAF’s greatest bomber pilot. Graham Pitchfork profiles an outstanding man.
During his time at Merton College, Oxford. Chester born Leonard Cheshire joined the famous University Air Squadron. Mobilized at the outbreak of war he trained as a bomber pilot, flying with the Whitley-equipped 102 Squadron.
On the night of November 12/13, 1940 his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Cologne, igniting a flare in the bomb bay. A fierce fire was put out by the crew and Cheshire managed to bring the crippled bomber and its wounded crew back to base. He was awarded an immediate DSO, a very rare honour for a pilot officer. Continue reading For Valour – an account of Leonard Cheshire’s wartime experiences