L. Alfred Pedley R53505

Unknown - Unknown

438 Squadron

L. Alfred Pedley, in February 1945, was a 34 year old mechanic with 438 Squadron. He was responsible for the maintenance of 100 Typhoon engines.

PEDLEY, WO2 Leon Alfred (R53505) - Mention in Despatches - No.143 Wing (AFRO identifies unit only as “Overseas”) - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 388/46 dated 12 April 1946. Born 10 March 1910; enlisted 16 October 1939 as Aero Engine Mechanic. Initially with No.11 (BR) Squadron; promoted AC1, 29 February 1940; promoted LAC, 29 May 1940; promoted Corporal, 29 November 1940. To No.118 (Fighter) Squadron, 9 December 1940. Promoted Sergeant, 1 July 1941. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 1 May 1942. Posting to No.118 (Fighter) Squadron confirmed, 16 August 1943, apparently in preparation for overseas transfer. To “Y” Depot, 26 October 1943; taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 31 October 1943. Promoted WO2, 1 April 1945. Repatriated 7 August 1945; released 26 September 1945. RCAF photo PL-43521 (ex UK-20841 dated 21 April 1945) is captioned as follows: “The Canadian Typhoon Wing moved recently onto an airstrip just vacated by the Luftwaffe. Several FW.190s were left around the field, many of them booby-trapped with high explosive charges. In this case, S/L Donald Brewster of Nelson, B.C., the Chief Technical Officer, points out to his chief maintenance N.C.O., Flight Sergeant A.L. Pedley of Perth, Ontario, and F/O F.H. Price (RAF), who is in charge of the salvage unit which moved the aircraft from the perimeter track, just where the detonator had been removed by the bomb disposal squad.”

Thanks to Hugh Halliday for the above information.

In a press release from February 1945, it stated that he was originally from Perth, Ontario. He joined the squadron in December 1939. He had planned to open his own garage in one of the smaller towns after the war and had saved his pay to this end. "Not in a big city -- too much capital and too much overhead," he said. "You see the idea is I can do my own work and I don't have to worry about the other fellow's mistakes."

Pedley was originally from Duckingfield, UK and emigrated to Canada in 1926. He farmed near Kingston, Ontario for two years, toured Western Canada as a farm hand and then learned about automobile mechanics in Kingston and Perth, Ontario.

He was posted to Dartmouth, NS then up to Alaska. It was noted in the press release that he had completed several tricky jobs of maintenance en route.