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This is a specially produced glossy bookplate bearing the original signature of Battle of Britain fighter pilot James ‘Prof’ Leathart of 54 Squadron.

On 27th November 1937 Leathart joined 54 Squadron, then at Hornchurch. He was appointed ‘A’ Flight Commander on 1st September 1939 as an Acting Flight Lieutenant. Leathart aquired the nickname ‘The Prof’ as his fellow officers were impressed by his technical knowledge.
Over Dunkirk on 21st May Leathart probably destroyed a Ju88 and a He111. The next day he flew an unarmed Miles Magister to Calais-Marck aerodrome to pick up the CO of 74 Squadron, S/Ldr. FL White, who had been shot down and could not get back.
With cover provided by two Spitfires of 54 Squadron, piloted by P/O JL Allen and F/O AC Deere, the very hazardous operation was carried out successfully.
On 24th May Leathart claimed a Me109, on the 25th a probable Me110 and on the 26th two Me110s and a Ju88. On this day he took command of 54 Squadron as an Acting Squadron Leader. On the 27th he shared a Ju88, was awarded the DSO (gazetted 11th June 1940) and on 17th June probably destroyed a Ju88 and shared another.
On 20th July Leathart damaged a Do17, on the 25th damaged a Me109, on 18th August got a probable Me109 and damaged another, on the 28th destroyed a Do17, on 2nd September destroyed a Me109 and probably another on the 3rd.

B.O.B Fighter Ace James ‘Prof’ Leathart 54 Sqn Signed Bookplate

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