Page 2 of 2

Re: Short Stirling Identification Required, Please ......

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:57 am
by jmarkley
I write in reference to the crash of the Stirling that killed Les Biesiot and his crew. My uncle Alexander John Fowler 422654 was one of the navigators working as an instructor at 1651 at this time, and I've been working through his logbook. Most of the time it's impossible to identify the 35 or more pilots listed during his time there in 1944, but I thought the name "Biesiot" was rare enough that I might find him. I was able to identify him thanks to this forum. Only 8 days prior to the accident that killed Biesiot, my uncle flew with him at the controls. Also, twice in August my uncle went up with other pilots in the same Stirling that suffered the fault that killed Biesiot and his crew. I'm reminded of a saying I read elsewhere: "Quirks of fate that can govern life or death." Sadly, that particular quote comes from Hugh Bone's memoir of the day in which several of his 487 squadron mates were shot down and killed. The hand of fate kept Hugh Bone off that doomed mission, but placed my uncle there instead. He died, Feb 22nd 1945.
While doing a little more searching about Biesiot, I found the following "in memoriam" notices in a 1946 Australian newspaper, marking the 2nd anniversary of his death. The second one in particular breaks my heart.

From the West Australian Newspaper, Perth, Sept 30, 1946. "BIESIOT, L.H. (P/O RAAF., att. RAF) Proud and cherished memories of my darling husband, Les. adored Daddy of Lesley, who, with his gallant English crew, gave his life for freedom, England, September 30, 1944. Lorna.
Loved in life, cherished in death.
Beautiful memories will linger for ever
Of happy days we spent together.
BIESIOT, Les (Pilot-Officer, RAAF.). - Beautiful memories always of my darling hero Daddy, who flew to heaven in his Stirling Bomber just two years ago today. Lesley.
God needed a new star in heaven
And couldn't find a brighter light to shine.
He decided he was meant for a star,
And so He sent for my Daddy.
BIESIOT (L.H. P/O. RAAF.) - In proud and loving memory of our darling son and brother, Leslie, and his gallant crew, who were accidentally killed, Cambridgeshire, England, September 30, 1944. Inserted by his mother, sisters and brothers, Bunbury.
BIESIOT, Les. (P/O RAAF). - in loving memory of Les, killed in aircraft accident, Cambridge, England. September 30, 1944, dearly loved son-in-law of Mum and Dad McGrath, and loved brother-in-law of Pat and Ray (England).
We are thinking of you today, Les.
Thinking of you in the past,
Keeping you in our memory
Just as we saw you last.
BIESIOT, Les (P/O, RAAF) - In proud memory of Les, accidentally killed, Cambridgeshire, England, September 30, 1944, dearly beloved brother-in-law and pal of Eve, Mich and sons.
Time drifts on, two years have passed,
But memories of you, dear Les, will for ever last.
BIESIOT, Les (P/O RAAF) - In fond memory of Les (Dusty), killed in aircraft accident, Cambridge, England. September 30 1944, brother-in-law of Jean and Jack Ryan, uncle of Gail and Michael.
A leaf in the book of memories
Is sadly turned today.
BIESIOT, Les, (P/O, RAAF) - Loving memories of our dear brother-in-law and uncle, Les, killed in aircraft accident, Cambridge, England, September 30, 1944. Always remembered by Kath and Jack, nieces, Maxine and Beverley.
Not just today, but every day,
In silence we remember.
BIESIOT, L.H. (Pilot-Officer, RAAF) our dear brother-in-law and uncle, killed in England, 1944. From Ern, Jean,Barbara and Robin (Bunbury).
Just proud memories, Les."