Leslie Albert "Les" Moore

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Much of Their Success Attributed to Foremost Allied Ace in Europe

London, July 3, 1944 — (CP Cable) — Canadian fighter pilots are the hottest things in the air of France these invasion days with a score of 58 "kills" chalked up since June 28, and airmen today attributed much of their current success to a modest, 28-year-old Englishman, W/C James E. (Johnny) Johnson, leading Allied ace in the European theatre.

Nearly 100 Per Cent
Of 21 enemy planes shot down over France Sunday — at a cost of three Allied aircraft — R.C.A.F. Spitfire pilots accounted for 19. They shot down 26 Germans June 28 and on Friday got 13 of the 17 enemy aircraft destroyed. It was on the Friday operations that Johnson, leader of a Canadian wing, got his 33rd enemy aircraft to top the long-standing record of 32 held by G/C A.G. (Sailor) Malan who is not now on active operations.
F/L J. D. Lindsay, of Arnprior, Ont., led the R.C.A.F scoring yesterday, destroying three planes in one sortie when his squadron took on 20 enemy aircraft east of Caen. Other leaders, each with two "kills," were F/L Paul Johnson, of Bethel, Conn.; F/O R. J. Lake, Langstaff, Ont., and F/L J. Moore, Philadelphia. Paul Johnson and Moore also shared one "kill."
To W/C Johnson, back on active operations at his own request after a spell of ground duty is freely given much of the credit for the Canadians' fine showing since R.C.A.F. fighter airstrips were moved to Normandy. For Johnson, holder of the D.S.O. and Bar and D.F.C. and Bar, is known as a maker of aerial aces as well as being a top ace himself.
A civil engineer in Nottingham before the war, Johnson a year ago turned the Canadian Spitfire wing he then commanded into one of the “hottest” in Britain. Taken off active flying to aid in the planning of the invasion's aerial coverage, he recently returned to active operations and again was given a Canadian fighter wing to lead against the best the Germans could offer in the air.
Johnson's 31st and 32nd aerial victories were scored last Wednesday to equal the mark set by Malan when he was the leading R.A.F. pilot in the Battle of Britain and to top the 31 set by F/L George Beurling, of Verdun, Que., leading Canadian ace now in Canada. Johnson's record breaking came when he caught a German heading for the safety of the clouds, nailed him and followed him down until the foe crashed.
Of him, a pilot who flew with him wrote in the Sunday Express:

Greatest of All
"In the Battle of Britain, it was Sailor Malan. In the Battle of Malta it was Screwball Beurling. Now, in the Battle of Normandy, it's Johnny Johnson. Comparisons are always difficult, but there will be many among his contemporaries who will say W/C J. E. Johnson was the greatest of them all.
The unidentified writer said that when Malan was knocking down German planes into the orchards of Kent his odds were great, but targets were numerous, for in those days of 1940 the Germans were flying over Britain in masses. He said the same holds true for Beurling over the embattled island of Malta, the Italian and German planes came over in hundreds in their vain effort to bomb Malta out of the war effort.
Then came Johnson's era, the Sunday Express pilot-writer said, an era of steady patrolling over wide areas of Continental Europe after targets that become harder and harder to find as the enemy spread his air defenses thinner. "The moral is quite clear," the writer said. "Johnson has really had fewer opportunities than Malan and Beurling, although he has been more constantly in battle. But his score now is 33.71
From a Canadian airfield in France today came Johnson's reaction to his 33rd kill, the one that broke Malan's record:
"Malan has been off operations for some time and there are several other outstanding men who went off during 1941 and 1942. If they were still flying I am sure some of them would have phenomenal scores by now."

Johnson Modest
"I have been fortunate in another way too, in that for the last three years I have been flying as a leader, first in a squadron, then in a wing. Consequently, I have always had the first crack at any Huns and had many more opportunities than the tail-end charlies.
Johnson added that luck played a big part in his success and said: “Another thing is that I have a great deal of confidence, bred mostly from the fact that I have never been shot down." He continued almost as an after thought: "In fact, I have never been hit, and I think that helps a fellow's morale tremendously."
The new Spitfires the Canadians are flying, armed with twin Cannon and four Machine-guns in the wings, are hard to beat even by what pilots call the "long-nosed Focke-Wulf," termed the best fighter the Germans have today. Many seasoned pilots are among the Canadian pilots flying in Normandy, some of them with "ace" ratings. It takes ten "kills" (5 -jf) to rate ace category in the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F., though there is nothing official about being rated an "ace."
One of the veterans of Johnson’s wing is S/L Wally McLeod, of Regina, highest-scoring Canadian pilot on active operations with 19 enemy planes destroyed, three if them since D-day. Johnson has shot down five planes since the invasion opened June 6, while next in line is W/C George Keefer, 22, Charlottetown, with four "kills" since D-day.
Among the Spitfire squadrons flying from Normandy bases are the noted City of Oshawa, Wolf and Red Indian, and a new one, the Grizzly Bear.


Born in Hamilton, Ontario, 5 February 1921
Educated in the United States
Was an American citizen
Home in Plainfield NJ or Philadelphia PA
Enlisted in Hamilton, 26 August 1941
Would have preferred USAAC but
Lacked the schooling then required

Trained at
No.3 ITS (23 November 1941 to 14 Feb.'42)
No.11 EFTS (15 February to 11 April 1942) &
No.13 SFTS (12 April to 14 August 1942)
Arrived in the UK, 1 September 1942
Further trained at
No.5 (P) AFU (11 September 1942) &
No.57 OTU (13 October 1942)
Posted to the United Kingdom in 1943
Commissioned 16 April 1943
Flying Officer, 16 October 1943
Flight Lieutenant, 11 March 1944
Served with
402 Squadron (26 Jan.'43 to 2 March '44)
441 Squadron (11 March to 22 July 1944)
No.53 OTU (4 August 1944 to 5 February 1945) &
402 Squadron (22 February to 25 March 1945)
KIA 25 March 1945 while strafing a train in Germany
Medals presented to his mother, 29 April 1949
PMR 84-0264 shows him sporting his U.S.A. flashes


City Pilots Wreck Hun Planes in Sunday's Smashing Raids

An R.C.A.F. Airfield in France, July 3, 1944 - (CP) - R.CA.F. Spitfire pilots gave more details today of Sunday's successes in which 19 German planes were destroyed.
Most of the combats took place immediately ahead of the British Army fighting zone, where earlier in the day ground-strafing aircraft destroyed a large number of Nazi military vehicles.
Among Canadian fighters turning in claims Sunday were S/L Jack Sheppard of Dollarton, B.C., who destroyed one, and P/O D. R. Jamieson of 1407 Symington Ave. Toronto, who got a destroyed and a damaged. P/O Goldie Goldberg of 1133A Avenue Rd., Toronto, damaged one.

Fifth Victory
Sheppard, by the destruction of a FW-190, chalked up his fifth victory. He gave the Hun plane a short burst of cannon and machine-gun fire and it burst into flames and blew up. "I had to pull to starboard to avoid the aircraft and its pieces," he said.
F/O R. J. Lake of Langstaff, and F/L L. Moore, Philadelphia, each bagged two Germans and shared another, and F/L D. C. Laubman, Edmonton, destroyed two.

Quick Succession
Laubman's two victories came in quick succession when his squadron, on a dive-bombing sortie, met two dozen German planes. He followed one Focke Wulf into a cloud and gave it a two-second burst as it emerged on the other side.
"There was an explosion and the Focke Wulf was enveloped in flames” Laubman said. “The pilot bailed out."
Later, with two squadron mates, he sighted 15 enemy aircraft. He chased one and saw strikes on its engine and wing. "White smoke poured from him and his engines stopped," said Laubman. "I made a new attack and blew his port tail plane and rudder off with machine-gun fire. The aircraft blew up.”


Four Pilots Awarded D.F.C.s Downed 22 Enemy Airplanes

Ottawa, Aug. 7, 1944 (CP) — Air Force headquarters announced tonight the award of Distinguished Flying Crosses to four RCAF pilots serving overseas, who, together, have destroyed a total of 22 enemy aircraft while giving air protection to the Invasion forces. One of those decorated has since been reported killed. The awards:

F/L J. D. Lindsay, Arnprior
F/L H. C. Trainor, Bedford
F/L P. G. Johnson, Bethel, Conn. (Reported killed July 18)
F/L L. A. Moore, Philadelphia

Lindsay was cited for shooting down three enemy fighters while participating in an engagement against a "large formation" of hostile aircraft, and Trainor for shooting down five enemy aircraft "within a very short period."
Johnson, who destroyed five hostile aircraft, three of them in one day, was cited for having proved himself a "fearless and skilful pilot" who has "displayed the greatest keenness to engage the enemy." Moore accounted for two enemy planes when he participated in an engagement against eight of them early in July. "In the fight this officer led his small formation of aircraft with great skill, setting an inspiring example," his citation said.


MOORE, F/L Leslie Albert (J17857) - Distinguished Flying Cross - 441 Squadron
Award effective 8 August 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 2052/44 dated 22 September 1944.

This officer has participated in a large number of sorties involving attacks on a wide range of targets. In July 1944 he took part in an engagement against eight enemy aircraft, five of which were shot down, two of them by Flight Lieutenant Moore. In the fight, this officer led his small formation of aircraft with great skill, setting an inspiring example. He has destroyed six hostile aircraft.



Listed as missing believed killed is Squadron Leader L. A. Moore, D.F.C., A.F.C., former Hamilton resident, brother of Mrs. E. R. Linkert, 149 Stirton avenue, and W. J. Moore, of Cope street city. Squadron-Ldr. Moore is 24 years of age and he joined the R.C.A.F. in Hamilton in August, 1941. He has been serving overseas for the last two and one-half years, and wears several decorations for distinguished service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Force Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster.
S/L Moore
S/L Moore


MOORE, F/L Leslie Albert, DFC (J17857) - Air Force Cross - No.402 Sq. (dead)
Award effective 3 April 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 802/45 dated 11 May 1945. Public Records Office Air 2/9061 has citation, drafted when he had flown 795 non-operational hours, 183 instructional in previous six months.

This officer was posted to No.53 Operational Training Unit as a flying instructor and flight commander in August 1944. He has carried out his duties with the greatest keenness and enthusiasm. He has maintained the highest standards in his work which is of a most exacting nature. He is largely responsible for the excellent morale and spirit of the Advanced Training Squadron.


Victories Include :

13 Jun 1943
5 Sep 1943

27 Sep 1943
8 Oct 1943
28 Mar 1944

28 Apr 1944
2 July 1944
one FW190
one FW190
one FW190
1/2 Me109
1/4 Do24
one He111
1/3 Me410
1/2 Caudron
2.5 Me109s
(North Sea)
(Le Touquet)




4.25 / 1.33 / 2.5

[a] Shared with ??
[b] Shared with J. A. H. G. de Niverville, Wil Dodd & Lew Woloschuk
[c] Shared with Guy Mott & Ron Lake
[d] Shared with Tommy Brannagan
[e] One shared with Ron Lake




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