Dambuster of the Day No. 17: Jack Leggo

Leggo 17Feb43 AWM UK0026

Pic: Australian War Memorial

Flt Lt J F Leggo DFC
Navigator
Lancaster serial number: ED909/G
Call sign: AJ-P
First wave. Third aircraft to attack Möhne Dam. Mine veered left after dropping and exploded at side of dam.

Jack Leggo was born in Sydney in 1916, and joined the RAAF shortly after the outbreak of war. Like many other Australians, he did part of his training in Canada. After arriving in England he was posted to 455 RAAF Squadron then flying Hampdens, where he crewed up with Mick Martin in the autumn of 1941. The other members of the four man crew were Tammy Simpson and Toby Foxlee. The fact that all four stayed together for more than two years illustrates the bond between them.
In April 1942, the four transferred together to 50 Squadron, a heavy bomber squadron, and retrained on Manchesters and Lancasters. They completed a tour there, and went off to various training units. Leggo received a DFC for his work on the completed tour.
When Martin was asked to join the new 617 Squadron, he brought his old team together as the core of the crew of AJ-P. Leggo was made the Squadron Navigation Officer, responsible for all the other navigators. His confidence on the operation can be seen in the steady hand with which he completed the navigation logs, a page of which can be seen below.
logsheets2-1 Leggo crop

After the raid, for which he received a bar to his DFC, he carried on flying with Martin for a while, but then he put in for retraining as a pilot. Martin supported him in this, praising him for his exemplary character, loyalty, conscientiousness, and devotion to duty. ‘No higher standard could be asked for,’ he added.
After qualifying, Jack Leggo moved to 10 Squadron in Coastal Command, and flew Sunderland flying boats for the rest of the war. Based in Plymouth, the double DFC is pictured taking the salute as he leads a victory parade on VE Day.

National Collection

Pic: Australian War Memorial

He went into the sugar industry in Queensland after the war and, after a successful career, was knighted by the Queen in 1982. He died in 1983.
Extra research: Graeme Jensen

Leggo obit

More about Leggo online:
Entry at ww2awards.com

Survived war. Died 1983.

Rank and decorations as of 16 May 1943.
Sources: Richard Morris, Guy Gibson, Penguin 1995
John Sweetman, The Dambusters Raid, Cassell 2002
Chris Ward, Andy Lee, Andreas Wachtel, Dambusters: Definitive History, Red Kite 2003

The information above has been taken from the books and online sources listed and other online material. Apologies for any errors or omissions. Please add any corrections or links to further information in the comments section below.

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One thought on “Dambuster of the Day No. 17: Jack Leggo

  1. Geoff November 6, 2013 / 1:13 pm

    See an interview with Sir Jack Leggo at following URL:

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