Flight Lieutenant William Robert KILPATRICK

Service No: 400718
Born: Melbourne VIC, 25 May 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 October 1940
Unit: No. 184 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Manston, Kent
Died: Air Operations: (No. 184 Squadron Hurricane aircraft KX828), off the French Coast, 31 July 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Alexander Kilpatrick and Helen Miller Kilpatrick, of Great Western, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Stawell VIC
Remembered: Panel 87, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Flight Lieutenant Kilpatrick took part in 107 operational flights including fighter cover and fighter support for bombers, and anti-shipping and convoy patrols.

On 31 July 1943 Hurricane KX828 was detailed to carry out an attack at night on four E boats and R boats, 10 miles south west of Boulogne, France. The attack was to be carried out with an Albacore aircraft from No 841 Squadron RN which was to drop flares over the target area when the Hurricane was ready to attack. The first flare was dropped and KX828 was heard to say he was on the wrong side of the flare and was going around again. A second and third flare was dropped and the pilot of the Albacore reported seeing what he thought were ‘slow tracers’. This was in all probability the rockets being fired. Nothing more was seen or heard from KX828 and all radio communication ceased. During the attack the Albacore saw light anti-aircraft being fired to the right of the flare presumably at the Hurricane. Searches at first light brought no result. The time of the attack was about 0230 hours. The weather and visibility was 4/5 miles, with no cloud or moon. In 1948 it was recorded that Flight Lieutenant Kilpatrick lost his life at sea.


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, 163/41/52

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