Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Air Marshal Sir Leslie Bower (26130)
Leslie William Clement
b: 11 Jul 1909 r: 30 Mar 1965 d: 17 Feb 1991
– 2 Jun 1962 (CB – 1 Jan 1954), DSO – 22 Jun 1945, DFC
– 22 Feb 1944, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD
14 Jun 1945.
Off: 14 Dec
1929, Fg Off: 14 Jun 1931, Flt
Lt: 14 Jun 1935, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul
1938, (T)Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1940, Act
17 May 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 17 Nov
1942, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1943,
Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1
Jul 1947, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx xxxx,
A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1952, Act AVM: xx
xxx xxxx, AVM: 1 Jan 1955, Act
(unpd): 8 Feb 1962, Act AM
(pd): 1 May 1962, AM: 1 May 1962 (announced 1 Jul 1962).
xx xxx 1928: Flight Cadet, 'B' Sqn, RAF College.
14 Dec 1929: Appointed to Permanent Commission.
Pilot, No 100 Sqn.
Pilot, No 33 Sqn.
Jan – 12 Feb 1931: Placed
on half pay list, scale B
Pilotage (navigation) officer, No 11 Sqn.
Supernumerary, RAF Depot.
Attended Central Flying School.
QFI, Cambridge University Air Sqn.
18 May 1934: Re-categorised as an Instructor from B to A2
xx Jul 1936: Re-categorised from Instructor A2 to Instructor A1
Pilot, No 202 Sqn.
Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ RAF Mediterranean.
Officer Commanding, No 217 Sqn.
28 Jan 1942: Air Staff, HQ No 16 Group.
Director - Operational Training, HQ RCAF.
Officer Commanding, No 138 Wing
Attended RAF Staff College.
Attended/Instructor?, USAF War College.
AOC, No 81 Group.
SASO, HQ Fighter Command.
Feb 1957: SASO, HQ MEAF
Deputy C in C, MEAF.
AOC, No 19 Group.
8 Feb 1962: UK Permanent Military Deputy (Designate), CENTO
UK Permanent Military Deputy, CENTO.
Born in County Cork in the Ireland, he attended The
Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone before entering the RAF College in 1928,
which he represented at both Soccer and Hockey.
Citation for the award of the Distinguished
“Group Captain Leslie William Clement BOWER (26130), Royal Air Force.
This officer has completed numerous sorties and has invariably displayed
leadership and skill of a high order. His
determination to complete his tasks successfully has always been evident and was
well illustrated during a recent sortie. Before
reaching the target his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire but he went on to
complete his attack. On the return
flight the aircraft was again hit by fire from the ground defences.
Much damage was sustained, including one engine which was put out of
action. Group Captain Bower displayed great skill in his endeavour to reach home
but, just before the English coast was reached the damaged engine burst into
flames. Group Captain Bower crossed-the coast, however, but was compelled to
make a landing in difficult circumstances.
As the aircraft touched down it became enveloped in flames and a petrol
tank burst. Group Captain Bower was
rendered unconscious but was dragged clear by a comrade.
This officer displayed great courage and resolution throughout.”
(London Gazette – 22 February 1944)
“Group Captain Leslie William Clement BOWER, D.F.C., R.A.F.
This officer has set a magnificent example of courage and devotion to
duty in operations against the enemy. He
has commanded the squadrons at his station for a considerable time and much of
the success achieved during the period can be attributed to Group Captain
Bower's high powers of leadership, unsurpassed skill and iron determination.
His services have been of immense value”
(London Gazette – 22 June 1945)
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