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FEATURES


Le Court.


Leonard Cheshire’s RAF career was legendary and recently an account of D-Day’s Operation Taxable by the late Les Munro, has shed new light on Leonard Cheshire’s role in D-Day.


On anight time sortie, Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire flew aLancaster as second pilot to Squadron Leader Les Munro as part of Operation Taxable. It was one of the most important missions that 617 Squadron –the Dambusters – carried out. Later,Leonard remembered it as along operation calling for ahigh degree of precision flying.


Taxable was set up to convince the Germans that the Allies’ military strength was greater than it actually was. It would also fool enemy radar that Royal Navy ships were heading to Cap d’Antifer,some way from where the D-Day landings were actually planned in Normandy.


The squadron was trained to fly in asquare formation with pinpoint accuracy at 180mph for five hours and drop metal strips which resembled a real sea-borne fleet.


Les Munro said: ‘I considered this operation to be, in one sense, one of the most important that 617 Squadron carried out. Not because of bad weather, not because of any risk of enemy action and not measured by any visual result, but because of the very exacting requirements to which we had to fly and navigate. There was absolutely no latitude for deviation from ground speed, compass bearing, rate of turn and timing.’


Four months after Taxable, Leonard Cheshire was awarded the Victoria Cross for sustained bravery throughout his war career.


www.raf-ff.org.uk ©LC


When he died in 1992, his obituary heralded him as one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century.He had inspired HM The Queen, The Pope, Mother Theresa and many others to help him, and he laid the ground work for the charity today. Leonard Cheshire Disability works


©LC


closely with the RAF and would be delighted to hear from anyone with memories of our founder by contacting us at centenary@leonardcheshire. org. We will keep you updated throughout the year.


Website: leonardcheshire.org


Le Court. Spring 2017 Envoy 19


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