Medals to the R.F.C. and R.A.F. from the Collection Formed by the Late Squadron Leader David Haller

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Date of Auction: 25th March 2014

Sold for £600

Estimate: £300 - £350

Four: Pilot Officer L. J. Ellis, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action while serving as a pilot in No. 44 Squadron during a raid on Essen in April 1943

1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, extremely fine (4) £300-350


Leslie James Ellis was born in April 1923, the son of William and Margaret Ellis of Romford, Essex. Enlisting in the Royal Air Force in 1941, he was selected for pilot training and embarked the the U.S.A.

Duly qualified, he returned to the U.K. in the summer of 1942, was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and was posted to No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, a Lancaster unit operating out of R.A.F. Waddington, in March 1943.

Having then participated in nine operational sorties, including an outing to Essen on the night of 3-4 April 1943, when his Lancaster was coned by searchlights and the port inner engine rendered useless owing to enemy action - and been subjected to fighter attack in another outing to Spezia on the 18 April - Ellis took-off on his final wartime sortie, a strike against Essen on the night of 30 April. Attacked by German ace Hauptman Wolgang Thimmig on the homeward bound trip, his Lancaster burst into flames and crashed 13 miles south-east of Zwolle. There were no survivors and today the crew are buried side by side in Dalfsen General Cemetery, Holland.

Sold with the recipient’s original Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot’s Flying Log Book, covering the period November 1941 until his death in action in April 1944, together with a fine quality studio portrait photograph, in uniform, and a file of research.