Wartime bomber veteran from Sleaford who was awarded France’s highest military honour dies aged 93

Les Andersen proudly wears his newly presented medals flanked by chairman of the Sleaford Branch of the Royal British Legion Clive Candlin and Master Aircrewman Marcus Burton of 45(R) Squadron from RAF Cranwell. EMN-180327-114929001
Les Andersen proudly wears his newly presented medals flanked by chairman of the Sleaford Branch of the Royal British Legion Clive Candlin and Master Aircrewman Marcus Burton of 45(R) Squadron from RAF Cranwell. EMN-180327-114929001

A wartime RAF bomber veteran from Sleaford has died aged 93.

William Lesley Anderson (Les) passed away peacefully on Sunday March 11 at Harrowby Lodge Nursing Home.

His funeral took place last Wednesday at Grantham Crematorium with donations going to the International Bomber Command Centre at Lincoln.

Mr Anderson was a Flight Engineer on Lancaster Bombers, flying his first mission on D Day.

He was also recently awarded the Legion de Honeur by the French Government for the liberation of France.

Last May he was finally presented with his campaign medals, having not claimed them at the time. He told The Standard: “I was just doing my job.”

Originally from Fife, Scotland, he joined up aged 18, flying 30 missions in Halifax and Lancaster bombers with 166 Squadron from RAF Kirmington. During the recent visit of the Canadian Lancaster, Les was offered a seat on one of the flights his old base.

He became a teacher and spent many years in Uganda. His wife Jane died, but he leaves a son Dennis and daughter Janet.