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Leeds University Air Squadron Cadets

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Leeds Library & Information Services
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LEO 5845
Leeds University Air Squadron Cadets
July, 1941. Group photograph showing the first batch of the Leeds University Air Squadron Cadets, taken outside the Leeds University Air Squadron Office. The squadron was established in 1941 to provide pre-service ground and flying training to potential officers. The tall young man on the extreme left of the middle row is Arthur Louis Aaron of Gledhow. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and the Distinguished Flying Medal after he flew his crew to safety, even after his plane was badly damaged and he was fatally injured, on the night of 12th August 1943. A bronze statue of him now stands on the Eastgate roundabout. It was unveiled in 2001. Arthur Aaron had been studying Architecture before undergoing training with the Air Squadron. Third from the right on the back row is Nebojska 'Neb' Kujundzic from Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He had come to Leeds to study engineering but was also amongst the first batch of trainees with the Leeds University Air Squadron. He was sadly killed on a training flight from Elsham Woods on 3rd March 1943. One of the engines of the Lancaster he was flying caught fire and Flying Officer Kujundzic gave the order for the rest of the crew to bale out. He continued to pilot the plane over the village of Yaxley near Peterborough, steering it away from the houses and populated areas. The plane eventually crashed in an orchard and Ned Kujundzic lost his life. However, there were no fatalities as a result of his selflessness. Tragically, it is believed that only a handful of cadets pictured in this image survived the war. Further information about any of these young men would be welcomed.

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