Buckingham Covers - First Day Covers

Squadron Leader Les Munro DSO DFC RNZAF

 

Born, brought up, and educated in the Gisborne District, North Island, New Zealand. He worked on farms from 1936-1941.

He entered RNZAF 5th July 1941 and trained as a pilot at New Plymouth, NZ; Saskatoon, Canada and Shawbury and North Luffenham, England.

He was posted to 97 Squadron at Woodhall Spa on 7th December 1942 and had carried out 21 operations when he responded to a call for volunteers to form a new Squadron for a special operation. This turned out to be No. 617 Squadron formed to attack the Ruhr Dams.

After 6 weeks intensive low level training the Squadron attacked the Dams on the night of 16th/17th May 1943. Munro's plane was hit by light flak when crossing the Dutch coast over the Island of Vlieland and forced to return to base.

He served on 617 Squadron for a further 14 months and was Flight Commander under Leonard Cheshire. He took part in 'Operation Taxable', the Spoof operation in support of the D Day landings. He ceased operations on 13th July 1944 having completed 58 operation. He then commanded No. 1690 BDTF flying Hurricanes until 30th July 1945. He was awarded the DFC on 11th July 1943 and DSO on 28th April 1944.

He returned to New Zealand and following discharge he worked for State Advances Corporation on land valuation and settlement of Exservicemen. He resigned to go farming on his own account from 1961-1996. He was actively involved in Local Government from 1965-1995, was Mayor of Waitomo District Council 1978-1995. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in September 1970, appointed Companion of the Queens Service Order (QSO) in July 1991 and appointed Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in June 1997.

He married Betty in 1948 (deceased) and has five children and eleven grandchildren. He retired to Tauranga in 2001.

Information provided by Squadron Leader Les Munro DSO DFC RNZAF

Collectables Signed By Squadron Leader Les Munro DSO DFC RNZAF