Leonard Cheshire was born in 1917
, in Chester, England
He joined the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of World War II and after fighting with 102 Squadron he was promoted in 1942 to Squadron Commander of 76 Squadron. In almost 6 months he showed his skill and in spring of 1943, at the age of 25, he became the youngest Group Captain in the RAF. He also became the author of a best-selling book, Bomber Pilot.
In the fall he was given command of 617 Squadron and was one of the instrumental developers of target indicator bombs dropped from high-speed Mosquito bombers to pinpoint targets for heavy bombers following. This innovation allowed the RAF to extend their nightly bombing runs to allow for precision attacks instead of terror bombing wide areas. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his work.
In 1945, he was designated as the official British observer of the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki in August of that year.
After the war, he and his wife started the Sue Ryder Foundation for the sick and disabled, and dedicated their lives to helping the less fortunate. The work they started still goes on, providing valuable support, training, and employment help for the injured and disabled in more than 240 locations in 15 countries.
The man knew how to be in the right place at the right time. In addition to witnessing the bombing of Nagasaki, he was also publicly interviewed in Berlin, the night the Berlin Wall came down.
In 1991, he was created Baron Cheshire.
Sadly, he suffered from Motor Neurone Disease and died in July of 1992.