Flt Lt Leigh Mitchelmore


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Flight Lieutenant Leigh Mitchelmore, who died on 2 September, 2006, aged 28, was serving in Afghanistan as a Weapon System Officer (Navigator) with Royal Air Force Kinloss.
Flt Lt Mitchelmore was full of energy and enthusiasm, well-liked by many for his bubbly personality and affable manner. He was tall and striking and a very talented golfer, representing the RAF on a number of occasions.
Flt Lt Mitchelmore was a highly skilled Nimrod Weapon System Operator whose natural ability and great potential had been spotted by his superiors. He was described by his regiment as having a very bright future.
Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore came from Bournemouth and attended Highcliffe school. He completed a law degree at Southampton University before deciding to join the RAF as a navigator.
He was a member of 120 Squadron at RAF Kinloss, based in Moray, Scotland. In 2005, as a junior navigator, Flt Lt Mitchelmore deployed to New Zealand to be a part of the winning crew in the Fincastle international maritime patrol competition.
Flt Lt Mitchelmore deployed to Afghanistan the following year. On 2 September, 2006, he was taking part in a major offensive against the Taliban near Kandahar when the Nimrod MR2 aircraft he was flying in crashed, killing Flt Lt Mitchelmore and 11 other RAF Kinloss personnel.
The 37-year-old Nimrod aircraft had just completed a routine air-to-air refuelling and the crew reported a fire on board shortly before the crash.
Flt Lt Mitchelmore was a devoted family man with a young family. He leaves behind his wife Claire, and their two young children Faye, and Hayden.
Claire said: "Leigh was a fantastic husband and my soul mate. He was an amazing man who always made me smile. Every day we had together I will cherish. He was beautiful, kind-hearted and full of life and vitality and filled the room with his presence.
Leigh was not only a loving husband but a wonderful daddy to our two beautiful children. His family were his world and spending quality time together was the most important thing to him.
Leigh and I could think of nothing better than spending the day together with the children on the beautiful Scottish beaches. We were so happy living in such a wonderful part of the world and had just bought the house of our dreams where we planned to grow old together."

Added by: Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph on 31st October 2010.

 

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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
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