Flight Sergeant Leonard Reginald BRENNAN

Service No: 413161
Born: Sydney NSW, 26 February 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 August 1941
Unit: No. 104 Squadron (RAF), Kairoussan, Tunisia
Died: Air Operations (No. 104 Squadron Wellington aircraft W5564), off the Tunisian Coast, 8 June 1943, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harold Richard and Elizabeth Cecilia Brennan, of Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 2, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Wellington W5564 of No. 104 Squadron took off on 8 June 1943 on an operational flight in the Mediterranean. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base.

The crew members of wellington W5564 were:

Sergeant Frank Edward Bobby (1183349) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Leonard Reginald Brennan (413161) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Ronald Osborne Charles Harris (1117369) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Trevor William Robert Jones (407867) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer F E McLaren (RCAF) (Pilot) Rescued
Sergeant Derek James Aspinall Robson (1222115) (RAFVR) (Front Gunner)

In a later statement by Pilot Officer McLaren, he reported “the aircraft received a direct hit amidships by heavy flak from a flak ship while approaching the target from the sea. I immediately jettisoned the bombs, and set course for Base. Sergeant Robson was wounded. Although both engines were going the aircraft was unable to maintain height. The inter-com was useless and I decided to ditch. We were about 10 miles from the coast at the time. The aircraft sank in about 20 seconds, but all the crew got out. There was no dinghy. I last saw Sergeant Harris swimming strongly for the coast.” Pilot Officer McLaren was picked up by the Royal Navy at about 1400 hours on 8 June, but no other survivors were found.

Sergeant Harris’s remains were subsequently located in Enfidaville War Cemetery, and in 1948 it was recorded the remaining crew members had lost their lives at sea.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/6/181

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