Lewis Zalsberg, DFM

Warrant Officer, 511 Squadron
Service number 755970
Died 4 Jul 1943
Buried Gibraltar (North Front) Jewish Cemetery
Age 23

Lewis was born on 4 June 1920 in St George in the East, London to Polish born parents Hyman and Ann Spitalovich and was the youngest of five boys. Their father worked as a cleaner, eventually owning his own shop selling cleaning materials.

Lewis attended Cowper Street Central school after obtaining a scholarship. He joined the RAF prior to the outbreak of the war and after initial training was posted as a Sergeant Observer for operational service with 10 Squadron at RAF Leeming. Lewis married Gladys Oliver in 1942 in Truro, Cornwall. Their daughter was born after Lewis’s death.

Lewis flew in 29 operational sorties with 10 Squadron and was awarded the DFM. The recommendation states: ‘A first class Observer who, throughout his operational career, has never slackened his keenness and efficiency. His cheerful enthusiasm has been an inspiration to all who have worked with him and his courage and determination in the face of strong enemy opposition has contributed largely to the success of the crews with whom he has operated.’ 

Lewis was the navigator on Liberator AL523. On board was General Wladyslaw Sikorski, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army and Prime Minister of the Polish Government in exile.

Lewis’s story can be found on the link below.


Submerged Liberator AL523. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1591175
Jewish Chronicle
Jewish Chronicle 18 July 1943