'Coco ' Collignon Leopold C. (RAF n° 116288)

Knight Cross in the order of the Crown with Palm, Gold Medal in the Order of Leopold II, Order of the Crown with Golden Palms,
Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm and Bronze Lion,
Evader Cross, War Medal 1939-45, 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, ...
(André Bar Collection)

Born on 11 December 1910 at Liège. 1930 Class Milician, enlisted on 22/11/1929. Voluntary engagement for two years in the Aéronautique Militaire on 31 March 1930 and admitted to the 62 promotion. Caporal aviteur on 30 September 1930. Posted to 2 Rgt Aé on 27 July 1931. Promoted Sergeant aviateur on 31 July 1931. Re-engagement for one year on 18 April 1932. 1° Sergeant aviateur on 31 July 1932. Re-engagement for one year on 18 April 1934. Admited into the active corps of NCO and posted to 1 Rgt Aé, 25 October 1935. Takes his oath on 1 February 1936. Promoted Adjudant aviateur on 26 September 1936 and posted to the Flying School. Evacuated to Morocco with his unit and returned to Belgium after the capitulation of France. Escaped to Great Britain via France in August 1941 where he arrived on 12 October 1941. Enlisted in VR of the RAF, 20 January 1942. Send for training and attended following units: 1 RAF Depot (21/01/42), 9 SFTS (23/02/42), 52 OTU (10/03/42). Posted to 122 Sqn on 12 June 1942, and arrived to 350 Sqn, 2 September 1942. Promoted F/O on 1 October 1942 and posted to 64 Sqn on 14 March 1943. F/Lt on 21 January 1944, he was rested and send to the Central Gunnery School on 19 April 1944. A posting to the BIG (Belgian Inspectorate General) saw him arriving on 6 June 1944. He became the 6th CO of  350 on 23 October 1944. On 24 December 1944, S/Ldr Collignon flying a mission in the region of  Houffalize-Malmedy, was hit by flak, reached the friendly lines and baled out at low altitude, breaking his leg badly. He was evacuated to a Hospital in England on 25 December 1944 and saw no further operational actions during the War. Joined the Belgian Air Force after the War. Retired as Lt-Colonel. Died on 11 September 1995.

(Information kindly provided by André Bar)   

             His claims are :
19/08/1942 1/4 Do-217 (122 Sqn) Dieppe
12/12/1942 1 FW-190 Damaged Circus 242: St-Omer
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