Flight Sergeant William BROWN

Service No: 409288
Born: Patrick, Scotland, 4 December 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 August 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 165 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 165 Squadron Spitfire aircraft EP555), Netherlands, 25 July 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Isabella Spiers Brown, of Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Geelong VIC
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1410 hours on 25 July 1943, a formation of Squadron aircraft took off as part of an escort cover for Marauders bombing industrial targets north of Ghent, Belgium. The enemy coast was crossed just south west of Knock and the formation proceeded directly to the target area. About 1430 hours the Squadron turned north on leaving the target area. When in the vicinity of SAS Van Ghent, Yellow 1 (Flight Lieutenant Disney) saw 3 FW190s about 2,000 feet above and 800 to 1,000 yards away going south and at 9 o’clock to the formation which was at 13/14,000 feet. He called up Red Section (Sergeant Johnston) and warned him. This message was not received. The whole Wing had difficulty with the radio, and Ground Stations and Inter/Com were heavily distorted as if the sets were off tune. The enemy aircraft turned in behind Red Section and were joined by others. Disney and Quinn (Blue 1) called up telling Red Section to break. This message was received but the leading enemy aircraft were already in range of Red 2 (Brown) and Red 3 (Sub Lieutenant A Imbert (Free French Forces)) who were probably hit in the first attack. Red Section was engaged by eight enemy aircraft and both Brown and Imbert failed to return from the mission. A Missing Research and Enquiry team later reported: “the aircraft crashed at Rapenburg, Netherlands and Flight Sergeant Brown was killed.” Also lost from No. 165 Squadron on the same mission was Flight Sergeant John Henry Curry (1335808) (RAFVR)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/6/212

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