Leslie Lancedene HENSTRIDGE

HENSTRIDGE, Leslie Lancedene

Service Number: 416497
Enlisted: 23 June 1941
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Snowtown, South Australia, 4 September 1912
Home Town: Parkside, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Newspaper Editor & Manager
Died: Accidental (Aircraft accident), Cairns Harbour, Queensland, Australia, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 13 April 1943, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Cairns War Cemetery, Queensland
Plot A, Row B, Grave 9, Cairns Cemetery, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Balaklava District WW2 Roll of Honour, Balaklava WW1 & WW2 Honour Roll, Balaklava WW1 & WW2 Memorial
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World War 2 Service

23 Jun 1941: Enlisted Adelaide
23 Jun 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 416497
30 Apr 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer
30 Oct 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer
13 Apr 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 416497, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
Date unknown: Involvement

Help us honour Leslie Lancedene Henstridge's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Leslie Lancedene HENSTRIDGE was born on 4th September, 1912 in Snowtown, South Australia

His parents were Francis Leslie HENSTRIDGE and Amy Gertrude ATKIN

He enlisted in Adelaide, SA on 23rd June, 1941 with the Royal Australian Air Force - at the time he was the Editor & Manager of the Balaklava Newspaper which was owned by his Mother Amy

He was appointed as a Pilot Officer on 30th April, 1942 and promoted to Flying Officer on 30th October, 1942

He went to Victor Harbour on 23rd June, 1942, Ballarat on 21st August, 1941, Port Pirie on 5th April, 1942, Rathmines (seaplane training) on 10th May, 1942 and on 9th June 1942 was a Pilot Officer with the 11 Squadron in Cairns, Queensland & engaged in operational flying duties outside mainland Australia.

Whilst on a patrol flight in the Gulf of Carpentaria when the plane he was in as a crew member had to circle before landing when bad weather set in & the plane crashed before landing a mile north of the river entrance - it was a forced landing due to lack of fuel - he was in a Catalina flying boat  A24

Leslie died on 13th April, 1943 in Cairns Harbour - his funeral took place on 15th April, 1943 at the Methodist Church in Cairns with Service Honours. He is buried in the Cairns General Cemetery - War Section, Plot A, Row B, Grave 9.

His name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial and the Roll of Honour in Balaclava, South Australia

He was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal & Australia Service Medal.


His father Francis Leslie HENSTRIDGE served in WW1 (SN39794) & died in Melbourne, Victoria in 1927

His brother Hector David HENSTRIDGE SN SX3800) was a Lieutenant in the Australian Army & was awarded a DSC ( United States Distinguished Service Cross)



Mrs. A.G. Henstridge of Balaklava, has been advised that her son FO Leslie Lancedene Henstridge, lost his life in air operations north of Australia.  He was the younger son of Mrs A.G. Henstridge & the late F.L. Henstridge (AIF, 1917) & at the time of enlisting was editor and manager of his Mothers Balaklava paper & office

He was related to the Henstridge family, which has been so well known in Mount Gambier for many years.


Biography contributed by David Barlow

Catalina A24-36 (USN PBY-5 08190) of Number 11 Squadron RAAF crashed near the entrance to Cairns harbour on return from a night-time search patrol. They had flown for 23 hours 23 minutes and ran out fuel after being unable to land due to severe weather conditions. 

There were two survivors:

Sergeant Geoff Suckling 401056 (1st W/T) who recovered and was discharged in June 1945 with the rank of Warrant Officer

LAC Murray Byham 51514 (armourer - ground crew) who was seriously injured and was discharged in June 1944 from Number 1 Convalescent Depot

Killed were:

Pilot - Flight Lieutenant Arnold Hinchcliffe 411106

Navigator - Pilot Officer Leslie Henstridge 416497

2nd Pilot - Sergeant Lenard Carr 416206

1st Engineer (ground crew) - Sergeant Harold McGillivary 19268

2nd Engineer (ground crew) - LAC Malcolm Merrett 19710

Rigger - Sergeant James Lahey 405743