Service Details
Name:
LE ROUX
Given Name:
JOHANNES JACOBUS
Initials:
J J
Service No:
42240
Rank:
Squadron Leader
Other Casualties of this Rank
Regiment:
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Other Casualties from this Regiment
Unit:
602 Sqdn.
Other Casualties from this Unit
Date of Death:
1944-08-29
Other Casualties on this Date
Date of Birth:
1920-09-18
Age:
23
Cause of Death:
Died in Aircraft Accident, taken off from France and was attempting to make his way through appalling weather to Tangmere. He never reached the coast and crashed into the Channel
Decorations:
D F C and 2 bars
Citations:
1st DFC LG Sup 17 October 1941 pg. 6034 - "This officer has carried out over two hundred operational sorties which have included shipping reconnaissances during which most valuable information has been obtained, and numerous attacks on shipping and enemy aerodromes in the face of heavy enemy fire. Flight Lieutenant Le Roux has destroyed three hostile aircraft in combat and at least one on the ground." 1st Bar to DFC LG Sup 10 December 1942 pg. 5391 - "Since being awarded the D. F. C., this officer has destroyed a further five enemy aircraft. In addition to his air victories he has attacked shipping and targets on the ground with considerable success. At all times Flight Lieutenant Le Roux has displayed a fine fighting spirit." Second bar to DFC LG Sup 9 July 1943 pg. 3094 - "Squadron Leader Le Roux's magnificent leadership has played a large part in the many successes attained by his Squadron. He has personally destroyed fourteen enemy aircraft and damaged many others and has also inflicted much damage on enemy shipping. During the course of a large number of operational sorties this officer has set a splendid example which has been an inspiration to all."
Additional
Information:
Joined the R. A. F. on a short service commission in May 1938. Between July 1939 and May 1940, he underwent training at 10 F.T.S., Tern Hill, 2 Service F.T.S. Brize Norton and 6 O.T.U., Sutton Bridge. Details of Le Roux's early career are sketchy, but it appears that he flew with 73 Squadron during the last hectic days of the Battle of France and according to one authority, E.C.R. Baker, in his book 'Fighter Aces of the R.A.F., 'he was shot down twelve times in 1940' in France and the Battle of Britain. However it can only be presumed that these escapes by parachute all took place over France, as his Record of Service fails to show that he served with an active fighter unit during the Battle of Britain. By early 1941, Le Roux was a Flying Officer and joined No. 91 (Nigeria) Squadron operating Spitfire V's at Hawkinge. No. 91 was a special duties squadron carrying out low-level attacks on enemy shipping in the Channel or lone reconnaissance sorties over the French coast. Le Roux flew several such sorties in his early months with the squadron, but it was not until the summer that he began to make a name for himself. On 17 August, the inimitable Paddy Barthropp led five Spitfires to intercept an enemy patrol, giving air cover to a tanker east of Calais. From the direction of Boulogne, they met 15 or 20 109's. Barthropp attacked, sending one into the sea. Le Roux attacked another from astern and seeing him burst in flames, notched up the first of his victories. With Barthropp, Le Roux was to fly some one hundred sorties during his service with No. 91. As a friend, Barthropp recalled Le Roux as a 'bloody good looking bastard, ' in whose company 'you always got the ugly bird when you went out.' During the morning of the 26th, Le Roux strafed four Bf 109's parked on the Furnes/Coxyde airfield and was able to report that one collapsed, which was later credited as a probable. Three days later another Bf 109 fell to his guns between Calais and Griz Nez, and on 4 September in Spitfire DL-N he destroyed a brace of 109's west of Breck-sur-Mer. He was carrying out a shipping recce in heavy haze when he sighted three 109's flying east. He circled and dived on them from astern, and after a short burst saw one disintegrate. The Hun leader took violent evasive action but Le Roux managed to bring his guns to bear on the third Me 109, which after a medium burst parted company with its tail unit and fell into the sea. For this exploit he received a personal message of congratulations from the A.O.C. 11 Group. On the 21st, he was promoted Acting Flight Lieutenant and, on 17 October, was awarded the D.F.C., having flown 200 sorties and having been credited with four victories. In the afternoon of the 28th, the Squadron took part in a fighter sweep led by Wing Commander Jamie Rankin. Over the enemy-occupied coastline, the Spitfire formation encountered stiff fighter opposition. Le Roux, on seeing two Messerschmitts slip in behind Rankin's section, gave the Wing Co a timely warning and turned to meet the Nazi machines. Once surprised the 109's climbed for cloud cover. Hanging on to the tail of the rear 109 'Chris' gave him a long burst and followed him through the cloud. Moments later the 109 was falling earthward to its destruction near Calais. Eleven days into November, he ran into two 109's over the Straits of Dover firing both cannon and machine guns he knocked one down through low cloud. Le Roux followed, and, on emerging through the cloud, saw a large oil patch on the water below. His tour ended in early December, and he was then rested at 55 O.T.U., Usworth. He returned to the Squadron briefly in late 1942 as a flight commander. On 31 October, he and several other pilots were scrambled, following a hit-and-run raid by Focke Wulf 190's on Canterbury. The Spirfires roared over the coast in pursuit and during the course of a running fight over the sea, five FW 190's were shot down and four damaged. Le Roux claimed and was credited with two in the drink, and again received the thanks of the A.O.C. On 10 December, he was awarded his first bar to the D.F.C., having destroyed a further five enemy aircraft in addition to his success against ground and shipping targets. In January 1943, he changed both Squadron and theatre, and was posted to 111 Squadron in North Africa. On the 18th, Wing Commander 'Sheep' Gilroy led eleven of 111's pilots as escorts to Hurribombers attacking tank concentrations east of Bou Arada. Over the target they met six Bf 109's of 1/JG 53. During this encounter one e/a fell to Gilroy and one to F/Sgt. Joasson. Le Roux scored one destroyed and one damaged. The departure of tour expired S/Ldr Tony Bartley on the 25th gave Le Roux his Squadron Command. It was two months before he scored his first combat success as C.O. On 3 April, 111 intercepted a raid and Le Roux attacked two of four circling 109's at 2000 ft, one of which he sent crashing into the hills below. His second tour ended with the month, but not befo
Commemoration
Country:
United Kingdom
Other Casualties commemorated in United Kingdom
Locality:
Surrey
Other Casualties commemorated in Surrey
Cemetery:
RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Other Casualties commemorated in this Cemetery
Grave Reference:
Panel 200.

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