Leslie William OAKES

OAKES, Leslie William

Service Numbers: 432249, N176391
Enlisted: 20 October 1941
Last Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Last Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force Training Units
Born: Hunters Hill, New South Wales, Australia, 20 September 1922
Home Town: Hunters Hill, Hunters Hill, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Flying Accident, Alberta, Canada, 29 October 1943, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Beechmount Cemetery, Edmonton, Canada
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement 432249
20 Oct 1941: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, N176391
5 Dec 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 432249, Royal Canadian Air Force Training Units, 2 Air Observers School (RCAF)
5 Dec 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 432249

Uncle Leslie

Leslie William Oakes was my uncle whom I never knew. He was my father's older brother, my father being Hugh Roy Gilbert Oakes. I do know from my grandmother herself, Elizabeth Kezia Oakes, but more particularly from stories I heard from my father and mother, that Leslie's death affected his mother's mental health severely. I am sure it affected everyone in the family equally, but Elizabeth could barely go on living it caused her such grief. I have memories of my grandmother (who died when I was only 5) being constantly bedridden, only getting out of bed in her dressing gown for a few hours of the day. I'm not sure if at this stage, approximately twenty years after Leslie's death, her bad health was entirely related to her eldest son's death, but from the stories I heard she was certainly never the same after his accident.

I knew that his death also severely affected my father because he could hardly talk about Leslie if his name was brought up. He had apparently been very close to his brother and looked up to him greatly. Leslie was five years older than him. My mother, Lois May Oakes (nee Lawson), was the only one who had talked to him about Leslie and I gained any scant information about him and his relationship to my father mostly from her. And even though I never knew him, I (and my five siblings) feel a gap in our family history, and yearn for any information about him. This web site has provided more details about his air service than we knew, so we are grateful for that.

Philip Michael Oakes (on behalf of my five siblings, Margaret Ann Hansen, Miriam Susan Oakes, Stephen Jeremy Oakes, Julian Francis Manton Oakes and Kylie Elizabeth Oakes (deceased).

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Biography contributed by David Barlow

Sergeant Leonard Alfred Easther 429801 and Leading Aircraftman Leslie William Oakes 432249 were killed when Avro Anson 6269 from Number 2 Air Observers School RCAF Edmonton crashed 3 miles north east of Cooking Lake Airport, Alberta, Canada while on a routine night navigation flight