Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire was born in Chester, England, on 7th September 1917. He was educated at Stowe School and Merton College, Oxford.

After the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Royal Air Force. He was posted to 102 Squadron and by August 1942 had been promoted to squadron commander of of 76 Squadron. In March 1943 at the age if twenty-five he became the youngest group captain in the RAF.

In November 1943 he was given command of 617 Squadron and over the next few months developed new low-level marking techniques that dramatically increased bombing accuracy.

In 1944 Cheshire was awarded the Victoria Cross after completing a hundred bombing missions on heavily defended targets in Nazi Germany. Cheshire was chosen as the official British observer of the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

After the war Cheshire dedicated his life to maintaining world peace and was a member of CND. Cheshire also joined with his wife, Sue Ryder, to establish the Sue Rider Foundation for the sick and disabled. Leonard Cheshire, who was created Baron Cheshire in 1991, died on 31st July, 1992.

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