F/O Les Clisby’s Hawker Hurricane Mk.I of No.1 Squadron RAF, France May 1940

Making History is again making history


044617Clisby1937-40Leslie Clisby was born in McLaren Vale,  South Australia, on 29 June 1914, the second of four children to carpenter Albert Clisby and his wife Mabel, née Chapman. Having an aptitude for mechanical engineering, he joined the RAAF as a ground crew member in 1935. He was at Point Cook, Victoria, when he applied for an officer cadet course (Course A) in 1936. While there he crashed a Gypsy Moth (A7 45) on 26 April 1936, escaping by parachute. As it turned out, he was only the second man in Australia to escape using an Irvine parachute which entitled him to become a member of the Irvine Parachute Caterpillar Club.

Clisby graduated flight school in mid-1937 and, under a pre-war arrangement between the British and Australian governments, volunteered for transfer to the Royal Air Force (RAF); he sailed for Europe that July.  On 26 August he was granted a five-year…

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