Photograph and extra information courtesy of James Pitt.
Born: 13th February 1910, 16, Northgate Street, Ipswich.
Died on or since: 10th October 1941: age 31.
Residence: 16, Bucklesham Road, Ipswich.
Occupation: Latin Teacher at Marlborough House School, Hawkhurst, Kent.
Enlistment: When war broke out Lewis enlisted in the R.A.F.
Lewis served on the Indian Frontier and then in Libya as a reconaissance pilot flying Hurricanes. He also trained as an aerial photographer. On the 29th March 1940, Lewis was in Waziristan Pakistan, with the R.A.A.F., 28 Squadron, flying Westland Lysanders. During his service Lewis was involved in some dog-fights, being gazzeted along with Flight Lieutenant Christopher Hastie Jones.
On one mission his engine failed making very rude noises at him, He force-landed and had to spend the night in the open. He took rations and a pistol, but found to his chargin some unmentionable clod had removed the water bottle. Rather trying as he had particularly asked if it was there, before he had taken off. It was very cold in the desert at night and he tried to cover himself with maps. Luckily, he was rescued the following day by a transport truck.
Lewis enjoyed a daily swim in the Mediterranian Sea. And he always flew with copies of Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’ and Homer’s ‘Iliad’ in the cockpit. The squadron’s Australian pilots likened Lewis to Achilles – very brave, but modest.
Rank: Flight Lieutenant; Service Number: 70443.
Regiment: Royal Air Force, 451 Royal Australian Air Force.
Medals Awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded 29th March 1940, during Ahmedzai operations on the northwest frontiers. Gazetted 21st May 1940.
1911 16, Northgate Street, Ipswich.
Lewis was a year old and living with his parents & brother.
Charles Albert Malone, 42, a Dentist (L.D.S.) – own account & employer – at home, born Dundrum, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Ireland.
Mabel Catherine Malone (nee Fry), 28, born Ipswich.
Charles Dennis Malone, 4, born Ipswich.
2 domestic servants.
Lewis’s father was a Freemason. At the age of 32, on the 7th December 1999, he became a member of the British Union Lodge, Ipswich. His address was at Brook Street, Ipswich.
Lewis’s mother was the Great, Great Niece of Joseph Fry – founder of the Fry’s Cocoa Firm.
Lewis attended Ipswich School, entered 1918 – 1920. Followed by Felsted, School, Essex – entered 1923 – 1929. After matriculation he went up to Pembroke College, Oxford, as a Classics Scholar, graduating in Greek and Latin. Whilst at Pembroke College he joined their Flying Club, and qualified as a pilot in 1932.
Probate to Charles Albert Malone – father, a retired Dental Surgeon.
Aberdeen Press and Journal 12th April 1940.
Gallant Deeds in India.
Flying Officer L. F Malone, RAF is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On February 19th he was required to carry a preliminary reconnaissance of caves in the Gumatti Tangi area, that they could be photographed later. Owing the nature of the ground this required lying low with easy range of numerous hostiles. He undertook this risk without hesitation and carried out his reconnaissance with such excellence and clarity that a photographic sortie was not necessary. Two days later he was flying in support of Kohat Brigade, which was moving towards Latambar. By concise and clear reports dropped on the Brigade he greatly assisted in forcing the enemy to keep hey heads down and hindered them from following up to closely.
IN SEVERE STORM
On February 28th, telephone line between Bannu and Marashah was cut. Flying officer Malone was ordered to drop an important message on Marashah. To do this he had to fly in the face of most severe storm and willingly undertook a risk which a pilot would not normally be upon to undertake.
War Diary Returned To The Family.
In August 2002, a 30 page diary, written by Lewis, was handed over to his nephew and great niece during a cermony at the R.A.F. Club, in London. The diary, beginning in July 1941 and ends in September, was taken back to Australia by a fellow Hurricane pilot from the Royal Australian Air Force. But after the Australian’s death the diary was sent on to another comrade, 84 year old, Wing Commander Geoffrey Morley-Mower, a professor of English at James Madison University in Virginia. Wing Commander Morley-Mower said that coming from America to return the diary to Lewis’s family was his last mission for the RAF. He said of Lewis “He was one of the bravest people I ever met. He looked like Achilles and, like Achilles, he died. He saved the squadron by demonstrating to the young Australians what it was like to face death.”