The Last Flight of Halifax JB837
25/26th May 1943
William Reginald Leslie CODD

John Richardson

Rank Sergeant
Name William Reginald Leslie CODD
Position Flight Engineer
Nationality United Kingdom
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit 77 Squadron
Age N/K
Service No. 1316152
Grave Rheinberg War Cemetery, 4.D.3

William Reginald Leslie Codd (known as Les) was born in Treherbert, in the Rhondda, South Wales. He was married to Margaretta Mary Williams (known as Greta) and they had three sons: Dennis Brinley, known as Bryn, Leslie Russell, known as Russ, and Frederick Alan, known as Alan. Bryn was born in 1935, Russ in 1940 and Alan in 1942. At the time of Les's death they were all living in Herbert Street, Treorchy. Russ Codd died in 1986.

Because of the date of the fatal flight in May 1943, family rumour was always that he was involved with the Dambusters raids (but these took place on May 16th, 1943 and were carried out by a different squadron, 617 Squadron, flying Lancasters).

Les Codd worked in the colliery after leaving school and at the time he joined up was a 'fireman', that is, the person who was responsible for all the safety and explosives. He was therefore accustomed to working in the dark, confined, dangerous spaces that he would have experienced inside a Halifax.

Les’s wife remarried in the 1960s and rarely spoke about the war. She died in 1993, and much of Les Codd’s memorabilia of medals and log book were lost.

Les Codd’s granddaughter (the daughter of Les’s youngest son Frederick Alan Codd) is Helen Codd, who was (at 2024) Professor of Law and Social Justice at the University of Central Lancashire.