Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0813
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T4332 24-09-44 Lancaster
MilRank First Name(s) Name
F/Sgt. Leslie W. Langley
Milregnr. Nationality Born
1394855 British
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 6 Apr 45 Zuidloo -
Evader Story
						F/Sgt. Leslie W. Langley was the bomb aimer of Lancaster LL901. The bomber was shot down in the night of 23/24 September 1944 by a night fighter. Langley was the only survivor. He managed to bail out first only moments before the bomber crashed near Holten. Three other crewmembers jumped too late and fell to death. Langley's parachute just opened in time. The bomb aimer made a hard landing very close to the wreckage of the aircraft. With a sprained ankle he left the scene as soon as possible. In the dark he tried to escape the Germans and found first refuge in Gorssel (according to some sources) before he ended up in the farm belonging to the family Koeslag in the village of Laren (province Gelderland). From here he moved shortly after to the farm 'Achterkamp' of Family E.J. Wilgenhof, close to the hamlet of Zuidloo near Bathmen. Soon after he was joined here by Sgt. John G. Miller (E0805), the rear gunner of Lancaster ED470 that was shot down in the same night and who was wounded at an eye by shrapnel. In January 1945 the two were joined here by a third airman, the Norwegian fighter pilot Lt. Kåre M. 'Bob' Herfjord (E0918). The three stayed on the farm the following months. At the back of the farm they hid in a ingenious hide-out in a haystack. They were not the only ones hiding here. Also Russian who had deserted the German army and several Dutchmen stayed at the farm. One of them was a niece of the family, Tilly Reterink. She and Miller would start a romance in the last months of the war. On 6 April the three airmen were liberated by Canadians of 8 Canadian Reconnaissance Regiment. Via Breda, where they were debriefed, they Langley and Miller returned to England where they arrived on 10 April. Here Langley reunited with his parents in London.						
* 'Engelsman eerde oude vrienden. Op begraafplaats Holten' in: Tubantia, 8 May 1967
* NIOD, 896, Willemsen, W.J.M, 2, 'L.W. Langley'
* M.J.G. Hols and H.J. Steunenberg, Holten in oorlogstijd (Nijverdal 1984), page 230-237