Haines L. A. - The OldWinburnians

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Haines L. A.

WW2 individuals

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L. A. Haines D.F.C.

Full Names

Rank /Unit  

Years at Q.E.G.S.

Leonard  Archibald  Haines

Flying officer
Royal  Air  Force


Date  / Place of Birth

Date  / Place of Death

Age at Death


Wednesday  30th  April  1941     


Len [Derby House] was in the School Sports on the 21st of March 1934 , when he won the Under 15 Half Mile race. By the Spring of 1935, he had left the School. His address was "Peg-Glen", Higher Merley Road, Wimborne.
He joined the RAF in Setember 1937, and was well established in the Service by the Spring of 1938. At that time he was stationed at Eastchurch, Kent and was being posted to Mamby in Lincolnshire to do some high speed towing in the new Hawker Henley. He wrote - "If any Old Boys went to Chatham during Navy Week, I was in the machine (a Swordfish) that was 'shot down'. Incidentally, I was nearly choked by the stannic chloride which was released from a canister under the fuselage, to make the show look more realistic."
At the outbreak of the Second World War he was already a Flying Officer and Leonard fought in the Battle of Britain in 1940. He was in No. 19 Squadron (12 Group) which was based at RAF Duxford, Cambs., but he flew operationally from a satellite airfield at Fowlmere, Essex.  He flew a Spitfire throughout the battle and was credited with shooting down seven enemy aircraft and given a "Half credit" for a victory he shared with another pilot.
Flg. Off. Haines was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross during the Battle of Britain.
At the time, replacement pilots were put in the hands of more experienced pilots to, "...give them a sporting chance". David Cox, a sergeant pilot with 19 Squadron, was taken under the wing of Flg. Off. Haines. Sgt. Cox said later, "I can give credit to him for the fact that I stayed alive as long as I did. He used to say, just keep my tail wheel in front of you and stick to me. Don't worry about shooting things. If you can follow me,  you'll learn to throw a Spitfire about, which is what I did".

After the Battle of Britain he was posted, as an instructor, to No.53 Fighter OTU at RAF Heston [in the area where the Service Station now stands].
He was killed in an air accident when flying a Miles Master (Single engine - two seat training aircraft ) T.8771 which is believed to have spun into the ground at the Hounslow Barracks in Middlesex - approx. 1.5 miles South of Heston, where there is still a Cavalry Barracks.
At the time of his death, Len was an Acting Flt.Lt. and the passenger in the aircraft was Corporal Thomas Frederick George Press. Age 36.

They are interred in the Heston and Isleworth (Hounslow) Cemetery. Middlesex.    

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