Flight Lieutenant Thomas Leithead D.F.M.

Flight Lieutenant Thomas Leithead, D.F.M. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was lost on Air Operations over the North Sea on 26th February 1944 aged 29. He ad been born in Hawick to David and the late Flora Leithead of Harleyburn Lodge, Melrose and was the husband of Lottie Leithead. He is commemorated with all his fellow crew members on the Ruunymede Memorial. Before enlisting he had worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland in St Boswells and had played rugby for Melrose R.F.C. He had won his Distinguished Flying Medal in October 1941 for guiding his damaged Whitley Bomber safely back to base from a raid on Frankfurt. He was lost with 102 Squadron R.A.F. whilst on a mine laying operation over the North Sea. ( These Operations were known as “Gardening”). Despite an extensive Air Sea Rescue operation no trace of the aircraft or crew were found. He flew the Handley Page Halifax 111 ( LW331 DY-D ) with 102 Squadron R.A.F. from Pockington, Yorkshire. The second photograph is the Armstrong Whitley in which Flt/Lt. Leithead won his D.F.M. ).

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