Leonard Baron

Leonard BARONAge: 92 years19222014

Name
Leonard BARON
Given names
Leonard
Surname
BARON
Birth February 17, 1922 26 34
Portrait
Baron And Hourd Outing C.1927
1927 (Age 4 years)

Note: Taken outside Snaps on Prince Street, Bridlington.
Baron And Hourd Outing C.1927
Baron And Hourd Outing C.1927

Note: Left To Right: Leonard, Jimmy And Betty Baron, Dennis Hourd

Education
St Georges Senior Boys' School, Bridlington
September 16, 1935 (Age 13 years)

Note: Len entered this school from Oxford Street School. By July 1936 he was "Top Boy" in five subjects as the School Report shows.
Occupation
Butcher's Assistant
September 16, 1939 (Age 17 years)

Note: Occupation noted at entry to Royal Navy.
Military
Royal Navy
September 16, 1939 (Age 17 years)

Note: Enlisted with the Royal Navy for 12 years
Military Service
Victory I
September 26, 1939 (Age 17 years)

Note:
His initial Rate was Naval Artificer Second Class however on 18 April 1940 he was promoted to Air Mechanic Second Class. Victory I was a ship's name used for administrative purposes.
Leonard Baron
Leonard Baron

Note: All dressed up for Divisions

Occupation
Butchers Assistant
September 29, 1939 (Age 17 years)

Note: Occupation on 1939 Register
Residence September 29, 1939 (Age 17 years)
Note: Address on 1939 Register
Military Service
HMS Daedalus
April 25, 1940 (Age 18 years)

Note:
His Rate was Air Mechanic Second Class HMS Daedalus was a naval air station, also known as Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Lee-on-Solent. The base was opened in 1917 and transferred to the RAF in 1918. It was returned to the successor of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Fleet Air Arm in 1939 and became also the Headquarters of Flag Officer Air (Home).
Military Service
HMS Medina
May 8, 1940 (Age 18 years)

Note:
His Rate was Air Mechanic 2nd Class During WW2 the Navy was short of space for training and other functions and took over several holiday camps. They were ideal as they had accommodation, dining facilities and open spaces. The Warner's Holiday Camp at Puckpool Park, Ryde, Isle of Wight was one of these and was commissioned in 1940 and renamed HMS Medina. Used by the main Fleet Air Arm station at Lee-on-Solent for training, the ship's company consisted of regular Royal Navy Officers and ratings, RN reservists and Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) providing most of the pay, stores, catering and transport staff.
Military Service
HMS Daedalus (Locking)
July 5, 1940 (Age 18 years)

Note:
His Rate was Air Mechanic 2nd Class but on 7 November 1940 he passed as Air Mechanic (Engine) abbreviated to AM(E). On 11 November 1940 he passed the RN's Educational Test Part 1. HMS Daedalus was a naval air station, also known as Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Lee-on-Solent. Some Fleet Air Arm training was however carried out at RAF Locking. This meant that for pay and other administrative purposes Len was registered as HMS Daedalus but was actually based at RAF Locking for this period.
Military Service
HMS Raven
December 3, 1940 (Age 18 years)

Note:
His Rate was Air Mechanic (Engine) HMS Raven was the Royal Naval Air Station at Eastleigh, Southampton in commission between 1939 and 1947.
Military Service
HMS Condor
January 11, 1941 (Age 18 years)

Note:
His rate was Air Mechanic (Engine) HMS Condor was a Royal Naval Air Station at Arbroath, near Dundee. Built in 1939/40 and commissioned as HMS Condor on 19 June 1940. HMS Condor was an air engineer school unit until closure in September 1970. It became RM Condor in 1971 and is now the base for 45 Commando, Royal Marines.
Military Service
HMS Kestrel
January 16, 1941 (Age 18 years)

Note:
His Rate was Air Mechanic Second Class (Engine). On 18 July 1941 he became an Air Mechanic First Class (Engine). HMS Kestrel was a Royal Naval Air Station and General Service Establishment at Worthy Down, near Winchester. It was commissioned in 1939 after being transferred from the Royal Air Force and was used as a flying station by the Fleet Air Arm until 1942 when flying ceased due to the orientation of the runway.
Military Service
HMS Daedalus
August 16, 1941 (Age 19 years)

Note: He returns to this posting with a Rate of Air Mechanic First Class (Engine)
Military Service
HMS Ark Royal
September 12, 1941 (Age 19 years)

Note:
His Rate is Air Mechanic First Class (Engine) and he is a member of 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm. His first voyage in September 1941 was a "club run" as the regular ferrying of aircraft to Malta was known. Whilst covering convoy GM2, information was received that the Italian fleet was at sea. Ark Royal launched a strike force against the Italian fleet on 27 September 1941 but they were not found and the two forces retired without meeting. Another "club run" took place in October 1941. After launching Hurricane fighters to Malta on 12 November, the Ark Royal was torpedoed by the German submarine U81, who fired three torpedoes at the Ark Royal and four at the battleship Malaya. One torpedo struck the Ark Royal on the starboard side, below the bridge, knocking out all electrical power. Only one fatality ocurred during this incident, that of Able Seaman Mitchell who was killed at the time the ship was hit by the torpedo. All other hands were saved. Many of the 1487 survivors being taken on to HMS Legion. Ark Royal was towed to within 30 miles of Gibraltar (partly under her own power), and the flooding appeared to be under control until a fire again eliminated her power. Flooding progressed rapidly, and she finally capsized and sank at 6:13 am on 14 November. HMS Ark Royal (pennant number 91) was designed in 1934 to fit the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty and was built by Cammell Laird and Company, Ltd. at Birkenhead, England, and completed in November 1938. Her design differed from previous aircraft carriers. Ark Royal was the first ship on which the hangars and flight deck were an integral part of the hull, instead of an add-on or part of the superstructure. Designed to carry a large number of aircraft, she had two hangar deck levels. She served during a period that first saw the extensive use of naval air power; a number of carrier tactics were developed and refined aboard Ark Royal. Ark Royal served in some of the most active naval theatres of the Second World War. She was involved in the first aerial and U-boat kills of the war, operations off Norway, the search for the German battleship Bismarck, and the Malta Convoys. Ark Royal survived several near misses and gained a reputation as a 'lucky ship'. The Germans incorrectly reported her as sunk on multiple occasions. Her sinking was the subject of several inquiries; investigators were keen to know how the carrier was lost, in spite of efforts to save the ship and tow her to the naval base at Gibraltar. They found that several design flaws contributed to the loss, which were rectified in new British carriers.
HMS Ark Royal
HMS Ark Royal

Note: HMS Ark Royal in 1939, with Swordfish of 820 Naval Air Squadron passing overhead.


Swordfish
Swordfish

Note: Swordfish aircraft clustered on the rain lashed deck of HMS Ark Royal


Ark Royal
Ark Royal

Note: Ark Royal lists heavily after being torpedoed by U81


Ark Royal
Ark Royal

Note: HMS Legion closes in to rescue survivors


Military Service
HMS Daedalus
November 15, 1941 (Age 19 years)

Note:
He returns to RNAS Lee-on-Solent after his close shave on Ark Royal. His Rate is Air Mechanic First Class (Engine). On 23 April 1942 he is passed as Proficient for Leading Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
HMS Landrail
April 28, 1942 (Age 20 years)

Note:
With 825 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm as Air Mechanic First Class (Engine) Close to Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, a new airfield opened on 15 June 1941 as Strabane Naval Air Station, and named HMS Landrail, becoming RNAS Machrihanish later in the month and operated until 1946. The quote below is by Mac HARTLEY [1924-1999] who was an Air Mechanic with 832 Squadron. See http://www.hartleyfamily.org.uk/macH.htm "You have a draft chit to HMS Landrail, at that time the biggest airfield in the UK. Your quarters nicknamed 'Nissen City' [in the far corner of the airfield] are your billet for your stay here. A short distance away you can see the village of Ugadale with it's small pub. At Landrail there were daily inspections to see that aircraft were airworthy. Pilots would practice landings on the deck of the carrier, difficult when the ship was pitching and rolling at 30 knots. Pilots were aptly called 'Brylcreem Boys' as they were always impeccably dressed and groomed and wore lots of after-shave. Some nights a troopcarrier would convey you up to the main camp to see a film in the gym or go to the canteen for a pint, and join in the sing songs, with the seamen, stokers, and torpedo men. The canteen was always full, noisy, men running back and forwards to the bar, and shouting across the room to their mates. The songs were sung with a sort of defiance against authority and discipline, and sung very loud. There was a comradeship in the navy you wouldn't find anywhere else. Through the songs you could be yourself."
Military Service
HMS Sparrowhawk
June 6, 1942 (Age 20 years)

Note:
Although passed as proficient for the next Rate, initially he took up this posting as Air Mechanic First Class (Engine). However on 18 July 1942 he was promoted to Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine). RNAS Hatston, also called HMS Sparrowhawk, was a Royal Naval Air Station. It was situated one mile to the north west of Kirkwall on the island of Mainland, Orkney. It was located near the strategically vital naval base of Scapa Flow, which for most of the twentieth century formed the main base of the ships of the Home Fleet. During WW2 it was host to a number of different types of aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm, including Fairey Swordfish, Blackburn Rocs and Avengers. Two squadrons of Blackburn Skuas flew from Hatston on 10 April 1940, on a mission to sink the German cruiser Königsberg, in which they were successful.
Royal Naval Air Station Hatston
Royal Naval Air Station Hatston

Note: Fairey Swordfish taxi along the tarmac to take off from HMS Sparrowhawk, Royal Naval Air Station, Hatston for an exercise with dummy torpedoes.


825 Squadron
825 Squadron

Note: A group photo of 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm in August 1942 at HMS Sparrowhawk, RNAS Hatston. Leonard arrowed and inset.

Military Service
HMS Avenger
August 28, 1942 (Age 20 years)

Note:
His Rate was Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine). A few days after he came aboard HMS Avenger she Britain left bound for Iceland on convoy duties. Click on the PDF file for a detailed account of the ship's encounters with the enemy until her return to Scapa Flow towards the end of September 1942 HMS Avenger was a Royal Navy escort aircraft carrier during the Second World War. In 1939 she was laid down as the merchant ship Rio-Hudson at the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company yard in Chester, Pennsylvania. Launched on 27 November 1940, she was converted to an escort carrier and transferred under the lend lease agreement to the Royal Navy. She was commissioned on 2 March 1942. Avenger's capacity allowed for a maximum of 15 aircraft. In September 1942, she took part in what was the largest and most successful Russian convoy to date. Upon her return home, after observing a number of design faults, Avenger's captain drew up recommendations for future escort carrier design. After Len had moved on, in November 1942 she took part in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, where she suffered engine problems. While leaving North Africa to start the journey home Avenger was sunk by the U-155 as she was nearing Gibraltar, with a heavy loss of life among her crew.

HMS Avenger
HMS Avenger

Note: A Sea Hurricane on the aircraft lift of Avenger in 1942


HMS Avenger September 1942
HMS Avenger September 1942

Note: An account of Avenger on Convoy PQ18 in September 1942 sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Avenger_%28D14%29


Iceland September 1942
Iceland September 1942

Note: The little church at Sedisfiord in Iceland taken in September 1942


Bear Island
Bear Island

Note: Bear Island taken from HMS Avenger in Septemer 1942. Bear Island is the southernmost island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The island is located in the western part of the Barents Sea, approximately halfway between Spitsbergen and the North Cape.


Walrus Amphibian
Walrus Amphibian

Note: A Walrus Amphibian takes off. This aircraft was used for combat search and rescue.

Military Service
HMS Sparrowhawk
September 27, 1942 (Age 20 years)

Note: On Avenger's return to Scapa Flow he landed here for two days before his next posting.
Military Service
HMS Daedalus
September 30, 1942 (Age 20 years)

Note: He had four weeks at Lee-On Solent as Rate Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine)
Military Service
HMS Grebe
October 26, 1942 (Age 20 years)

Note:
HMS Grebe was the Royal Navy designation for the prewar Alexandria airport, known as Dekheila, during its use in WW2 as a shore base for aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm. Originally used as a shore base for aircraft flown ashore from carriers by the Fleet Air Arm (as HMS Nile II, under the control of HMS Nile), the airfield was taken over by the Royal Egyptian Air Force on the outbreak of WW2 but remained in use by the Fleet Air Arm. The field was subsequently loaned as a Naval Air Station on 16 September 1940, and commissioned as HMS Grebe, attached to HMS Nile, with a capacity of 72 aircraft. The field became self accounting on 1 April 1941, and acted as a base for all Fleet Air Arm units in Egypt and the Western Desert, as well as a fleet requirements unit. HMS Nile resumed control on 1 April 1943, retaining the HMS Grebe title. The field was reduced to a care and maintenance basis on 31 January 1946, before being returned to the control of Egypt on 18 March 1946.
Military Service
889 Squadron
January 7, 1943 (Age 20 years)

Note:
His Rate was Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine) 889 Squadron operations were carried out in the Western Desert until disbanding at El Daba in February 1943.
Military Service
HMS St Angelo
March 4, 1943 (Age 21 years)

Note: HMS St Angelo was a Fleet Air Arm Naval HQ at Fort St Angelo in Birgu, Malta during WW2. When Len arrived his Rate was A/LAM(E). On 19 April 1943 he was promoted to Acting/Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
HMS Daedalus
June 6, 1943 (Age 21 years)

Note: His Rate was Acting Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). On 16 June 1943 he was granted his 1st Good Conduct Badge.
Military Service
HMS Dipper
July 13, 1943 (Age 21 years)

Note:
His Rate was Acting Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). Just East of Henstridge village is Henstridge Airfield . It was built during WW2 as a training base for the Fleet Air Arm, who commissioned it as HMS Dipper on 1April 1943. No. 2 Naval Air Fighter School, and No. 761 Squadron reformed here. Between 05 June 1944 and 17 August 1944, No. 718 Squadron reformed here with Seafires and Spitfires. The airfield was also used by 748, 760, 794, 799, 808, 885, 886, 887, 894 and 897 Squadrons.
Military Service
HMS Kestrel
May 12, 1944 (Age 22 years)

Note: On his return to RNAS Worthy Down, initially His Rate was Acting Petty Officer but on 4 August 1944 he became a full Petty Officer but on a temporary basis.
Military Service
HMS Daedalus III
August 13, 1944 (Age 22 years)

Note:
On 15 August his promotion to Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine) was confirmed and became permanent. HMS Daedalus III was an accommodation and release centre at Lee on Solent and Bedhampton between 1943 and 1947.
Military Service
HMS Waxwing
October 24, 1944 (Age 22 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). HMS Waxwing was a RN Air Station at Townhill near Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. The quote below is by Mac HARTLEY [1924-1999] who was an Air Mechanic with 832 Squadron. See http://www.hartleyfamily.org.uk/macH.htm "This was just a transit camp. You're granted seven days leave. There were a large number of nissen huts, with one large one for the dining hall. The huts had the usual iron stove in the centre to provide heat. A gunnery instructor who had done his training at HMS Medina, "the greatest gunnery school in the world" he says, teaches weaponry drill and all about stoppages when a machine gun jams, and how to rectify it. You're now familar with all the different pipes; up spirits, stand easy, men under punishment, cooks to the galley, and liberty men fall in. In Scotland, breakfast would consist of porridge and kippers rather than egg and bacon. The kippers were like pieces of leather. Rather than eat them, ratings would throw them at each other across the canteen."
Military Service
HMS Malagas
November 6, 1944 (Age 22 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. In January 1945 the squadron reformed at Wingfield, Cape Town with 24 Hellcat FB.IIs, embarking on HMS Ameer in April 1945 for Ceylon. Wingfield Naval Air Station at Belleville near Cape Town was called HMS MALAGAS which was commissioned on 15 Mar 1942. It was a South African Air Force base with lodger facilities. It was used by the Fleet Air Arm as a RN Air Station and aircraft repair yard for the Eastern Fleet and ships on passage from the Atlantic to the Eastern Mediterranean via the Cape. It later absorbed air section from Wynberg, and worked up Hellcat squadrons and was decommissioned on 31 Apr 1946.
896 Squadron Hellcat "Thumpers"
896 Squadron Hellcat "Thumpers"

Note: Leonards shipmates posing with one of 896 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Hellcats named "Thumper" and flown by New Zealand Pilot Sub Lt A L Mason RNZVR (centre).

Military Service
HMS Ameer
April 22, 1945 (Age 23 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron which embarked on HMS Ameer in April 1945 for Ceylon. Formerly USS Baffins she was decommissioned and transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease. Now HMS Ameer, she was refitted to Royal Navy requirements, including a lengthened flight deck, the installation of ASDIC, the adaptation of fire-fighting and ventilation systems, and the alteration of bomb and torpedo storage to accommodate either American or British ordnance.
HMS Ameer
HMS Ameer

Note: Ameer with a full flight deck.

Military Service
HMS Valluru
May 13, 1945 (Age 23 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. HMS Valluru, a Royal Naval Air Station at Tambaram, about 19 miles from Madras, India. HMS Valluru was commissioned at Tambaram on 1 July 1944 as a 'Double Aircraft Repair Yard' as well as a frontline air station for 6 squadrons and 72 reserve aircraft. A Fleet Requirement Unit 722 squadron operated a variety of aircraft from Tambaram during April 1944 to March 1945. From here Chance Vought F4U Corsair and Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters made sorties across the Bay of Bengal against Japanese targets.
Military Service
HMS Ameer
June 23, 1945 (Age 23 years)

Note: His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. In July 1945, the squadron was involved in operations in the Car Nicobar area from HMS Ameer.
HMS Ameer
HMS Ameer

Note: Ameer getting spruced up.

Military Service
HMS Empress
July 14, 1945 (Age 23 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. The squadron transferred to HMS Empress for patrols over Phuket island. Originally the USS Carnegie, she was commissioned on 9 August 1943 for a period of three days prior to being turned over to the United Kingdom under whom she served as HMS Empress. On 15 August 1945 Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) was celebrated which effectively signalled the end of WW2. Immediately after VJ-Day the squadron was still active, providing support in early September during the occupation of the Malayan peninsula.

HMS Empress
HMS Empress

Note: Arming a Hellcat with rockets on HMS Empress. The officer is Sub Lt (A) R F Plenty.


VJ Day Sumatra
VJ Day Sumatra

Note: A VJ Day photograph on the deck of HMS Empress. Leonard on front row seated (arrowed) and inset.

Military Service
HMS Waxwing
December 20, 1945 (Age 23 years)

Note: On his return to this Air Station at Townhill near Dunfermline in Fife his rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
HMS Jackdaw
January 30, 1946 (Age 23 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). HMS Jackdaw was Royal Naval Air Station Crail, Fife. The present Crail airfield was constructed in 1939 and functioned throughout the war as a naval training base. Air crews underwent intensive training in torpedo dropping and dive bombing. Naval air operations ceased in 1947, but the site continued as HMS Bruce, a naval training unit.
HMS Jackdaw June 1941
HMS Jackdaw June 1941

Note: This is a Luftwaffe aerial reconnassance photo of RNAS Crail taken in June 1941.


HMS Jackdaw
HMS Jackdaw

Note: Wheeling out the torpedoes prior to their being fitted to the machines during training for pilots for naval aircraft at HMS JACKDAW, Royal Naval Air Station, Crail, Fife.

Military Service
HMS Daedalus
April 23, 1946 (Age 24 years)

Note: His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
HMS Daedalus III
June 26, 1946 (Age 24 years)

Note:
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). HMS Daedalus III was an accommodation and release centre at Lee on Solent and Bedhampton between 1943 and 1947.
Military Discharge
Release from service
September 4, 1946 (Age 24 years)

Note: Len was released from service "Class A"

Military Service
Royal Fleet Reserve
May 17, 1947 (Age 25 years)

Note: Enrolled in the Royal fleet Reserve as a Petty Officer Airman (Aircraft Mechanic) (Engine)
Leisure
Leonard With His Cousin Billy Harrison
1947 (Age 24 years)

Note: Taken in around 1947
Military Award
WW2 Medals
1947 (Age 24 years)

Leisure
Sewerby Park Outing
1948 (Age 25 years)

Note: A Baron family outing to Sewerby Park, Bridlington. Left to right Leonard, Jennie, Joan, Barbara and Douglas
Military Service
RFR Training
November 6, 1950 (Age 28 years)

Note: A week of RFR Training at HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent.
Residence March 1952 (Age 30 years)
Note: On his marriage he lived at 35 Holyrood Avenue, which was attached to his father's Marshall Avenue Garage.
Military Service
Royal Fleet Reserve
May 17, 1952 (Age 30 years)

Note: Re-Enrolled in the RFR as a PO Air (AM)(E)
Military Service
RFR Drill
March 9, 1953 (Age 31 years)

Note: A week of RFR Drill at HMS Heron, a Royal Navy Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset, England.
Military Service
RFR Drill
August 14, 1955 (Age 33 years)

Note: A week of RFR Drill at Royal Naval Air Station, HMS Condor at Arbroath, near Dundee. This later became RM Condor. It is now the base for 45 Commando, Royal Marines.
Wedding Reception
David and Elaine Gautier
March 29, 1968 (Age 46 years)

Note:
Leonard attended David and Elaine's Wedding Reception. Left to right in the photograph are Ida Baron; Violet Gautier; Barbara, Dorothy and Leonard Baron; and Jules Gautier.
Anniversary
90th Birthday
February 2012 (Age 89 years)

Death August 25, 2014 (Age 92 years)
Cremated
Memorial Service and Cremation
September 5, 2014 (11 days after death)
Note: Memorial Service at Christ Church followed by private cremation.
Unique identifier
F1803433A15C48B485D83BF6D68B99D932E7
yes

Last change December 24, 201614:48

Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: May 12, 1915Christ Church, Bridlington, East Yorkshire, England
15 months
elder brother
21 months
elder brother
2 years
elder sister
Violetta BaronVioletta BARON
Birth: August 30, 1920 25 32West View Nursing Home
Death: February 21, 2004Bridlington & District Hospital
18 months
himself
7 years
younger sister
13 months
younger sister
Family with Private - View this family
himself
wife
Private
daughter
Private
daughter
Private

Portrait
Taken outside Snaps on Prince Street, Bridlington.
Education
Len entered this school from Oxford Street School. By July 1936 he was "Top Boy" in five subjects as the School Report shows.
Occupation
Occupation noted at entry to Royal Navy.
Military
Enlisted with the Royal Navy for 12 years
Military Service
His initial Rate was Naval Artificer Second Class however on 18 April 1940 he was promoted to Air Mechanic Second Class. Victory I was a ship's name used for administrative purposes.
Occupation
Occupation on 1939 Register
Residence
Address on 1939 Register
Military Service
His Rate was Air Mechanic Second Class HMS Daedalus was a naval air station, also known as Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Lee-on-Solent. The base was opened in 1917 and transferred to the RAF in 1918. It was returned to the successor of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Fleet Air Arm in 1939 and became also the Headquarters of Flag Officer Air (Home).
Military Service
His Rate was Air Mechanic 2nd Class During WW2 the Navy was short of space for training and other functions and took over several holiday camps. They were ideal as they had accommodation, dining facilities and open spaces. The Warner's Holiday Camp at Puckpool Park, Ryde, Isle of Wight was one of these and was commissioned in 1940 and renamed HMS Medina. Used by the main Fleet Air Arm station at Lee-on-Solent for training, the ship's company consisted of regular Royal Navy Officers and ratings, RN reservists and Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) providing most of the pay, stores, catering and transport staff.
Military Service
His Rate was Air Mechanic 2nd Class but on 7 November 1940 he passed as Air Mechanic (Engine) abbreviated to AM(E). On 11 November 1940 he passed the RN's Educational Test Part 1. HMS Daedalus was a naval air station, also known as Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Lee-on-Solent. Some Fleet Air Arm training was however carried out at RAF Locking. This meant that for pay and other administrative purposes Len was registered as HMS Daedalus but was actually based at RAF Locking for this period.
Military Service
His Rate was Air Mechanic (Engine) HMS Raven was the Royal Naval Air Station at Eastleigh, Southampton in commission between 1939 and 1947.
Military Service
His rate was Air Mechanic (Engine) HMS Condor was a Royal Naval Air Station at Arbroath, near Dundee. Built in 1939/40 and commissioned as HMS Condor on 19 June 1940. HMS Condor was an air engineer school unit until closure in September 1970. It became RM Condor in 1971 and is now the base for 45 Commando, Royal Marines.
Military Service
His Rate was Air Mechanic Second Class (Engine). On 18 July 1941 he became an Air Mechanic First Class (Engine). HMS Kestrel was a Royal Naval Air Station and General Service Establishment at Worthy Down, near Winchester. It was commissioned in 1939 after being transferred from the Royal Air Force and was used as a flying station by the Fleet Air Arm until 1942 when flying ceased due to the orientation of the runway.
Military Service
He returns to this posting with a Rate of Air Mechanic First Class (Engine)
Military Service
His Rate is Air Mechanic First Class (Engine) and he is a member of 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm. His first voyage in September 1941 was a "club run" as the regular ferrying of aircraft to Malta was known. Whilst covering convoy GM2, information was received that the Italian fleet was at sea. Ark Royal launched a strike force against the Italian fleet on 27 September 1941 but they were not found and the two forces retired without meeting. Another "club run" took place in October 1941. After launching Hurricane fighters to Malta on 12 November, the Ark Royal was torpedoed by the German submarine U81, who fired three torpedoes at the Ark Royal and four at the battleship Malaya. One torpedo struck the Ark Royal on the starboard side, below the bridge, knocking out all electrical power. Only one fatality ocurred during this incident, that of Able Seaman Mitchell who was killed at the time the ship was hit by the torpedo. All other hands were saved. Many of the 1487 survivors being taken on to HMS Legion. Ark Royal was towed to within 30 miles of Gibraltar (partly under her own power), and the flooding appeared to be under control until a fire again eliminated her power. Flooding progressed rapidly, and she finally capsized and sank at 6:13 am on 14 November. HMS Ark Royal (pennant number 91) was designed in 1934 to fit the restrictions of the Washington Naval Treaty and was built by Cammell Laird and Company, Ltd. at Birkenhead, England, and completed in November 1938. Her design differed from previous aircraft carriers. Ark Royal was the first ship on which the hangars and flight deck were an integral part of the hull, instead of an add-on or part of the superstructure. Designed to carry a large number of aircraft, she had two hangar deck levels. She served during a period that first saw the extensive use of naval air power; a number of carrier tactics were developed and refined aboard Ark Royal. Ark Royal served in some of the most active naval theatres of the Second World War. She was involved in the first aerial and U-boat kills of the war, operations off Norway, the search for the German battleship Bismarck, and the Malta Convoys. Ark Royal survived several near misses and gained a reputation as a 'lucky ship'. The Germans incorrectly reported her as sunk on multiple occasions. Her sinking was the subject of several inquiries; investigators were keen to know how the carrier was lost, in spite of efforts to save the ship and tow her to the naval base at Gibraltar. They found that several design flaws contributed to the loss, which were rectified in new British carriers.
Military Service
He returns to RNAS Lee-on-Solent after his close shave on Ark Royal. His Rate is Air Mechanic First Class (Engine). On 23 April 1942 he is passed as Proficient for Leading Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
With 825 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm as Air Mechanic First Class (Engine) Close to Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, a new airfield opened on 15 June 1941 as Strabane Naval Air Station, and named HMS Landrail, becoming RNAS Machrihanish later in the month and operated until 1946. The quote below is by Mac HARTLEY [1924-1999] who was an Air Mechanic with 832 Squadron. See http://www.hartleyfamily.org.uk/macH.htm "You have a draft chit to HMS Landrail, at that time the biggest airfield in the UK. Your quarters nicknamed 'Nissen City' [in the far corner of the airfield] are your billet for your stay here. A short distance away you can see the village of Ugadale with it's small pub. At Landrail there were daily inspections to see that aircraft were airworthy. Pilots would practice landings on the deck of the carrier, difficult when the ship was pitching and rolling at 30 knots. Pilots were aptly called 'Brylcreem Boys' as they were always impeccably dressed and groomed and wore lots of after-shave. Some nights a troopcarrier would convey you up to the main camp to see a film in the gym or go to the canteen for a pint, and join in the sing songs, with the seamen, stokers, and torpedo men. The canteen was always full, noisy, men running back and forwards to the bar, and shouting across the room to their mates. The songs were sung with a sort of defiance against authority and discipline, and sung very loud. There was a comradeship in the navy you wouldn't find anywhere else. Through the songs you could be yourself."
Military Service
Although passed as proficient for the next Rate, initially he took up this posting as Air Mechanic First Class (Engine). However on 18 July 1942 he was promoted to Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine). RNAS Hatston, also called HMS Sparrowhawk, was a Royal Naval Air Station. It was situated one mile to the north west of Kirkwall on the island of Mainland, Orkney. It was located near the strategically vital naval base of Scapa Flow, which for most of the twentieth century formed the main base of the ships of the Home Fleet. During WW2 it was host to a number of different types of aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm, including Fairey Swordfish, Blackburn Rocs and Avengers. Two squadrons of Blackburn Skuas flew from Hatston on 10 April 1940, on a mission to sink the German cruiser Königsberg, in which they were successful.
Military Service
His Rate was Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine). A few days after he came aboard HMS Avenger she Britain left bound for Iceland on convoy duties. Click on the PDF file for a detailed account of the ship's encounters with the enemy until her return to Scapa Flow towards the end of September 1942 HMS Avenger was a Royal Navy escort aircraft carrier during the Second World War. In 1939 she was laid down as the merchant ship Rio-Hudson at the Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Company yard in Chester, Pennsylvania. Launched on 27 November 1940, she was converted to an escort carrier and transferred under the lend lease agreement to the Royal Navy. She was commissioned on 2 March 1942. Avenger's capacity allowed for a maximum of 15 aircraft. In September 1942, she took part in what was the largest and most successful Russian convoy to date. Upon her return home, after observing a number of design faults, Avenger's captain drew up recommendations for future escort carrier design. After Len had moved on, in November 1942 she took part in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa, where she suffered engine problems. While leaving North Africa to start the journey home Avenger was sunk by the U-155 as she was nearing Gibraltar, with a heavy loss of life among her crew.
Military Service
On Avenger's return to Scapa Flow he landed here for two days before his next posting.
Military Service
He had four weeks at Lee-On Solent as Rate Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine)
Military Service
HMS Grebe was the Royal Navy designation for the prewar Alexandria airport, known as Dekheila, during its use in WW2 as a shore base for aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm. Originally used as a shore base for aircraft flown ashore from carriers by the Fleet Air Arm (as HMS Nile II, under the control of HMS Nile), the airfield was taken over by the Royal Egyptian Air Force on the outbreak of WW2 but remained in use by the Fleet Air Arm. The field was subsequently loaned as a Naval Air Station on 16 September 1940, and commissioned as HMS Grebe, attached to HMS Nile, with a capacity of 72 aircraft. The field became self accounting on 1 April 1941, and acted as a base for all Fleet Air Arm units in Egypt and the Western Desert, as well as a fleet requirements unit. HMS Nile resumed control on 1 April 1943, retaining the HMS Grebe title. The field was reduced to a care and maintenance basis on 31 January 1946, before being returned to the control of Egypt on 18 March 1946.
Military Service
His Rate was Acting/Leading Air Mechanic (Engine) 889 Squadron operations were carried out in the Western Desert until disbanding at El Daba in February 1943.
Military Service
HMS St Angelo was a Fleet Air Arm Naval HQ at Fort St Angelo in Birgu, Malta during WW2. When Len arrived his Rate was A/LAM(E). On 19 April 1943 he was promoted to Acting/Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
His Rate was Acting Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). On 16 June 1943 he was granted his 1st Good Conduct Badge.
Military Service
His Rate was Acting Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). Just East of Henstridge village is Henstridge Airfield . It was built during WW2 as a training base for the Fleet Air Arm, who commissioned it as HMS Dipper on 1April 1943. No. 2 Naval Air Fighter School, and No. 761 Squadron reformed here. Between 05 June 1944 and 17 August 1944, No. 718 Squadron reformed here with Seafires and Spitfires. The airfield was also used by 748, 760, 794, 799, 808, 885, 886, 887, 894 and 897 Squadrons.
Military Service
On his return to RNAS Worthy Down, initially His Rate was Acting Petty Officer but on 4 August 1944 he became a full Petty Officer but on a temporary basis.
Military Service
On 15 August his promotion to Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine) was confirmed and became permanent. HMS Daedalus III was an accommodation and release centre at Lee on Solent and Bedhampton between 1943 and 1947.
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). HMS Waxwing was a RN Air Station at Townhill near Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. The quote below is by Mac HARTLEY [1924-1999] who was an Air Mechanic with 832 Squadron. See http://www.hartleyfamily.org.uk/macH.htm "This was just a transit camp. You're granted seven days leave. There were a large number of nissen huts, with one large one for the dining hall. The huts had the usual iron stove in the centre to provide heat. A gunnery instructor who had done his training at HMS Medina, "the greatest gunnery school in the world" he says, teaches weaponry drill and all about stoppages when a machine gun jams, and how to rectify it. You're now familar with all the different pipes; up spirits, stand easy, men under punishment, cooks to the galley, and liberty men fall in. In Scotland, breakfast would consist of porridge and kippers rather than egg and bacon. The kippers were like pieces of leather. Rather than eat them, ratings would throw them at each other across the canteen."
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. In January 1945 the squadron reformed at Wingfield, Cape Town with 24 Hellcat FB.IIs, embarking on HMS Ameer in April 1945 for Ceylon. Wingfield Naval Air Station at Belleville near Cape Town was called HMS MALAGAS which was commissioned on 15 Mar 1942. It was a South African Air Force base with lodger facilities. It was used by the Fleet Air Arm as a RN Air Station and aircraft repair yard for the Eastern Fleet and ships on passage from the Atlantic to the Eastern Mediterranean via the Cape. It later absorbed air section from Wynberg, and worked up Hellcat squadrons and was decommissioned on 31 Apr 1946.
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron which embarked on HMS Ameer in April 1945 for Ceylon. Formerly USS Baffins she was decommissioned and transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease. Now HMS Ameer, she was refitted to Royal Navy requirements, including a lengthened flight deck, the installation of ASDIC, the adaptation of fire-fighting and ventilation systems, and the alteration of bomb and torpedo storage to accommodate either American or British ordnance.
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. HMS Valluru, a Royal Naval Air Station at Tambaram, about 19 miles from Madras, India. HMS Valluru was commissioned at Tambaram on 1 July 1944 as a 'Double Aircraft Repair Yard' as well as a frontline air station for 6 squadrons and 72 reserve aircraft. A Fleet Requirement Unit 722 squadron operated a variety of aircraft from Tambaram during April 1944 to March 1945. From here Chance Vought F4U Corsair and Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters made sorties across the Bay of Bengal against Japanese targets.
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. In July 1945, the squadron was involved in operations in the Car Nicobar area from HMS Ameer.
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). He was attached to 896 Squadron. The squadron transferred to HMS Empress for patrols over Phuket island. Originally the USS Carnegie, she was commissioned on 9 August 1943 for a period of three days prior to being turned over to the United Kingdom under whom she served as HMS Empress. On 15 August 1945 Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) was celebrated which effectively signalled the end of WW2. Immediately after VJ-Day the squadron was still active, providing support in early September during the occupation of the Malayan peninsula.
Military Service
On his return to this Air Station at Townhill near Dunfermline in Fife his rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). HMS Jackdaw was Royal Naval Air Station Crail, Fife. The present Crail airfield was constructed in 1939 and functioned throughout the war as a naval training base. Air crews underwent intensive training in torpedo dropping and dive bombing. Naval air operations ceased in 1947, but the site continued as HMS Bruce, a naval training unit.
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine).
Military Service
His rate was Petty Officer Air Mechanic (Engine). HMS Daedalus III was an accommodation and release centre at Lee on Solent and Bedhampton between 1943 and 1947.
Military Discharge
Len was released from service "Class A"
Military Service
Enrolled in the Royal fleet Reserve as a Petty Officer Airman (Aircraft Mechanic) (Engine)
Leisure
Taken in around 1947
Leisure
A Baron family outing to Sewerby Park, Bridlington. Left to right Leonard, Jennie, Joan, Barbara and Douglas
Military Service
A week of RFR Training at HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent.
Residence
On his marriage he lived at 35 Holyrood Avenue, which was attached to his father's Marshall Avenue Garage.
Military Service
Re-Enrolled in the RFR as a PO Air (AM)(E)
Military Service
A week of RFR Drill at HMS Heron, a Royal Navy Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset, England.
Military Service
A week of RFR Drill at Royal Naval Air Station, HMS Condor at Arbroath, near Dundee. This later became RM Condor. It is now the base for 45 Commando, Royal Marines.
Wedding Reception
Leonard attended David and Elaine's Wedding Reception. Left to right in the photograph are Ida Baron; Violet Gautier; Barbara, Dorothy and Leonard Baron; and Jules Gautier.
Cremated
Memorial Service at Christ Church followed by private cremation.
PortraitBaron And Hourd Outing C.1927Baron And Hourd Outing C.1927
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Note: Left To Right: Leonard, Jimmy And Betty Baron, Dennis Hourd
EducationSchool Report 1936School Report 1936
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Military ServiceLeonard BaronLeonard Baron
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Note: All dressed up for Divisions
Military ServiceHMS Ark RoyalHMS Ark Royal
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Note: HMS Ark Royal in 1939, with Swordfish of 820 Naval Air Squadron passing overhead.
Military ServiceSwordfishSwordfish
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Note: Swordfish aircraft clustered on the rain lashed deck of HMS Ark Royal
Military ServiceArk RoyalArk Royal
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Note: Ark Royal lists heavily after being torpedoed by U81
Military ServiceArk RoyalArk Royal
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Note: HMS Legion closes in to rescue survivors
Military ServiceDaily Express Coverage Of The SinkingDaily Express Coverage Of The Sinking
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Military ServiceRoyal Naval Air Station HatstonRoyal Naval Air Station Hatston
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Note: Fairey Swordfish taxi along the tarmac to take off from HMS Sparrowhawk, Royal Naval Air Station, Hatston for an exercise with dummy torpedoes.
Military Service825 Squadron825 Squadron
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Note: A group photo of 825 Squadron Fleet Air Arm in August 1942 at HMS Sparrowhawk, RNAS Hatston. Leonard arrowed and inset.
Military ServiceHMS AvengerHMS Avenger
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Military ServiceHMS AvengerHMS Avenger
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Note: A Sea Hurricane on the aircraft lift of Avenger in 1942
Military ServiceHMS Avenger September 1942HMS Avenger September 1942
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Note: An account of Avenger on Convoy PQ18 in September 1942 sourced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Avenger_%28D14%29
Military ServiceIceland September 1942Iceland September 1942
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Note: The little church at Sedisfiord in Iceland taken in September 1942
Military ServiceBear IslandBear Island
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Note: Bear Island taken from HMS Avenger in Septemer 1942. Bear Island is the southernmost island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The island is located in the western part of the Barents Sea, approximately halfway between Spitsbergen and the North Cape.
Military ServiceWalrus AmphibianWalrus Amphibian
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Note: A Walrus Amphibian takes off. This aircraft was used for combat search and rescue.
Military ServiceFort St Angelo, MaltaFort St Angelo, Malta
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Military Service896 Squadron Hellcat "Thumpers"896 Squadron Hellcat "Thumpers"
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Note: Leonards shipmates posing with one of 896 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Hellcats named "Thumper" and flown by New Zealand Pilot Sub Lt A L Mason RNZVR (centre).
Military ServiceHMS AmeerHMS Ameer
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Note: Ameer with a full flight deck.
Military ServiceHMS AmeerHMS Ameer
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Note: Ameer getting spruced up.
Military ServiceHMS EmpressHMS Empress
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Military ServiceHMS EmpressHMS Empress
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Note: Arming a Hellcat with rockets on HMS Empress. The officer is Sub Lt (A) R F Plenty.
Military ServiceVJ Day SumatraVJ Day Sumatra
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Note: A VJ Day photograph on the deck of HMS Empress. Leonard on front row seated (arrowed) and inset.
Military ServiceHMS Jackdaw June 1941HMS Jackdaw June 1941
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Note: This is a Luftwaffe aerial reconnassance photo of RNAS Crail taken in June 1941.
Military ServiceHMS JackdawHMS Jackdaw
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Note: Wheeling out the torpedoes prior to their being fitted to the machines during training for pilots for naval aircraft at HMS JACKDAW, Royal Naval Air Station, Crail, Fife.
Military DischargeRoyal Naval Service RecordRoyal Naval Service Record
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Military DischargeAir Mechanic History SheetAir Mechanic History Sheet
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Military AwardLeonard Baron's WW2 MedalsLeonard Baron's WW2 Medals
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LeisureLeonard, Jennie, Joan, Barbara & DouglasLeonard, Jennie, Joan, Barbara & Douglas
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Wedding ReceptionWedding Reception GuestsWedding Reception Guests
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AnniversaryLeonard's 90th Birthday CelebrationLeonard's 90th Birthday Celebration
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CrematedOrder of ServiceOrder of Service
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Media objectLeonard BaronLeonard Baron
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