Interview with Bill Leckie. Two


Interview with Bill Leckie. Two


Bill Leckie Bill was born in Glasgow but moved to the countryside as his father suffered from bronchitis. Initially working as a cinema projectionist, Bill joined the Royal Air Force at the age of eighteen, enlisting at St John’s Wood in London as a trainee pilot. Bill undertook basic training at RAF Babbacombe in Devon before being sent overseas to Halifax, Canada. He was then sent onwards to Pensacola for flying training, where his flying training included Stearmans. Bill found aerobatics hard and thought he would prefer flying the flying boats. He flew Catalinas, which he describes as sluggish and slow to respond to control inputs. Bill was then sent back to Harrogate in the United Kingdom waiting for a posting, expecting to be sent to fly flying boats as part of Coastal Command. Instead he was sent to Bomber Command at RAF Little Rissington where he trained on Oxfords before being sent to an operational training unit at RAF Lossiemouth. There he flew Whitleys and Wellingtons. Bill was then posted to 77 Squadron in Harrogate to fly the Halifaxes. With his Scottish crew, he took part in a handful of operations from RAF Elvington and RAF Full Sutton. Later, Bill was flown to Cairo via Gibraltar to join 216 Squadron. Bill was also stationed at Brindisi in Italy, flying the Halifax Mk2 as part of a ‘special duties’ squadron dropping supplies and agents, mainly in the Balkans. He took part in dropping agents sent to recover the Nazi’s looted art works. After the war, Bill returned to his job as a cinema projectionist and then later joined Hoover, working in production. Later, Bill moved to Ireland and flew with the airline Aer Lingus, where he flew several types, including the Douglas DC-3 pilot and Vickers Viscount. Before his retirement, Bill was flying some of the first Boeing 737 jet airliners in Europe, having been trained in the United States.


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00:39:32 audio recording






Alastair Montgomery, “Interview with Bill Leckie. Two,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 3, 2021,

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