“I have researched Leslie Gordon Batt who was a pilot in the Battle of Britain and who worked at Standard Triumph Service at Allesley,” emails Malcolm Dunn to the Standard Triumph Works Archive.
The following information is from a wonderful book called ‘Men of the Battle of Britain – A Biographical Directory of the Few’ by Kenneth G Wynn.
Sgt Pilot Leslie Gordon Batt RAF Volunteer Reserve Number 741474 238 Squadron MIddle Wallop Hants.
Leslie Gordon Batt was born on 27 November 1916 and was educated at Bablake School and Coventry Technical College. He was an engineering apprentice at Daimler when he joined the RAFVR in April 1938, as an Airman u/t ( under training ) Pilot.
He did his flying training at No 9 E&RFTS ( Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School ), Ansty. Near Coventry.
Called up on September 1, 1939 Batt was posted to 6 FTS ( Flying Training School) at Little Rissington on October 9 1939, on No 15 Course. A rugby injury caused his transfer to No 16 Course.
He went to 10 B & GS ( 10 Bombing and Gunnery School ), Warmwell on May 1940, with the Advanced Training Squadron of 6 FTS, for armament training
the final part of his course.
He joined 253 Squadron at Kenley on 17th May 1940 and moved to 238 Squadron on May 21 1940.
The Battle of Britain started on 10th July 1940 and on July 13th 1940 Batt shared in the destruction of a German Messerschmidt Bf 110, and on 21st July he shared in the destruction of a Dornier Do17 Bomber, on August 8th he destroyed a Messerschmidt Bf109 fighter and on 13th August he destroyed a Heinkel He111 bomber.
On 13th August he made a forced landing at Eartham near Tangmere , in Hawker Hurricane P2989 with a damaged oil tank, after an attack by Messerschmidt Bf109 fighters off the Isle of Wight.
Batt went to Egypt with 238 Squadron in May 1941 and remained with the squadron until December. In January 1942 he had his first long leave since
1940, in Cairo, and in February he joined the Aircraft Delivery Unit there.
In August 1942 Batt was posted away and returned to the UK in November. He went to 55 OTU ( Operational Training Unit ), Annan, as an instructor in
early December 1942 and was commissioned from Warrant Officer in Masrch 1943.
A return to operations came on August 11 1943, when Batt was posted to 198 Squadron, flying Hawker Typhoons from Martlesham Heath.
He went on a course to 7 FTS ( Flying Training School ) on November 24 1943, after which he was posted to 15 (P) AFU ( Advanced Flying Unit )
Babdown, as an instructor, remaining there until his release from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.
HIs ranks were Pilot Officer 24.03.43, Flying Officer 24.09.43 Flight Lieutenant 24.03.45.
In the book ‘The Battle of Britain Then and Now‘ there are a series of letters written to his parents by Sgt Pilot Eric Bann a colleague of Gordon’s in 238 Squadron and Gordon Batt is mention in some of these.
‘We received a telegram from the Air Ministry congratulating us upon our very good work and wishing us good rest but the cost has been heavy. Just Gordon Batt and I remain amongst the sergeant pilots and many of our officers have gone too in our squadron’.
‘Eventually, Gordon Batt came down at Rissington and I asked the C/O if I could go up in Batt’s car to see if he was OK. I found him fine though his machine
was being repaired’.
Sadly Gordon Batt’s fellow pilot Eric Bann was shot down on September 28 1940 and was killed when his parachute failed to open when he baled out over Brading Marshes.
In about 1972 I was a member of Kenilworth Golf Club and Gordon Batt was the club captain and I played against him in the Winter League competition one Sunday morning. The round took rather a long time and after I arrived home I commented to my father that ‘The captain took a long time to walk around and seemed to have a bad limp’.
My father was also a member of Kenilworth Golf Club and looked up from his Sunday lunch and turned to me and said ‘Gordon Batt was a fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain and was shot down and injured. That is the reason he walks slowly’.
Leslie Gordon Batt passed away in Leamington Spa 04/02/2004
Thanks to Malcolm Dunn