Flight Lieutenant William Gordon CRAIG DFC

Service No: 416549
Born: Adelaide SA, 28 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941
Unit: Bomber Command Instructor’s School (RAF), RAF Station Finningley, Yorkshire
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 13 October 1944 (Citation Title: No. 431 Squadron (RCAF))
Died: Aircraft Accident (Bomber Command Flying Instructors’ School Wellington aircraft LN585), Yorkshire, 8 April 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Darlington West Cemetery, Durham
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Charles and Mary Ann Craig; husband of Olive Mary Craig, of Darlington, Co. Durham, England
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

DFC Citation: “Flight Lieutenant Craig has completed numerous operational sorties over enemy territory, attacking such distant and well defended targets as Berlin, Frankfurt and Essen. In April during an attack on Essen, by his coolness and presence of mind, he successfully evaded persistent
attacks by enemy night fighters and despite opposition, he pressed on with great gallantry to bomb the target. This officer’s tenacity, endurance and fine fighting spirit have been of a very high order throughout his tour of duty.” (London Gazette 13/10/1944, Page 4694)

On a non-operational day training flight on the 8th January 1945, Wellington LN585 crashed at 1600 hours at Finningley, Yorkshire, when the aircraft stalled at approximately 200 feet height, when attempting a demonstration of a single engine approach. Three of the crew members were killed and Sergeant Lofthouse was injured.

The crew members of LN 585 were:

Flight Lieutenant Gerald Arthur Clark (160772) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flying Officer William Gordon Craig DFC (416549) (Pilot under Instruction)
Flight Sergeant Bertram Frederick Griggs (1293225) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flying Officer G Lofthouse DFC (172415) (RAFVR) (Pilot under Instruction) Injured


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, 166/8/954

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