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Habgood L.R.J.

WW2 individuals

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L. R. J. Habgood

Full Names

Rank /Unit  

Years at Q.E.G.S.

Leonard Ronald Jack Habgood

Lieutenant (A)  
H.M.S.  Daedalus
[R.N.A.S. Lee-on-Solent]

1932
1938

 

Date  / Place of Birth

Date  / Place of Death

Age at Death

1921
Colehill

Friday  31st  August 1945
The Solent, Off Yarmouth

24

Pre-war Occupation: Railway Engineer


Jack, as he was known in the family, was the son of Jesse Albert and Irene Jane Habgood of No.3, Council Houses, Middlehill Road, Colehill.
In the School Sports on 21st March 1934, he came second in the Half Mile (under 15) race. He was awarded the Maths & Science prize for Form llla, at the Speech Day in the Autumn of 1935. In the Cricket team for the previous term he he was described as, "A useful wicket-keeper. Though he tends to stand back to slow bowling, he should, with more experience, achieve the feats of Caine. Produced runs."
When Jack left school in 1938, he began a career with the Southern Railway, and was employed, in Bournemouth, on Technical work. By the Autumn of 1939 he was living in Avon Road, within a mile of Bournemouth Central Station.
Jack volunteered for the, then, Fleet Air Arm shortly after the beginning of WW2. A move which did not please his father. His sister recalls that he just loved flying.
There are no details of his service career until his death, which was published in the School Magazine in the Autumn of 1945. :- "With deep regret we record the passing, on service, of Lieutenant L.R.J. Habgood. R.N.V.R., of the Fleet Air Arm, whose home was at Colehill. He was killed when the new type of aircraft he was flying, crashed off Yarmouth. I.O.W."
Jack Habgood was the test pilot of a Miles Monitor aircraft from the Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment (A & AEE) at RAF Station Boscombe Down, North of Salisbury.         
The Monitor was a high wing monoplane with two large underslung radial engines. Superficially, it resembled the De Havilland Mosquito but it was of more robust construction and had a mid-upper gun turret.

Jack was engaged in development flying in connection with weights and loading. The aircraft - NP409 (the fourth off the production line)  was seen to roll inverted and dive into the sea from approx 2,000 ft off Fort Victoria, approximately a mile West of Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight, whilst on a flight from Boscombe Down. The occupants, Lt. Habgood and S/Ldr. Fehler were both killed.

Jack has no known grave and is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial, which is on Marine Parade West, approximately half a mile west of the town centre.                        

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