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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W C Wills


William Claude Wills was born in the third quarter of 1918 in Christchurch, the son of Charles Henry Archer Wills (1882-1931) and Florence May White Wills (1884-1969).

He was employed by Lloyds Bank when he joined the RAFVR about June 1937 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, Wills completed his training and arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 3rd June 1940. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 3 Squadron at Wick in late June.

He moved to 73 Squadron at Castle Camps on 25th September.

On 10th November Wills embarked with the squadron on HMS Furious for West Africa and flew off to Takoradi on the 29th. The pilots then flew their Hurricanes in stages to Heliopolis, via Lagos, Accra, Kano, Maidugari, Khartoum, Wadi Haifa and Abu Sueir.

During December the pilots were attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert. The squadron began to operate on its own account in early January 1941.

On 1st February Wills shot down a CR42 south-west of Cirene.

He flew with Sgt. Gideon on an early morning offensive reconnaissance of El Adem on 12th April 1941. Both Hurricanes were shot down. Gideon was captured but Wills was killed by a flak burst.

He is buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya and also commemorated on the family grave at Wimbourne Road Cemetery, Bournemouth.



Above image courtesy of Grave Concerns.






Above cemetery images courtesy of The War Graves Photographic Project

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