ON 17 JUNE 1942

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Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Bu. No. 4649 of Patrol Squadron 101 (VP-101), US Navy crashed on takeoff from Bankstown Airfield in New South Wales after an engine failure on 17 June 1942. The pilot Lieutenant (jg) LeRoy Clifford Deede was killed in this accident.

The War Diary of Commander, Patrol Wing Ten [USN based on the Swan River near Perth, WA] states for Wednesday 17 June 1942:-

'Lieutenant (jg) LeRoy C. Deede, A-V(N), U.S.N.R., Patrol Squadron One Hundred and One, while on an extended flight to Sydney, Australia, was reported killed at 1628 K, June 17, 1942 at the Bankstown Airdrome, Sydney, as the result of an aircraft accident. The cause of the accident was reported as engine failure of the SBD-3 plane which he was piloting, with a subsequent spin from 500 feet altitude.' 

Dwight Messimer (In the Hands of Fate, Naval Institute Press, Maryland, 1985, p. 309) says that Leroy Deede ' ... was killed in Australia when the Douglas SBD "Dauntless" he was flying crashed on take-off'. Daniel Leahy was able to confirm that Lieutenant LeRoy Deede is now buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) in Hawaii.

Lieutenant (jg) LeRoy Clifford Deede was on the Ambon raid of 27 December 1941 with VP101. He also flew one of the two PatWing Ten PBY Catalina's which made a long distance rescue of key personnel from Corrigedor in April 1942. The rescue, codenamed Operation Flight GRIDIRON, started from Perth and ended at Perth. (see Messimer, 1985, chap. 13).

Lt. LeRoy Deede was the pilot of one of the following two Catalina's of Patrol Wing 10, which were destroyed on 3 March 1942 during a Japanese bombing raid on Broome.

Convair PBY Catalina # 6 (PBY-4 BUAERO Number: 1227, ex- 101-P-26, ex-102-P-26) of Patrol Wing 10, Lieutenant (jg) Ira W. Brown.
Convair PBY Catalina #7 (PBY-4 BUAERO Number: 1237, ex-101-P-13), of Patrol Wing 10, Lieutenant (jg) LeRoy C. Deede.



Dwight Messimer, "In the Hands of Fate", Naval Institute Press, Maryland 

War Diary of Commander, Patrol Wing Ten [USN based on the Swan River near Perth, WA]

SBD 4649,

War Diary - Commander Patrol Wing Ten,



I'd like to thank Daniel Leahy, Lindsay Peet and Paul Nitchman for their assistance with this home page.


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This page first produced 12 March 2003

This page last updated 27 January 2020