Flying Officer William KIRK

Service No: 405107
Born: Eccelshall, England, 17 July 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 January 1941 (at Brisbane QLD)
Unit: No. 180 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 180 Squadron Mitchell aircraft FV998), France, 20 June 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, Somme, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Kirk, of Wynnum, Queensland, Australia; husband of Lila Kirk, of Wynnum
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 20 June 1944 Mitchell FV998 led a formation of aircraft from the Squadron detailed to attack Bois Coquerell in Northern France. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The formation encountered heavy flak in the target area. The Pilot of another aircraft reported that it appeared that the navigator of FV998 did not see the target until it was too late to attack and as the formation turned left away from the target area a burst of flak was seen to hit the nose of FV998. The nose was extensively damaged and both the pilot and the navigator seemed to slump forward. The port engine caught fire immediately after the burst and the aircraft dived to the left, increasing in steepness, and was seen to explode when it hit the ground. No parachutes were seen and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of FV998 were:

Squadron Leader Peter Roger Anson Ford DFC (40816) (RAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer William Kirk (405107) (Wireless Operator Air)
Pilot Officer George Lister DFM (176743) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Reginald Arthur Newham (1212013) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Pilot Officer James Kelso Stenhouse (J/89049) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator Air / Air Gunner)


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/.22/273