David Leicester's story
David Leicester enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in August 1942 at the age of 19.
After completing aircrew training in Australia, David was posted to the United Kingdom, where he served as a pilot with:
David was commissioned in May 1943 and finished the war as an acting squadron leader. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in 1944 and a bar to the DFC in 1945.
One of David's more amusing recollections of his time with Bomber Command relates to his appointment as a Flight Commander with No 158 Squadron.
David's appointment gave him full use of a motorbike and shared use of a small motor car. However, despite the fact that he was a highly trained pilot and had completed more than 20 operations as the pilot and captain of Halifax bombers, he couldn't use either because he didn't know how to drive!
David's strongest recollection is of the teamwork experienced, not only amongst the aircrew, but between the aircrew and the ground crew, whom he remembers as 'terrific'. David was discharged from the RAAF in August 1945.
After the war, David worked as a representative for a firm dealing in dress materials and soft furnishings, then he worked for a confectionary company for 10 years, followed by 7 years with another food industry firm. In 1968, David joined the Australian Dairy Corporation as a manager and remained there until his retirement in 1988.
In 2007, David was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through ex-service, heritage and local government organisations.