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Remembering World War II
Preston St Clair (Clare) Legge Pilot Officer J/87061 434 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force September 30, 1922 South Alton, Kings Co., NS April 24, 1942 Montreal, Quebec 19 5 feet 8¾ inches fair Grey Brown Single (at enlistment) Box Maker United Church Mildred Viola Legge (Mother) Norfolk, Mass. June 13, 1944 21 Dunkirk Town Cemetery, France Plot 2 Row 5 Coll. grave 8-14 Commemorated on Page 363 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on August 3 Preston St Clair Legge was the son Rufus St. Clare Legge (1899-1981)and Mildred Viola (Porter) Legge (1901-1999) of Norfolk, Massachusetts US. His father and mother were born in New Ross, Lunenburg Co., NS. He was the brother of Keith Allison, Vernon Francis, Richard Floyd, and Anne Marie. Preston was born in Nova Scotia and at the age of three moved with the family to Walpole, Massachusetts. He attended school in Massachusetts and completed four years at Walpole High School. He involved himself in track, basketball, skiing, horseback riding, and skating. Prior to his return to Canada to join the RCAF, he was employed in the surgical dressing’s department of Kendall Mills, Walpole, Mass. Pilot Officer Legge enlisted in Montreal on April 24, 1942 and trained in Canada until July 16, 1943. During training he was described as “quiet, sincere, likeable, capable ambitious and dependable”. He obtained his Wireless Operators Badge on February 22, 1943 and his Air Gunner Badge on March 22, 1943. While on leave between June 29, 1943 and July 12, 1943 Preston was married on June 29, 1943 at Wrentham, Massachusetts, US to Christine Cecile Lawrence. Following his leave, he embarked Halifax on July 16, 1943 and disembarked in the United Kingdom on July 22, 1943. He continued training in England with 32 Operational Training Unit. On March 16, 1944 he joined 434 Squadron stationed at RAF Craft. No.434 "Bluenose" Squadron was a RCAF heavy bomber squadron, formed in June 1943 as part of No.6 (RCAF) Group. It was named after the schooner "Bluenose" which became a symbol of Nova Scotia. On the night of June 12/13 Handley Page Halifax III (MZ293) WL-S departed RAF Croft for air operations on Arras. The operation was part of a 671 aircraft force to hamper lines of communication leading to Normandy. The attacks on Arras were accurate; however twenty-three aircraft were lost. The Handley Page Halifax III (MZ293) WL-S bomber was shot down opposite the Casino of Bray Dunes on the rocks along the coast strewn with mines and exploded on impact. The wreckage was dispersed over an area of more than 500 meters. The bodies of the crew were unidentifiable and the remains of the seven crew members were buried in a collective grave in the Dunkirk Town Cemetery (Plot 2 Row 5 Coll. grave 8-14) Crew: Frederick Arthur Ernest Tandy; Pilot Officer/Pilot (J/19727) North Bay, Ontario (Age 27) Albert John Morgan; Pilot Officer/Navigator (R/155423) Guelph, Ontario (Age 33) John Kerr Swan; Pilot Officer/Air Bomber (J/87036) Montreal, Quebec (Age 31) Preston St. Clair Legge; Pilot Officer/Wireless Operator (J/87061) b. Kings Co., NS (Age 21) Ross Whitten Hewitt; Flying Officer/Air Gunner (J/20668) Windsor, Ontario (Age 24) Charles Vernon Dymond; Pilot Officer/Air Gunner (R/191609) London, Ontario (Age 20) Thomas Robert Wade Roberts; Pilot Officer/Flight Engineer (RAF 1836007) Montgomeryshire, Wales
Preston St. Clair Legge
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