Francois Mark Le Bosse
Leading Aircraftman, 680 Squadron
Service number 1290760
Died 15 Feb 1945
Buried Bari War Cemetery, Italy
‘IN EVERLOVING MEMORY” CAROLE, MUM, DAD AND GIRLS “A DARLING SON AND BROTHER” MOTHER, DAD AND JOAN’
Francois was born on 31 Jan 1922 in Hackney to Philip and Sadie nee Silverstein and had an older sister Joan.
In 1939, the family were living at 106 Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent. Francois was working as a reproduction photographer and his father Philip was a printer manager. Philip served in WW1 as a rifleman in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps.
Francois married Estelle de Groot in 1942 in Hendon.
680 Sqn ORB for 15 Feb 1945 states:
At 10.30 hours on this date, a very tragic accident occurred at the Flight Dispersal. A P-51 of the 31st Fighter Group, stalled on take off and the pilot, whilst endeavouring to control the machine, could not gain height, swung off the runway and crashed through the flight hut. The P-51 careered on, smashing the photographic trailer and the W/T trailer, finally finishing its career about 50 yds further on, minus wings and undercarriage. Immediately the airmen who were working on the aircraft had recovered from the initial shock, they organised rescue teams and started to get the injured from the wreckage, which was strewn around in a radius of about thirty to forty yards.
Six people were found to be killed, five were wounded, two seriously, and many other persons had minor cuts and abrasions.
By this time the P-51 had burst into flames and LAC MAY, despite exploding ammunition, helped the pilot from the blazing wreck and got him to safety.
The dead were F/O DAVIES, CPL DRUMMOND and LACs LE BOSSE, HODGSON, CLARK and GENTRY.
The seriously injured were LACs BOYES and TINDALL. They were rushed to hospital and are now progressing satisfactorily.
SGT TAYLOR, CPL MURRAY & CPL STEVENSON were also wounded and sent to hospital but are now all three once again with the Flight.