The Biggs' Boys

By Ken Stofer

Copyright 2001 Ken Stofer, All Rights Reserved

Biography of Lesley George Kellow k/a

Pilot Officer, No. 49 Squadron, KIA, RAF

   Lesley Kellow was born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1919 the son of Mr. & Mrs. A. Kellow. He worked for the Manning Lumber Mills, Limited. In July of 1939 he paid his passage to England to enlist in the Royal Air Force.

    Kellow did his disciplinary training at # 3 Depot, Padgate and on September 9, 1939 was posted to #1 Wing Hednesford, Staffordshire as ground crew to train as a mechanic.

    Writing from Hednesford, Staffordshire on November 10, 1939, to his sister, Kellow said:

    "I'll have more to tell you when I get to a squadron. We are on engines now and have nearly finished our course. We get about two and a half months here and then we move. Sure will be glad to get out of here...rains quite a lot...and we get quite a bit of fog. I am getting along fine and hope to pass out A.C. 1. I will then be able to try for a pilot after that and that is what I want to do. I want to get those wings and get some action over France. I sure miss the boys...and will miss Christmas this year."

   By June of 1940, Kellow was a Leading Aircrafthand, Fitter II Engines. In a June, 1940 letter from # 22 Air School, South Africa, Kellow says:

    "Things are going along about the same here, kept quite busy and go up for the odd flips. By the way I have passed my educational test for pilot's course and shall be interviewed by the Air Commodore first week of July and then I'll have to wait about three months before I hear about has to go to records at the Air Ministry. Sure has been a long wait... but it'll be worth it when I do get it."

   On October 30 of 1940 he was posted to # 2 Flying Training School, Rhodesia. In a January 9, 1942 letter to his sister he says:

   "Dear Olive: We are still kept busy and flying is going along pretty well altho we have been flying 10 hours a day for the last few days to get the hours in to make up for four days leave we had at Christmas. You don't gain anything in this still busy studying in my spare time.

   "At present am studying navigation and coming along, only wish I had more time. Managed to get a bit of dual flying but not as much as I would like. We are too busy. I am going down to Cape Town at the end of the month for a couple of weeks leave if I can make it. Don't bother to send anything over as I don't need anything. I can get everything here."

   On April 17, 1943 Kellow remustered to become a Sergeant Pilot.

    On May 27, 1943 he was posted to Personnel Reception Centre and then to an Advanced Flying Unit on June 22, and on August 23, 1943 to #29 Operational Training Unit. From there he went to #51 Base and presumably now back in England.

    On February 10, 1944 he was commissioned to Pilot Officer.

    On February 13, 1944, he writes again to his sister:

     "Dear Olive: Things are going along okay. Am quite busy at present."

     March 11, 1944 he was posted to #49 Squadron

     On the 31st of March, 1944 at age 25, he lost his life in action on his 31st operation when his Lancaster bomber was shot down on a trip to Nuremberg, Germany.

----- Ken Stofer

Copyright 2001 Ken Stofer, All Rights Reserved


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