Bailey, Lester Maxwell

Lester was a Liberator (refer photo) pilot with 12 Squadron which was attached to 21 Squadron.

Bailey Lester Maxwell Pic 1

Lester was born on the 10th April 1914 in Bexley, NSW. He enlisted on the 29th October 1943 and was killed on the 20th May 1945.   

The accident report relating to his death is as follows: A72-160 44-41949 B-24M-10-CO Taking off at night from Truscott airstrip, the aircraft became airborne approximately halfway down the strip. It is believed the aircraft became airborne early due to a noticeable hump in the airstrip causing the aircraft to suddenly climb approx. 20ft. According to the witnesses who were part of a working party directly in front of the aircraft when it became airborne, the aircraft apparently veered left moving rather slowly, gaining little speed or height. The aircraft then rose to about 40ft and then fell sharply to the ground a short distance away from its initial point of take-off. With fire crews quickly making their way to the scene any hope of finding survivors was lost when a number depth charges the aircraft was carrying exploded. 20 May 1945. Crew; FLTLT F.L. Sismey 402764 (Pilot), FLGOFF W.S. Bell, WOFF T.N. Rust, WOFF B.L. Cox, FSGT L. Duncanson, FSGT L.M. Bailey, FSGT I.N.L. Eadton, FSGT T.W. Allan, FSGT D.D. Benson, FSGT J.A. Hollis, FSGT J.R.W. Herps.

Adam John Phillip Pic 5

The photo is of Adelaide River War Cemetery in the Northern Teritory where Lester is buried  at grave S.A.14. Lester was the son of Walter Kemble Bailey and Gladys Ann Brassington Bailey of Granville, NSW.

Ron Rigg and David Hamilton
Updated by Vince Conant 
The Spitfire Association