Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
."
Site of Battleof Britain London Monument Work in Progress London Monument Site Drawing of Battle of Britain London Monument
Battle of Britain London Monument Home    
   

The Airmen's Stories - F/O D A Willans

 

Derek Alan Willans was born on 5th August 1920 in Rugby and educated at St. Pauls School.

He was awarded Aero Certificate 15250 at Norfolk & Norwich Aero Club on 23rd August 1937, his occupation recorded as 'Student'.

 

 

Willans joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1938. He was posted to 12 Group Pool, Aston Down for further training on 28th January 1940 and after converting to Blenheims joined 23 Squadron at Wittering on 6th April.

He served with this squadron throughout the Battle.

 

 

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 18th February 1941), the citation stating that one night in January 1941 he displayed great courage in attacking an enemy aircraft over the aerodrome at Poix, continuing his attack down to 500 feet, although aware of the heavy anti-aircraft defences.

Willans was killed on 28th May 1941, as a Flying Officer with 23 Squadron. He was flying Havoc BB893 when it spun in during a low-level practice dogfight near RAF Manston.

Sgt. GB Johnson and Sgt. L Jones were also killed.

He is buried in St Mary's churchyard, Clymping, Sussex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Battle of Britain Monument