The second of three New Zealand pilots to be awarded the Victoria Cross, Leonard Trent received the accolade for bravery flying a Lockheed Ventura on a Ramrod mission over the occupied Low Countries.
Leonard Henry Trent was born in Nelson, New Zealand on April 14, 1915. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) in 1937 and began to learn to fly at Wigram airfield before graduating to fly the Vickers Vildebeest biplane bomber. In mid-1938 he was posted to the RAF on exchange, remaining in the British military after the outbreak of war.
In September 1939 Trent went to France as part of XV Sqn, flying Fairey Battles on high-level photoreconnaissance missions over enemy territory. However, by the end of the year the unit had been withdrawn back to Britain and began to convert onto the Bristol Blenheim IV.