[av_heading heading=’Pilot Officer Leonard Alfred Barnes RAF ‘ tag=’h3′ style=” subheading_active=” show_icon=” icon=’ue800′ font=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” icon_size=” av-medium-font-size-1=” av-small-font-size-1=” av-mini-font-size-1=” color=” custom_font=” icon_color=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ icon_padding=’10’ link=” link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kwhy6q7x’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Our third hero from Journey to the Horizon is Pilot Officer Leonard Alfred Barnes RAF. He was a Lancaster pilot with No. 630 Squadron at East Kirkby. /

East Kirkby is the current home of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre @RafHibaldstow (well worth visiting!!).
His Lancaster bomber ND530, P-Peter, was shot down during the night of 15/16 March 1944, returning from Stuttgart.

Len Barnes landed by parachute near Dravigny and was found by Rene Coigné, a member of the resistance. First hidden in Fère-en-Tardenois Len Barnes went to Paris to be handled by the Comète Line.

With the four other evaders there he was taken to the border between France and Spain.
On 4/5 June 1944, Barnes entered Spain and after a brief internment he was handed to the British embassy. Departed by plane from Gibraltar and arrived in England 25 June 1944. We will report later about the fate of his crew. Len Barnes was instrumental in the founding of RAFES, the organisation of former evaders. He was as an unassuming man, with a particular love for his wife Merville and his garden; the stuff that heroes are made of! He died in 1988.

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