Zuidlaren General Cemetery
Historical Information (Source: CWGC)
South-west of the entrance is the grave of a British airman.
Flight Lieutenant (Navigator) FOWLER, LESLIE GORDON - D F C - Service Number 126036
Died 15/03/1945 - Aged 23
214 Sadn. Sqdn Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Son of George Robson Fowler and Mabel Lilian Fowler, of Worcester Park, Surrey.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Citation:
"This officer has completed many operational missions over enemy territory, including attacks on main targets such as Cologne and Essen and mine laying operations in enemy waters.
At all times Flight Lieutenant Fowler has displayed navigational abilities of a high order which has contributed much to the success of these sorties. This officer possesses a fine fighting spirit, which has inspired confidence in his crew."
Leslie Fowler was born in 1922 in Herne Bay/Kent, Great Britain and educated at King's College, Wimbledon, he joined the RAF in 1941, being trained in Canada.
Between 31 December 1942 and the middle of June 1943 Fowler flew 23 operations with No. 199 Squadron in Vickers Wellington bombers. After retraining on B17's he was posted to No. 214 Squadron.
On 24 February 1945 Fortress III HB805 took off from RAF Oulton with on board Leslie Fowler and eight other crew members. The bomber was shot down at 20.08 hrs - 20-30 km West of Düsseldorf airfield by Oblt. Kurt Matzak of Stab IV/NJG1 - a Luftwaffe night fighter ace with 19 kills to his score. Fowler got injured during the attack but apparently managed to bail out, taken POW and hospitalized yet died mid March of his wounds. In total seven crew members were killed. Air Gunner Flight Sergeant Jennings D.F.M was taken POW and survived the war.
It is unknown why Fowler is buried in Zuidlaren, while his plane crashed near Ittenbach. Zuidlaren is over 300 km to the north of Ittenbach.