Flight Lieutenant Leonard William OVERTON, D.F.C. and Bar

F/L Overton with his Father and Wife at Buckingham Palace in 1944 after his investiture for the Bar to his DFC.

Thanet Times Feb 1983

Sudden death of Labour Stalwart Mr Len Overton, a leading member of the Labour movement in Thanet, died suddenly at his home on Thursday, aged 62.

Mr Overton of Northdown Hill, St Peter's was a former chairman of both Thanet East Labour Party and the Broadstairs and St Peterís branch.

He was the first Labour councillor ever to be elected to the former Broadstairs Council. Latterly he had run the "tote" which is the branch's main source of income.

Mr Overton was also an active trade unionist and was secretary of his branch of the National Union of Public Employees for many years. He retired because of ill-health from his job as foreman and fitter with the Southern Water Authority. He had worked for the local water undertaking for 36 years.

He was born at Broadstairs and educated at Chatham House Grammar School Ramsgate.

In 1938 he took an entrance examination for the R.A.F. and during the war served as a pilot with the famous "Pathfinders".

 

He married Joan Prett in 1943.

L-R Henry Overton [brother just on edge of picture] unknown man behind bride [possibly her father]

Joan Prett [bride] Len Overton,

bridesmaid [brideís sister]

Best man [ can anyone identify him? He could be an Australian, D P Clements perhaps?]

Others in picture are unknown apart from the white haired gentleman who is William Overton, father of the groom,

and the dark haired bridesmaid in front is Lenís half-sister Joy Overton.

 

 

 

 

It would be nice to identify the best man, I believe the other man in the picture maybe the father of the bride.

 

 

 

He won the D.F.C and bar, but would never tell his family the circumstances of the two awards for bravery.

Mr Overton leaves a widow, one son, Roddy, and two grandchildren, who live in Canada, and one daughter Christine ,who lives in Ramsgate. The funeral took place at Thanet Crematorium Margate, on Monday.

Comments by Tessa Towner: I feel very humbled to have known him, and to find out now, after all these years, how brave he was. He would never talk about his war time experiences and it wasnít until his funeral that I saw his DFC & Bar; he also had his log book, which his son now has.

I have been researching my family history for many years, but until now was unable to find anything about his war service, the only thing I regret is that none of his generation are left to be able to tell them, his two sisters and brother would have been so pleased to have known all this, and would have been so proud of him.

Above details and Photographs supplied by Tessa Towner

 F/L Overton's history with 156 Squadron, including the citations for both D.F.C. awards can be seen at:

http://www.156squadron.com/view_aircrew.asp?pCrewid=2649

The table below lists the details of all Pilots on roster for April 1943 when Sgt Overton and crew reported to 156 Squadron on 5/4/43 from 100 Squadron.

As can be seen the survival rate was not great.

Most crew would have served at another Squadron prior to posting at a Pathfinder Squadron, so their 45 missions required would be made up from those with their prior squadron and those completed with 156 Squadron..

The mission list is incomplete for 1943 (still being compiled) so F/L Overton's tally will definitely be greater than the 15 shown.

Surname

Initials

First Mention

Last Mention

Deceased

NoTrips

Subsequent

ANDERSEN

H R

06/11/1942

16/04/1943

17/04/1943

25

K.I.A.

BUSBY

D C C

20/04/1943

16/06/1943

17/06/1943

5

K.I.A.

BYASS

R A

02/04/1943

03/04/1943

03/04/1943

2

K.I.A.

COOK

A S

08/04/1943

04/10/1943

04/10/1943

24

K.I.A.

COOPER

G S

03/04/1943

18/04/1943

18/04/1943

5

K.I.A.

CRAMPTON

L R

26/04/1943

27/07/1943

27/07/1943

4

K.I.A.

DAVIES

C H

02/10/1942

04/04/1943

04/04/1943

21

K.I.A.

DONALDSON

D W

13/02/1943

11/06/1943

 

19

to 1637 CU

DUIGAN

B L

22/03/1943

03/09/1943

 

13

to 81 CTU

GONCE

H B

03/03/1943

16/04/1943

16/04/1943

11

K.I.A.

GRANT

G F

18/04/1943

04/10/1943

 

12

not known

GRIMSTON

The Hon B

10/09/1942

04/04/1943

04/04/1943

24

K.I.A.

HALDEMAN

W C

04/04/1943

04/04/1943

04/04/1943

1

K.I.A.

HORAN

J M

06/12/1942

26/04/1943

 

20

not known

HUDSON

R J

13/04/1943

24/06/1943

24/06/1943

7

K.I.A.

KEARNS

R S D

13/09/1942

16/04/1943

 

31

Completed Tour

LANG

A G

15/10/1942

04/05/1943

 

28

POW

LAY

K L W

02/04/1943

11/06/1943

11/06/1943

10

K.I.A.

MACLACHLAN

A R A

02/04/1942

06/09/1943

07/09/1943

34

K.I.A.

MARSON

J A

16/04/1943

21/06/1943

22/06/1943

5

K.I.A.

MILLER

R B

26/03/1943

16/06/1943

17/06/1943

10

K.I.A.

MOIR

D T

26/04/1943

29/07/1943

 

6

not known

OVERTON

L W

08/04/1943

23/12/1943

 

15

Completed Tour

SMITH

B F

03/04/1943

29/07/1943

30/07/1943

10

K.I.A.

STEWART

R G F

06/11/1942

01/01/1944

02/01/1944

50

K.I.A.

SULLIVAN

M A

03/04/1943

20/12/1943

20/12/1943

16

K.I.A.

TAYLOR (SERVED AS BENSON)

H F

30/01/1943

31/03/1945

31/03/1945

21

K.I.A.

THOMPSON

J F

28/03/1943

03/09/1943

 

9

not known

THOMSON

E M

03/04/1943

18/04/1943

 

2

not known

VERDON-ROE

L

02/10/1942

12/05/1943

13/05/1943

30

K.I.A.

WAUGH

D H

20/04/1943

26/04/1943

27/04/1943

2

K.I.A.

WENDON

W M

22/03/1943

12/05/1943

13/05/1943

8

K.I.A.

WHITE

J H

03/03/1943

18/11/1943

18/11/1943

21

K.I.A.

WOMERSLEY

G H

05/10/1942

13/04/1943

 

22

to No. 8 (PFF) Group.

YOUNGER

R G

03/04/1943

08/04/1943

08/04/1943

2

K.I.A.