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Leathart, James Anthony

Date of birth:
January 5th, 1915 (Liverpool, Great Britain)
Date of death:
November 18th, 1998
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


CB: 11 June, 1960

Acting Pilot Officer (Probation): 10 May 1937
Pilot Officer (Probation): 1 March 1938
Pilot Officer: 10 May 1938
Acting Flight Lieutenant: 24 July 1939
Flying Officer: 1 September 1939
Acting Squadron Leader: 26 May 1940
Flight Lieutenant (war sub): 24 August 1940
Acting Wing Commander: 4 August 1941?
Temporary Squadron Leader: 1 December 1941
Squadron Leader (war sub): 4 February 1942
Acting Group Captain: 27 March 1944?
Temporary Wing Commander: 1 July 1944
Wing Commander (war sub): 27 Nov 1944
Squadron Leader: 25 February 1947 [1 June 1944],
Wing Commander: 1 July 1947
Group Captain: 1 July 1955
Acting Air Commodore: 17 December 1959?
Air Commodore: 1 July 1960
Retirement: 1962

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Acting Flight Lieutenant
Awarded on:
June 11th, 1940
"During May 1940, this officer led his squadron on a large number of offensive patrols over Northern France. On one occasion an attack was made on a formation of no less than 60 enemy aircraft. In company with his Squadron he has shot down fifteen Messerschmitts, and possibly one Heinkel 111 and one Junkers 88, during the period mentioned. He also flew a trainer aircraft to Calais Marck aerodrome to rescue a squadron commander who had been shot down but was uninjured. Whilst taking off, after the rescue, an attack was made by twelve Messerschmitt 109's but with great coolness and skilful evasive tactics Flight Lieutenant Leathart succeeded in shaking off the enemy and landing again without damage. Subsequently he took off and flew back to England unescorted. This officer has displayed great courage, determination and splendid leadership."

London Gazette 11th June 1940.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1941
Mentioned in Despatches
Second World War (1939-1945)
Acting Wing Commander
Awarded on:
September 17th, 1943
Mentioned in Despatches


  • Photo 1: Tom MacNeill
  • - The London Gazette, Issue 34870. Tuesday 11th June 1940
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36175 published on the 14 September 1943
    - Air of Authority
    - Battle of Britain Memorial