Flying Officer William Alexander CLEGG

Service No: 400886
Born: Ballarat VIC, 24 May 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 November 1940
Unit: No. 460 Squadron, RAF Station Breighton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 460 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z1404), Belgium, 13 August 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Heverlee War Cemetery, Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joseph William and Gladys Irene Clegg, of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. A.F.I.A.
Roll of Honour: Ballarat VIC
Remembered: Panel 107, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Date: 12-13 August 1942
Target: Mainz
Total Force: Dispatched – 138, Attacking – 99
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 7, Attacking – 5
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 241
Total Aircraft Lost: 5
RAAF Aircraft Lost: 1

On 12-13 August the weather was not so favourable, but the leading aircraft successfully picked out the glow of fires started on the first raid, and again the majority of bombs fell near the city centre. Night fighters appeared in large numbers, but they, too, were hindered by cloud and the bombers escaped relatively lightly. Later photographic evidence revealed that about 135 acres of the city were destroyed, principally around the railway stations where many large warehouses were burnt out.

Extracts from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 331, 332

Wellington Z1404 took off from RAF Breighton at 2208 hours on 12 August 1942 to bomb Mainz, Germany. The bomb load was 8 x 90 x 4 lb (pound) (2 kg) incendiaries. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Seven aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid. Following post war enquiries it was established that the aircraft crashed at 0114 hours on the 13 August 1942 at Eisden (Limburg), 15kms east north east of Genk, Belgium. All the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of Z1404 were:

Flying Officer William Alexander Clegg (400886) (Pilot)
Sergeant Allen Holland (405208) (Navigator)
Sergeant Reginald James Mayne (403942) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Lewis Kershaw McMichael (405360) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald David Smith (405194) (Bomb Aimer)


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/26/253


Firkins, P. C. (Peter Charles) (441386) Strike and Return, Westward Ho Publishing City Beach WA, 1985

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